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HOW CAN WE MAKE Fashion More Sustainable?

28/11/2022
By now, you’ve read about it on Instagram or skimmed a think piece your BFF sent you. Yes, Kourt is the newest ambassador for Boohoo, with a focus on sustainability. You’ve probably got some thoughts. So do we. Sustainability is a topic Poosh has made a point to cover since its inception. These stories don’t perform particularly well for us; we write them because working toward a more sustainable future is incredibly important to us and to Kourt.

“Boohoo approached me…and though I knew it would get backlash…I thought about the fact that fast fashion, or the fashion industry in general, isn’t going anywhere,” Kourt said in an Instagram post. “I thought about the attention this collaboration would bring to people who may otherwise have no idea about the impacts of fast fashion on our planet. I thought about how pushing Boohoo to make some initial changes and then holding them accountable to larger change would be impactful.”

We know that there’s a long way to go with sustainability in fashion, and this is just the start. 

Kourt immersed herself in the industry. She spoke to a variety of experts—such as specialists in human rights, textile waste, and upcycling—in order to gain a deeper understanding of the challenges facing sustainable fashion, learn what we as consumers can do, and bring awareness to the issue. She also worked with Boohoo to design a collection featuring recycled fabrics, multi-way pieces, staple wardrobe silhouettes, and vintage pieces she hand-picked herself.

Below, we’re highlighting the most important things Kourt learned. 

THE EXPERTS:

Tim Nelson, CEO of Hope for Justice, a not-for-profit that rescues and restores the lives of people who are held in forms of modern-day slavery and human trafficking across the globe.

Dr. Christina Dean, founder and board chair of Redress, an environmental NGO promoting the reduction of fashion’s waste.

Steven Bethel, founder of Bank & Vogue, a used-clothing broker working with thrift stores, wholesalers, distributors, shipping companies, and more to create solutions for the “crisis of stuff.”

Keep asking questions

“I think that the reality for what any consumer can do is the first thing they can do is understand what the issue is,” Tim told Kourt. “There’s amazing resources that people put out on TikTok and Instagram and Facebook and other profiles and stuff that’s available online so people can get educated, because when people are educated, they can ask different questions for the companies that are providing goods and services … Sometimes we think we have no power as consumers, but we can ask the questions.”

Buy better and wear longer

“How we dress affects how we feel. I think that consumers should love fashion and should really relish and cherish the beauty that fashion actually can provide to them and the benefits that it gives them of self expression—but to do it in a way that’s more sustainable,” Christina tells Kourt. “Fall in love with clothes and buy clothes that you absolutely love, that you really want to wear, that you’re going to cherish, take good care of, and keep in use. Really treat clothes with love and respect.”

Look at the world through a carbon lens

Steve tells Kourt that it takes about 13 kilograms of carbon to grow one kilogram of organic cotton in a field—just about the amount needed to make one pair of jeans. “One of the hopes today is to sort of just open up our eyes to this idea that we can look at the world through a carbon lens,” Steve says. “If you can convince people to go and buy a pair of secondhand jeans, then you’re going to save the planet that 13 kilograms.”

Donated clothes can be repurposed in many non-fashion ways

Of course, you can donate clothes to charity, but Steve also gave us a variety of other ways that old clothes can be repurposed. “We’ve got to be able to figure out, ‘What does clothing look like in a circular manner?’” Steve says. One such way is realizing that we don’t have to cut down trees to make new fibers—we can make them from old clothing. There’s even a Swedish company out there replacing wood with fibers made from old denim.

“I certainly don’t have all the answers,” Kourt says. “But for someone who has done a fast-fashion line collaboration in the past, which didn’t get backlash because I was not calling attention to trying to make better changes, I feel proud about doing it with intention and purpose,” Kourt says.

 

From Poosh

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