How Sustainable Fashion Can Be For Everyone

How Sustainable Fashion Can Be For Everyone

Make the move towards eco-friendly clothing.
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Many people think that fair trade and organic clothes are too expensive for the average consumer. This is true for the most part; jeans made where workers are paid fair wages are going to be a lot more expensive than jeans made in sweat shops. People usually go for the cheaper price tag when given a choice. No one wants to drop several Benjamins on a pair of pants, but at the same time, no one wants to be supporting inhumane working conditions or poor environmental practices. It looks like shoppers are in a bit of a pickle.

But what if buying sustainable fashion was actually cheaper for the consumer in the long run?

Let’s use our favorite Hogwarts-student-turned-environmental-activist as a catalyst for discussion. Emma Watson made a huge statement at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (Met) Gala by wearing a 100 percent sustainable and reusable gown. This interpretation of the theme – the fusion of fashion and technology – caught the attention of eco-fashion advocates everywhere. Watson shared with her fans how her gown had multiple pieces that can be worn separately or together for versatile looks. Although not everyone can afford a designer dress, the idea of being able to wear a nice outfit multiple times is very appealing to someone on a budget.

As it turns out, wearing your clothes out is great for the environment and for your wallet. Watson used the hashtag #30wears to emphasize how clothes should be worn again and again. The #30wears campaign challenges fast fashion – such as Forever 21 and H&M – by asking buyers to think about if everything they are buying can be worn at least 30 times. This makes the purchase worthwhile. No longer is sustainable fashion just for people who “can afford it," everyone can be a part of this movement by becoming more aware of how clothes affect the environment and the people who make it.

Now it’s time for the nitty-gritty.

Fast fashion allows the consumer to buy trendy clothes on demand for extremely cheap prices. Most people buy on impulse, especially when it comes to clothes. Items are bought because they are cute and cheap. At first glance, the fast fashion movement seems like a win for consumers. Unfortunately, although a $3 crop top is nice on your wallet, the cost of cheap apparel quickly adds up in more than one way. According to the Council for Textile Recycling, Americans generate 21 billion pounds of textile waste per year, throwing away 85 percent of the items they purchased. With an average annual shopping budget of $1,700, that amounts to $1,445 worth of clothing that needs to be replaced each year.

Advocates say that shopping ethically – even with a higher price tag – can actually be more budget friendly because well-made clothing has a lower cost per wear over time. Think about it this way: If a shirt at H&M cost $10 and is worn five times, the cost per wear is $2. But to the dismay of the consumer, the shirt wasn’t made very well, so after a few washes, it starts to fall apart. At this point, most people would throw the shirt away or donate it. Now, if a shirt cost $35 and is worn 30 times, the cost per wear is $1.17. This turns out to be a better deal because not only will you wear it more, but the shirt was probably made with better materials and in a safer working environment.

Most clothing is still made by hand, and the price is largely tied to the wages paid to produce it. Driven by pressure to resupply inventory for fast fashion brands, people working in apparel factories located overseas are often under a great deal of pressure. When factory workers are forced to churn out items quickly, it is reflected in the quality of the construction.

To maintain an environmentally and socially sustainable wardrobe, it is crucial to buy fewer items and focus on the quality. Products that are made with natural fabrics like cotton, wool or linen are better for the environment than synthetic material. Before you make a purchase, turn the product inside out and check to see if the seams are intact. This is a good way to tell how quickly the product was made. Bad seams usually mean it was made in a place with poor working conditions, so know where your clothes are coming from and try not to buy on impulse because of a low-price.

You don’t have to be Emma Watson or any other high-profile celebrity to afford a sustainable wardrobe. Being able to commit to making smarter and smaller purchases with your clothes will bring us one step closer to environmental and social harmony within the fashion world.


Cover Image Credit: http://janinejust.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Sustainable-Design-Classes-FIT.jpeg

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5 Perks Of Having A Long-Distance Best Friend

The best kind of long-distance relationship.
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Sometimes, people get annoyed when girls refer to multiple people as their "best friend," but they don't understand. We have different types of best friends. There's the going out together best friend, the see each other everyday best friend and the constant, low maintenance best friend.

While I'm lucky enough to have two out of the three at the same school as me, my "low maintenance" best friend goes to college six hours from Baton Rouge.

This type of friend is special because no matter how long you go without talking or seeing each other, you're always insanely close. Even though I miss her daily, having a long-distance best friend has its perks. Here are just a few of them...

1. Getting to see each other is a special event.

Sometimes when you see someone all the time, you take that person and their friendship for granted. When you don't get to see one of your favorite people very often, the times when you're together are truly appreciated.

2. You always have someone to give unbiased advice.

This person knows you best, but they probably don't know the people you're telling them about, so they can give you better advice than anyone else.

3. You always have someone to text and FaceTime.

While there may be hundreds of miles between you, they're also just a phone call away. You know they'll always be there for you even when they can't physically be there.

4. You can plan fun trips to visit each other.

When you can visit each other, you get to meet the people you've heard so much about and experience all the places they love. You get to have your own college experience and, sometimes, theirs, too.

5. You know they will always be a part of your life.

If you can survive going to school in different states, you've both proven that your friendship will last forever. You both care enough to make time for the other in the midst of exams, social events, and homework.

The long-distance best friend is a forever friend. While I wish I could see mine more, I wouldn't trade her for anything.

Cover Image Credit: Just For Laughs-Chicago

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If You Own 6 Of These 10 Brands, You Are 100 Percent Basic

How basic are you?

akumari
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For every brand you own, give yourself a point.

5. The North Face Bookbag

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6. Patagonia

Patagaonia Jacket

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7. Hunter Rainboots

Hunter Rainboots

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9. Nike Shorts (NORTS)

What was your score? Are you truly basic or not? If you are BASIC embrace that, who cares what anyone thinks! If you aren't basic, well then you are clearly embracing your style and thriving! Meanwhile, the rest of us are BASIC as can be and we love it!

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