Editor’s Letter This issue highlights the realities of fast fashion and its devastating effects on us and the environment. Whether you decide to start small or go big, we’ll help advise you on sustainable ways to stay stylish. Luckily for you, DAFIE will have you updated on all the best ethical and fashion forward brands such as Edun, Reformation, Simon Miller, Maya Miko and Whimsy and Row. In today’s world the younger generation are becoming more open to expressing themselves through style, however, we want to also look beyond the external beauty of clothing. Regardless of whether you like to talk identity politics or simply love looking good, I hope you find this magazine a source of entertainment and inspiration. Christine.
Fernanda Guimaraes Fernanda Guimaraes Fernanda Guimaraes Fernanda Guimaraes
In an industry that is constantly evolving, it is hard to keep up with the ever-changing trends that come and go each season. The fashion industry does a great job of convincing us that we need to spend money on their products by drawing our attention to newer pieces in beautiful collections. However, this rise in consumerism has led to an excessive amount of consumption from fast fashion brands. Equating happiness with the consumption of materialistic things means people will buy more to feel happier which is not only devastating for our mental health and wallets but also the workers who are constantly abused and the environment. Climate change is a huge problem that is progressively getting worse and the fashion industry is the second biggest polluting industry in the world after the oil and gas industry. This comes as no surprise once you consider the extensive amount of work that goes into creating a simple item of
clothing. From the extraction of raw materials, overuse of pesticides and fertilisers, toxic dyes, excessive water use, manufacturing of textiles, garment construction, shipping, retail, and eventual disposal, are all factors contributing to global warming and pollution. So, how exactly does purchasing an item of clothing from a fast fashion brand lead to all of this?
Well firstly, the purpose of fast fashion is to produce a lot of clothing at a low cost quickly, in order to meet the current trends to satisfy customers and maximise on profits. A lot of the time speed is prioritised over good working conditions and
sustainable production methods as they usually increase the cost of the manufacturing process. As well as this, fast fashion consists of many seasonal collections including micro-seasons, so in order for these collections to be put into stores on time, they need to be manufactured quickly at a lower cost. With an increase in changing trends and seasonal collections, clothing manufacturing continues to increase the fashion carbon footprint because of the pressure to produce a large amount of clothing exceeds the pressure to be environmentally conscious. This then leads to companies opting for cheaper labour and materials but what does this mean for us and the environment? Collectively, we consume approximately 80 billion pieces of clothing every year and the average person throws away about 80 pounds of clothing each year which is a large amount is especially in comparison to two decades is ago. According to Forbes, it is estimated that the
amount of CO2 emitted by the fashion industry is likely to exceed 60 per cent by the year 2030. Not only this, but water is becoming polluted because of toxic chemicals used in dyeing which makes up around 20 per cent of industrial water pollution. Nitrogen fertilisers and pesticides used to promote plant growth actually damage the soil and can cause diseases and mental health in the farmers and birth defects in their children. The world resource institute states that it takes around 2,700 litres of water to create a single cotton shirt. Cotton is a very popular fibre used in textiles and it requires a lot of water to sustain the plant. Thatâ€™s enough water for one person to drink for two and a half years!
Synthetic fibres like polyester are made of petroleum-based plastic and so the production process emits more greenhouses gases. Although they do not require as much water as plant-based fibres, they are not biodegradable and can create microplastic fibres in the wash which eventually makes its way into the ocean and the marine food chain. As well as this, when we no longer want our clothes, we throw them away and at some point, they end up in landfills. These large piles of waste take years to decompose and release methane, a flammable greenhouse gas that is toxic to the environment. Oftentimes, fast fashion brands employ cheap labour from developing countries such as China,
Bangladesh and Cambodia and the majority of the workers are women. For these women, they are willing to work with the aim of getting out of poverty in order to provide for themselves and their families, however, their realities are far from that. Many of these fast fashion brands are some of the richest in the world yet somehow are unable to fairly pay the people who slave away to create their products. On top of this, these men, women and even children are forced to work for an excessive amount of time under terrible conditions and have to endure an endless amount of physical and verbal abuse while these businesses profit off their suffering.
simonmillerusa.com Becoming conscious about the way we spend our money on clothing is only the first step in becoming more sustainable. It is incredibly difficult to not resist spending so much in fast fashion stores, especially when there are so many trendy options with a cheap price tag. As irresistible as it seems, it is our responsibility to take action against the harmful effects that fast fashion has on our environment and the people who work in the industry. Whether you decide to start small or go all out, here are a few ways in which you can reduce your fashion footprint for a sustainable future.
1. Create a minimalist or capsule wardrobe.
The purpose of a capsule wardrobe is to have a collection of high-quality staples that you love and enjoy. The capsule itself consists of a small collection of versatile, timeless pieces that can easily curate multiple outfits. Usually, minimalist wardrobes do not abide by current fashion trends and they generally tend to focus on maintaining high-quality pieces over cheaper clothing that doesn’t last very long.
2. Learn how to properly fix your clothes or get them tailored. Learning to sew is not only a cool new skill, but it also saves you from purchasing a new item as an excuse to throw away a perfectly good one. If you aren’t willing to fix them yourself, you can always get them tailored to fit you perfectly.
3. Buy second-hand and donate. Buying second-hand clothing and donating clothes you no longer need is always a good option. It’s not only cheaper, but also no energy is required to produce something that already exists. Plus, you’re saving another item of clothing from ending up in a toxic landfill.
4. Shop sustainable brands Although it can sometimes be a little bit of an investment, it’s great to support brands that are conscious about their impact. Shop at stores that make an effort to produce clothing using sustainable methods and ethical practices. Don’t know where to start? Here are a few great and fashionable options.
WHIMSEY + ROW
STOP PUTTING EVERYTHING ON SOCIAL MEDIA STOP PUTTING EVERYTHING ON SOCIAL MEDIA STOP PUTTING EVERYTHING ON SOCIAL MEDIA STOP PUTTING EVERYTHING ON SOCIAL MEDIA STOP PUTTING EVERYTHING ON SOCIAL MEDIA STOP PUTTING EVERYTHING ON SOCIAL MEDIA STOP PUTTING EVERYTHING ON SOCIAL MEDIA STOP PUTTING EVERYTHING ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Fashion needs to go In the past few beyond “masculine years, the topic of or feminine” as gender has been gender exists on a very popular spectrum and we all especially amongst fit into it differently. feminists and the If we want the LGBTQ+ future of fashion to community. People continue to be are becoming more fashionable, we open-minded and should embrace accepting of the men in typically concept of genderfeminine clothing or fluidity and women in typically androgyny by not masculine clothing. allowing gender Fashion does not norms to restrict have to be a direct their creativity. reflection of our Society has always sexuality, but rather dictated what men an expression of our and women should personality. wear, however, Celebrities such as unisex fashion aims Ezra Miller, Jaden to design clothing Credit: Lacoste spring/summer 2019 collection Smith, Olly for anyone and Alexander and Tommy everyone without a possibilities. With this new Dorfman are just a few specific gender in mind. generation challenging men who aren’t afraid to Androgynous fashion conventionality, designers break the rules and dress stores are known to and brands have now in less conventional remove gender-specific created a much-needed clothing by sporting signage in-store and haven for those who have feminine pieces and simply let their products been excluded or want the silhouettes like skirts and speak for themselves, freedom to dress freely. blouses. It’s safe to making fashion free from With that being said, the conclude that unisex judgement and based on majority of androgynous clothing isn’t going individual self-expression. fashion consists of mainly anywhere. Agreed it may Fashion has always been a women dressed in not entirely replace way of expressing one’s masculine clothing. It’s traditional fashion, but the mood or personality and much easier for women to increasing number of with the future of get away with wearing unisex options available is androgyny, having gender trousers and masculine a step towards inclusivity norms dictate the way we clothing than it is for men in an industry that’s well dress only limits the to wear feminine clothing known for the opposite endless fashionable like skirts and dresses.
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In recent years there has been a global explosion in stores, in music, on runaways, the entertainment industry and just about everywhere inspired by the African Diaspora. This has given the culture on a whole a certain level of distinction. There is a general appreciation that other cultures take from, but it leaves important questions such as does this depreciate, dilute or devalue the black culture? Although people are becoming more open to black culture in the mainstream, black people and especially black women are still discriminated against. This is particularly apparent when we look at the attitudes towards black women and their hair. It’s always been a struggle to fit into a society where black people are constantly ridiculed or oppressed for simply taking part in their own culture. The natural hair movement has been on the rise and black women are embracing their natural hair now more than ever. However, irrespective of this new movement, hairstyles such as braids now becoming popular with people of other races. The problem with this is not that they are wearing these styles, but rather that it is
still not appreciated when black women wear these hairstyles of their own culture. The western world has always held itself at a higher standard in comparison to other countries yet still fetishizes foreign cultures while simultaneously removing any cultural significance simply to be “fashionable”. This simply means taking aesthetic inspiration from other cultures but not actually taking into consideration the meaning or significance of the tradition or culture in question. For example, artists using certain attires from cultures as a costume in music videos and fashion shows but not including people from that culture. We live in an interconnected, multicultural society and so, of course, it’s perfectly acceptable to share and exchange customs and traditions. However, we need to make sure to celebrate everybody and not take elements of certain cultures and reduce them to being “pretty”. If we are going to take elements of black culture and create art, we need to see black people representing that. If we get inspired by Indian heritage, then Indians need to be involved, we need to give credit where due. Representation matters.
DAFIE is my own personal magazine directed at young creatives who are enthusiastic about fashion.