Own it. Carry it. Change it

Stella McCartney AW16

Words by Morgan Pollard

The definition of sustainable fashion to me is having no or little impact on the environment. For example not using pesticides on plants. I also think sustainable fashion is having a responsible understanding on the social, economic and environmental impacts your product has on the world.

There are many issues that rise from this industry. One is the poor conditions, lack of education and no rights for workers who make our garments in factories mostly in LEDC’S. Many workers are punished for trying to set up unions within their factory which means their human rights are breached. You could say people feel imprisoned in sweat shops to make our clothes which in the modern days we treat as disposable.

From this I would like to introduce the term ‘fast fashion’. This means a new style of clothes which captures the current fashion trends brought out nearly every week to maximise sales. So effectively there are now 52 seasons rather than 4. With this new way of creating clothes it creates many problems as the manufacturers are put under strain to constantly churn out clothing for a cheap price for then to be sold to consumers as a £5 t-shirt or £11 for a pair of jeans. An issue is that we now look at fashion and clothes as disposable, creating an increase of clothes in landfills and constant pollution on the environment. This is ignorance of not seeing where are clothes are being made or end up when we throw them away is reassuring to us all as it is an effort or inconvenience to our lives if we had to stop taking the easy and cheap route and start having a conscience toward other people.

Luckily some designers are looking into the future and knowing that we are living in a time when our growing consumptions habits are no longer going to be supportable at our present escalating rate. One designer who recently brought out her first sustainable collection in Paris fashion week earlier this year is Stella McCartney. She is focusing on no fur and no leather and trying to promote eco-fashion within the luxury brands that influence all designers and collections globally.

People Tree is another sustainable conscious brand founded by Safia Minney who works with the workers in Bangladesh and India and creates her collection around their skills. This brand is influential as it demonstrates the importance of Fairtrade and how a commercial brand can still be in touch with human rights and morals of their workers.

The fashion industry is going through a major transitional period as many others are becoming conscious of the detrimental impacts big corporate companies who are only caring about the profit and not for others welfare. We are recognising the importance to finding better ways of using our resources and raw materials including water, farmable lands and natural alternatives to chemicals or fabrics. The environment has been around much longer than humans. Why do people think they have the right to abuse the earth? I’ve heard many people claim humans are the most epithetical species. I wouldn’t call killing our own, other animals or the environment very empathetic. I would call it self-righteous. Stop being that person who keeps making excusing and blaming others for your selfish acts. Own it. Carry it. Change it. Lastly ‘People were created to be love. Things were created to be used. The reason why the world is in chaos is because things are being loved and people are being used.’ Dalai lama

Morgan Pollard is a textiles and fashion student based in Eastbourne, East Sussex. This speech was given as a part of her GCSE English exam earlier this year [2016].