Global warming, water shortages, and overflowing landfills are issues we hear about quite often. And for good reason, these are all issues that affect our planet, and therefore, us. We all (hopefully) make an effort to reduce our use of ozone-eating chemicals, take shorter showers, and recycle as much as possible.
However, something that most of us perhaps don't think about too often is how our shopping habits affect the environment. Yep, that's right, shopping and being an environmentalist go hand-in-hand. The products that we choose to buy, how we shop, and how we utilize these products (and dispose of them when we are all done with them) are all interconnected with the health of Mother Earth.
As a twenty year old, I'm too young to even know of a time before fast fashion. H&M, Zara, and Forever 21 are all major players in the retail game, and most importantly, are all fast fashion retailers. Disclaimer, in no way am I shaming anyone who shops fast fashion, fast fashion is an affordable way of staying trendy and I too, of course have had my fair share of scoping out the racks of my local mall. What I am saying, is the way in which the industry operates has been forever changed by the invention and takeover of the fast fashion model.
Prior to this model, the industry operated on four seasons. This means designers designed four collections; Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer. And retailers would buy what they wanted from these collections four times a year. And that was that. Today, we can't even imagine this, right? On average, the typical retailer today has new arrivals every. single. week. That's a lot of clothing, and a whole lot of shopping.
The truth of the matter is, we all (well, most of us) live in a world of consumerism. Everything is about buying, buying, and buying! By now, you're probably wondering how this relates back to the environment (and AURA FEMME, we'll get to that later). Well, all this buying of clothing once every other week adds up. And how often do we wear the items we buy? It's so common to buy something for dirt cheap from a fast fashion retailer and then never look at it again. Tons and tons (like literally, I mean billions of tons everyday) are discarded of (either thrown out or donated). And the sad truth is, most of these items just end up in landfills. Yep, even if you are donating your clothing, the donation center/retailer often will not have enough space to accept all of the donations they receive and they will be discarded of. There are many people working hard to make as many uses for our unwanted clothing as possible (i.e. making them into rags, using them for insulation, or even in some cases making new fabric from the yarn).
As hard as it is, and even with people in the industry working diligently to make a change, we need to work together as consumers and fashion lovers of all kinds to change this. So this is when we go back to choosing the right products, shopping smarter, and utilizing them to their full potential.
As someone who decided to start my own retailing business, I may sound contradictory. However, my passion for sustainability is a major factor in how I want to run AURA FEMME. When dreaming up ideas, I knew choosing the right products would be key. Every single item is carefully curated because of its unique qualities and ability to be worn again and again.
One brand that we carry that has sustainability deep in its roots is Look by M. Many of you may know this brand for the "one size" clothing options we offer on the site. These items are all designed to be one size so that they may be worn regardless of our fluctuating body types or so that once you have outgrown your love for the item, someone else, no matter their similarity to your body type, may give the item a new life. Look by M is also a company that values smart, elevated designs that will transcend throughout time. They have stayed true to a four season fashion model, as well. On top of all this, they use recycled materials for their marketing materiel (and their products are products we all actually want, regardless).
That being said, sustainability is something that will always be taken into consideration when choosing the right products for AURA FEMME. I hope to be able to deliver products to all of our amazing customers that will be worn again and again! There are so many ways in which I hope to be able to continuously become more and more eco-friendly, but like anything, it's a work in progress!
Another major factor of sustainability is building communities and maintaining those relationships. This is one of the many reasons I fell in love with small businesses. I highly encourage everyone to try shopping small more often, it truly makes a big difference within your community.
Thanks so much for reading about my personal relationship with sustainability. If anyone has any questions about how to style their garments or bring them new life, please don't hesitate to reach out!