Maymood comes with a strong purpose. The purpose of informing you about the untold truth of fast fashion, that non-sustainable pieces of clothing are not only harmful to the environment but toxic for our bodies, due to the harmful chemicals that are used in the process of producing, bleaching and dyeing fabrics with questionable substances they never tell you about.
We’ve been taught the basics of sustainability; following a plant-based diet, replacing disposable plastics such as straws and water bottles for eco-friendly and biodegradable options that will not pollute our planet or threaten marine life. But what about the clothes we wear? Did they ever tell you that fast fashion is the second biggest polluter in the world and is responsible for appalling and unethical working conditions in countries like India and Bangladesh?
After discovering these alarming facts, I decided to inform myself as much as I could about unethical mass-producing practices. For that reason, I believe it is now my duty to share with you some hacks that you can implement in your wardrobe to start creating an impact today. What if I told you that you can combine a sustainable lifestyle and still look fashionable in everyday clothes?
The key is to start informing yourself about online shopping habits to align your values with your fashion style, so you can help others be conscious before they add to the cart. Let’s get started!
Shop Your Values
No brand is 100% sustainable. There are several sustainable practices and some brands just follow some or many of these standards, however, the right mix of sustainable practices does not exist, and the value is fully given by the consumer. On Greta Eagan’s book “Wear No Evil” she introduces the system of the Integrity Index. These are some of the most well-known sustainability initiatives that brands strive to improve upon as outlined on the Integrity Index:
- Recycled/Upcycled materials
- Fair Trade
- Zero waste
- Natural/Low Impact Dyes
- Natural Fibers
- Low water footprint
- Slow fashion
- Low carbon footprint
The point of this system is to use it as a framework for reference when purchasing new products. Start by asking yourself what you really value and then find brands that can deliver on that promise and provide you with a product that meets your lifestyle values.
At Maymood Swim we use recycled/upcycled materials from ocean waste, we provide fair salaries and working conditions to a small team of garment workers in Colombia, we produce convertible swimsuits that can transform your look by just reversing the piece, we design timeless style pieces that can live with you for a long amount of time, we will support the SEE Turtles organization through a donation program and we educate our audience about the benefits of slow fashion.
The easiest way to shop and wear your values is to do your research and consciously purchase clothing that aligns with your core principles. Moreover, don’t be afraid to be flexible with this method because your opinion might change, or you’ll find new fashion brands that only meet 3 out of your 5 requirements because they are just starting out. Be open to learning new things and becoming influential ambassadors for people in your community.
Learn how to create timeless outfits with statement pieces that last longer, and you can reuse
What good comes from buying a sustainable piece of clothing, using it once, and never using it again and having it end up in a landfill without completing its purpose? Nothing. This is why style, comfort, and usability are the most important attributes after determining your Integrity Index standards. This is what I do to ensure I purchase clothing that will dress me for a long time or that can be given another life:
- Think of your purchase as the beginning of a long relationship with that - garment
- Ask yourself how often you will wear it: Find the cost per wear
- Do an inventory of your own clothing: Evaluate what you can donate, sell or recycle
- Invest in high-quality garments
- Make every single purchase count
Avoid getting tricked by greenwashing marketing: Shop from brands that are open about their sustainability
Not all brands that market their products as eco-friendly and sustainable are indeed eco-friendly or sustainable. This is called greenwashing and it is more common than you think. These brands provide misleading information about how their products are made in order to increase their brand’s value. To bypass this tasteless scheme, make sure you:
- Read the label: Do not be deceived by green and eco-friendly images on packaging and website advertising. Look for tangible proof of a brand’s sustainability practices on their website or ethical contributions to non-profit organizations. Truly eco-friendly businesses often put sustainability at the core of their business and are proud to showcase it on their home pages.
- Look out for third-party regulations: If you want to be 100% sure that you are purchasing from a reputable sustainable brand check for eco-friendly and safety product regulations such as the Oeko-Tex® Standard 100, ECONYL® and Green Seal® certifications.