Slow Fashion October: food for thought + 10 ways to build a more ethically conscious wardrobe

This is the English version of the previous blogpost.
If you want to read this post in Dutch, you can find it here.

It’s been an eternity since I wrote a blog post here. So many reasons. Life. Whatever. But it is itching a little bit again, and today it did more than just that. I just felt the urge to write. I watched the documentary ‘The True Cost’, on the occasion of ‘Slow Fashion October’. If you don’t know what ‘Slow Fashion October’ is, don’t worry. I also didn’t know before last weekend. Even though I have been interested in the concept of ‘fast fashion’ and its opposite, ‘slow fashion’, and the impact of fashion on the environment, on the people who work in the industry, and the world as a whole. That might sound loaded, but as the documentary points out very clearly, also with the statistics, is that the fashion industry probably involves more people than any other industry. It’s not only the finished product and how they get to our homes, but also the raw materials, the way fabrics are made and how they are processed. And you would be surprised about the ways fashion has an impact.

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It already starts with the fabrics and how they are made. Cotton is probably the most ‘environmentally friendly’, a natural material. But just like with food production, the cotton production comes with massive use of water (2700 liters for 1 t-shirt!!) and of chemicals such as pesticides. It has tremendous effects on the local environment and health of the people.  Strangely enough nobody ever seems to really think about that. We all want clean and organic food, preferably with few pesticides, we like to drink organic milk, we want biological fruit from the farm around the corner, we like to use natural skin products, … But when it comes to what we wear, what covers our skin a whole day (and sometimes also a whole night 😉), we don’t have the same standards or wishes. While, as one of the cotton farmers in the documentary mentions, our skin is the largest organ of our whole body, and our skin takes in lots of … .  Obviously we won’t die because we wear a shirt that’s not made of organic cotton. That’s not the point at all. The point is we don’t even think about it. We just wear whatever. We look at the clothing tags to see how we need to wash a garment, but not what type of fabric it is and what that means, where it is made, …

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