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Monday, October 12, 2009

The Future of Fashion

"Fashion uses more water than any industry other than agriculture. At least 8,000 chemicals are used to turn raw materials into textiles and 25% of the world's pesticides are used to grow non-organic cotton. This causes irreversible damage to people and the environment, and still two thirds of a garment's carbon footprint will occur after it is purchased."
This is why supporting sustainable fashion or eco fashion today is a must. These times call for a sustainable lifestyle with people using products created without causing depletion of or damage to natural resources.

photo credit: Lorenzo Agius,

Many foreign fashion brands have already shown their support for sustainable living by using sustainable materials in their collections, according to Earth Pledge. Some of these major labels are Bottega Veneta, Diane Von Furstenberg and Yves Saint Laurent. Some international eco-friendly clothing brands accessible to us locally are Zara and Banana Republic. Watch for upcoming features on other "green" brands available here with different price ranges for every budget.

photo credit: Aranaz

In the Philippines, bag designer Amina Aranaz has launched the RIIR by Aranaz Holiday Collection, a new batch of "eco-ethical" bags. These were created by Amina herself and the women of Payatas who turned upcycled fabric scraps and organic materials into little masterpieces. (Check out my feature on the entire collection this week!)

Support for these brands is good for our environment, but beyond this, there are more things you can do to have a sustainable lifestyle without sacrificing style.

Depletion of and damage to natural resources can be avoided by using sustainable materials and decreasing production. Less demand means less supply, so buying less new products will result in less production of new goods. The good news is you can still continue to update your wardrobe without buying brand new items.

Investing in Timeless Pieces
When buying new things, aside from checking if the products are made of sustainable materials, it's always best to choose items that will withstand trends. Invest in classic styles and colors, and take note that plains are easier to mix and match and wear more often than prints. These clothes are the ones that won't go out of style, which you can wear forever--or at least until you want to swap it for a "new" dress, or sell it to your stylish neighbors.

Holding Swap Meets and Garage Sales
Your pre-owned clothes can be somebody else's brand new finds! Round up all of your girlfriends for a swap meet and revive the barter system, or organize a garage sale where you can also sell other things in your household you no longer need. Books, clothes and accessories are always garage sale hits!

Going Thrifting
There are more secondhand shops or what we call "ukay-ukay" stores opening in Metro Manila. It's not easy to find really good stuff, but there are a few along Congressional Avenue and Cubao, Quezon City with decent fitting rooms and quality clothes--and occasionally, even never-worn branded pieces complete with tags! This can be another fun activity for you and your girlfriends.

Let's hope more people and businesses would start using purely eco-friendly materials in their products and practices. If we all do our part and change our lifestyles, the whole world will have a lot less things to worry about.

The CityLifeStylist

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