What Sustainable Style Means To Me
You may have noticed that the blog has taken a different direction lately. Without the fanfare of a complete rebranding (which is coming, I swear, but there won’t be much hoopla because – I don’t know, who needs more hoopla in their life!?), I am happy to announce that going forward, blog.msbeltempo.com will be a site focused on sustainable style – with content that is geared towards making more thoughtful and deliberate decisions about how we consume fashion; from our shopping habits to our daily styling.
For lack of a better term, I chose the words “sustainable style”, but the word “sustainable” is thrown around so much these days, it’s important for you to know how I’m using it in the context of this blog.
BUT FIRST, A BACKSTORY
A few weeks back, a corporate client hired me to present a “shop your closet” session during their “green week”. After researching the topic and brainstorming content for the presentation, I realized that shopping your closet is only one piece of the giant lifestyle puzzle of a conscious consumer. It was the kind of information-gathering session that kept me up for nights in a row because I was just so excited about the topic. And it wasn’t the mind-numbing and scary statistics that got to me (we see enough of those tear-inducing videos via our facebook feeds, and I don’t think guilt and shame are the right vehicles to inspire action) – it was the fact that there is a different story to tell about being kind to our planet through conscious consumerism. And so I told it. From the perspective of someone who has been shopping for a living, I went through each phase of the consumer purchase process and gave tips on mitigating the environmental impact (from a fashion perspective only – I do not claim to be a sustainability or environmental expert) in each.
You should also know that I manage a very minimalist wardrobe, (seriously, it’s about half the size of a standard closet because I live in a tiny condo – I’ve mentioned this before – and literally don’t have room for more) that started more out of circumstance, but has now become a habit. I’ve realized that I wear almost everything in my closet, and that my purchases are more deliberate by design. This has been going on for the past 5 years, but I never really thought of how these habits could be useful or impactful to anyone else. Until I made this presentation.
This culmination of thoughts and ideas got me so excited, I realized I wanted to share it on the daily via my blog, which led me to a shift in content.
SO HERE’S WHAT SUSTAINABLE STYLE MEANS TO ME
I believe that sustainable style is expressing oneself through clothing while being a responsible consumer who considers the environmental and human impact of their consumption. In addition to buying less and choosing well, I believe sustainability means mindfulness at every stage of our fashion consumption – from avoiding wasteful purchases, to taking better care and loving the clothing we do have. It means altering the perspective and eliminating this crazy notion that fashion is “disposable” because it is inexpensive. I don’t care if you pay $5 for a tee shirt at H&M or $150 for an Alexander Wang at Holt Renfrew. Each of those cotton tees cost approximately 2,700 litres of water, and several hours of human labour – among many other finite resources – so they should both be treated with care and purchased with the expectation of lasting.
There’s a heavy dose of minimalism and pragmatism when it comes to my thoughts on sustainable style. I don’t expect the entire world to suddenly wake up, realize Mother Nature is suffocating, then subsequently demand only eco-friendly products and boycott fast fashion. It’s an overwhelming narrative that can leave people feeling hopeless. So, going forward on the blog, you’ll find articles around the following:
- fashion, styling, and shopping habits that can help reduce your environmental footprint (and can save you money – bonus!) like this one
- caring for your clothes so they last longer (even the fast fashion pieces!)
- getting more creative with what you already have so you don’t feel the need to shop for more (especially your fast fashion pieces!) like this post
- thrifting and consignment outfit inspiration – like over here
- spotlights on locally made, locally purchased, and ethically sourced items when they suit my aesthetic
This quote I love sums it all up:
“There’s no such thing as fast fashion, just increasingly accelerated consumption” – Dilys Williams
For the longest time, I couldn’t tell you my blog’s why. Now, it’s clear that as someone with a voice (albeit a tiny one – thanks for reading, mom and dad!) , I want to perpetuate smart, conscious shopping vs. promoting the need to constantly have that mouse hover on “add to cart”. I will still do shopping posts like this one – and I realize that the purists may not be happy, but I think it’s so important that individual consumers harness the power they have in their decision making, and if these small actions are what slowly shift our thoughts on consumption, then that’s what counts for me.
If you’re still reading; thank you so, so much. I hope whatever I’ve already posted or what I’m about to post resonates. I would love to hear your thoughts on this new direction, or if you have any suggestions or questions.
Sending so much love and thanks as always, for reading xo
Thank you Melody Iafelice for the photo!