So…if you’ve arrived here, perhaps you have decided that you’re looking at making some changes in how you’re consuming for your fashion and luxury. Informed choice is one of the greatest benefits of the information age, and because we have such great passion for sustainability and the efforts currently underway in both the Luxury and Fashion industries, we’ve got a sparkly new piece to share with you, featuring our favourite Sustainable Stylist, Elsa Boutaric. I sat down with Elsa at Soho House in London to speak about what consumers can do to mitigate the damaging impact of Fast Fashion and the textile industry on the environment and engage more intentionally in the Art of Conscious Consumption.
Pamela: Q: Where are you seeing the biggest moves currently toward more sustainable fashion and art of conscious consumption?
The capsule wardrobe with the intention of whittling down your closet to the essentials, making sure you are covering all your lifestyle needs while still expressing your true style essence.
Empowering the second hand and resale market – big players like luxury vintage Vestiaire Collective, The Real Real – and ThredUp a site devoted to the collaborative consumption movement.
Online retailers embracing the Fashion Sustainability movement with platforms that help customers to dress more responsibly: NET A PORTER recently launched NET SUSTAIN, Farfetch with The Conscious Edit section, Yoox with YOOXYGEN.
Sharing Economy is essentially rethinking the need to own all your clothes. Always having the next fashion trends in your hands without having to participate in the buy then discard cycle is a great way to enhance your wardrobe. The Rise of the Rental Fashion platform, like Rent the Runway or Hurr Collective.
And of course, Reinvention! – Recycling and Upcycling, including brands like ELV DENIM, Marine Serre and Reformation.
Q: Can you give examples of premium or aspirational luxury brands that are adopting a more sustainable approach to the design and presentation of the art of conscious consumption?
Gabriela Hearst: This brand focuses on creating a luxury-conscious wardrobe capsule, making each piece a statement and worth investing in.
AMUR: Vivid prints, sharp tailoring with a feminine touch. The brand’s design process focuses on the fabric: all materials are sourced toward environmental welfare, from organic to natural fabrics, reclaimed fibres and trims made by artisan collectives.
Edun: This high-end brand is working with artisans, manufacturers and community-based initiative that engages ethical and sustainable fashion. Their creative collective is based in NYC, working closely with diverse partners in the African continent and international mills to explore new eco alternatives. Fun fact: It was founded by Bono of U2 and in 2009 became part of the LVMH group.
Maggie Marilyn: This luxury Fashion brand is committed to manufacturing locally and ethically sourced fabrics and recycled textiles.
Q: Where do I begin when looking to create a more sustainable closet?
While working with my clients, I always apply the same protocol to better support their needs.
Before buying or investing in anything, I need to understand their lifestyle and define the key items that will make their wardrobe circular and last.
Women only wear 30% of their closet, my goal is to increase that to 30 times per wear (cost per wear), so that each item is an investment, and this, in turn, builds a sustainable wardrobe. Within this process, I am looking at my client’s body shape, lifestyle, and budget. Working around these three areas we can start to build a desirable wardrobe, introducing sustainable fashion options.
During my wardrobe edit, we are also looking at what we can keep, style differently, donate or alter. Adopting a sustainable mindset is not only about buying new “sustainable fashion items” but also making sure that your wardrobe will be fully used over time.
Q: What is currently the one-piece one should invest in that will be both sustainable and consistently in fashion in one’s wardrobe?
Tailoring is currently one of the biggest and most empowering trends and certainly creates a timeless look. Blazers are a great way to dress up or dress down a look and the tailoring will help to define what direction you’re going in. Below are three looks that I would definitely suggest as investments for a sustainable and fashionable wardrobe.
Ultimately, if what you’re looking to focus on are beautifully made pieces that will last, the sustainable luxury fashion is a great route to explore. When garments are well made they last longer and remain intact well after washing or drycleaning. They also tend to be timeless (hello, Chanel suit!)
If what you want to do is focus on consuming less Fast Fashion, and really embrace the notion that you, as a consumer, really do make an impact on the future of our planet, here are the best tips to consider in building a sustainable wardrobe:
- Buy less. Even the greenest garment uses resources for production and transport to your home, creating some environmental impact
- Buy clothes from sustainable brands
- Buy better quality
- Think twice before throwing out your clothes
- Buy second hand, swap, & rent clothing. …
- Keep an eye on your washing
As a special thanks to our followers and to Elsa, we are making a special offer to our email subscribers: 20% off a consultation with Elsa who will help to guide you toward the wardrobe you’ve been looking to create, while feeling really good about it. We will be sending the discount code out early next week. Elsa is based in London currently, and returning to Miami in the Fall of 2019. Her services are available online, so you can connect with her no matter where you are in the world!