Bronwyn Darlington, a 1MW ambassador & sustainable fashion expert asks the tough questions on sustainable fashion to another of our wonderful 1MW ambassador’s Nerida Lennon. Nerida is a Sustainable Fashion Campaigner, Film Maker and Model and gives a very interesting perspective. The interview has been transcribed and abridged from the YouTube clip below. Click here to watch the full interview and for more information check out our WEAR fact file.
1. What is sustainable fashion?
NERIDA: This is a tricky question to answer. Sustainable fashion is really an umbrella term that encompasses the processes aiming to reduce the negative environmental and social aspects of our clothing, at the production and consumption stages. Negative impacts include air pollutants, water pollutants, herbicides and pesticides, depletion of our natural resources and lack of human rights for the people making our clothing. Sustainable fashion is a holistic approach to improving and maximising the positive actions of our clothing in its lifecycle.
2. Why is sustainable fashion important?
NERIDA: Fashion, or at least clothing, is part of your everyday life and is an extension of your commitment to the 1 Million Women movement. It’s important because of the future we will be facing if we fail to act quickly: in reducing our c02 emissions and having more sustainable lifestyles. Clothing production and consumption has huge environmental and social impacts on both of these factors. Fashion carries a message. We all want to wear good fashion but we don’t want to feel guilty about the negative impacts that they may carry. Sustainable fashion is a vehicle to carry a deeper message about our values and beliefs.
3. How can fashion be more sustainable?
NERIDA: An extremely complex question, and there’s not really any right answer – but rather loads of varieties of innovative approaches which together make a lasting impact. No one approach will win a prize for making the biggest impact; rather it is all factors working in unison that can make fashion more sustainable. We as consumers need to demand more sustainable products from stores and the fashion industry. We need to support them and they will meet that demand. Fashion can be more sustainable through all aspects of the products lifecycle working in unison and through a diversity of approach.
4. What can/do you do to be more sustainable as a fashion consumer?
NERIDA: I would suggest buying better, washing better, mending better and being more mindful of your fashion choices. What are you wearing, who made it, where was it made – is it something you can actually be proud of? Clothing choices can be part of the problem or be part of solution. We all have the power to make a positive change. Ask questions and do your research. Buy things that are designed for longevity and durability, things that you can be proud of and look after.
5. What is the future of fashion?
NERIDA: I’m not a futurist but I believe the fashion industry is approaching sustainability and will continue to work in this area. It’s not actually an option – it’s a necessity. Big brands are realising they need to transfer into a sustainable fashion future, because without change there’s no real future for fashion as we know it today. They realise there is no real future for fashion without social and environmental consideration, paying for those resources that will make a difference.
Don’t forget to check out our website for more information on how to change your lifestyle! We are daughters, mothers, sisters and grandmothers getting on with practical climate action to live better for us and the planet. Join the movement at www.1millionwomen.com.au