Sustainable Fashionby Lady Faie on 05/05/19
The fashion industry is rated one of the highest polluters of the world from growing to processing to manufacturing to landfills. Painted Lady has always been conscious of the problem and from the earliest years, strived to keep our impact low.
But what is sustainable fashion? What is Slow Fashion versus Fast Fashion? Is there anything we can do?
For more information and a real eye opener, please take the time to watch this documentary, "Blood, Sweat and Tshirts". Stacey Dooley is an amazing person and has done much work all over the world. You can find the full doc posted on YouTube, if you want to get the full impact. It is a BBC TV documentary series from 2008 and filmed in India. It was nominated for Best Factual Series in 2009 BAFTA Television Awards. Warning: it will make you cry.
Another great doc on Fast Fashion and what it is, what it's doing and what it means. Warning: you'll discover the truth behind the hype, but you'll also be smarter about what is working.
It really comes back to us...the consumer...to make a difference. Here's what we can do:
- Buy higher quality clothing that will last for years rather than be unusable after one wearing or washing.
- Replace the button or zipper or take it to an alteration shop to have it done.
- Stained? Faded? Can it be dyed over? There's a scene in "Shall We Dance" 2004 with Jennifer Lopez. Her beautiful coat got stained and she had it dyed.
- If it costs less than $10, there is someone paying for it. Either sweatshop workers or designers taking a hit from big department stores that markdown their merchandise and deduct it from the designer's paycheck. We all love bargains, but it can be too good to be true. See this doc for more info: https://youtu.be/f8cyvpJYZlk
- Hand it down or throw a "Closet Party" at home or online or let Painted Lady post it on our website. Garage sales are also options, especially if you have a community that bands together on weekends to attract larger crowds.
Painted Lady is dedicated to make a difference. Currently many of our designs are near zero waste, meaning we cut our designs using nearly all of the fabric with no piles or boxes of scraps left over and very little going into the dumpster...a yard out of 100 yards is all.
Further, we discovered while taking out what little waste material…thin strips of fabric about 1/8-1/4” width…to the dumpster that we had dropped a few strands. Doubling back to pick it up a redheaded house finch flew in and snatched it up before I could get there. A little research online about providing safe nesting materials for wild birds, we found the best way to prep our “waste” or the good of the next generation of our favorite local birds. Are you interested in helping your local feathered friends? Let us know and we’ll send you the washed cotton strips from the production of your purchase when we ship your order so you can leave it out for them. We’re going to the birds…and squirrels…and we love spreading the love! **Birdie Bag**
We also practice as much environmental, social and recyclable practices we can while providing beautiful artisan made fashions made especially for you. We haven’t been able to eliminate all waste, but we have researched and modified our production to create the least amount of impact on all phases of life and resources.
Our dyes are synthetic and not subject to animal byproducts. We chose the synthetics because so many dyes are animal/bug sourced and some of the mordants used to fix the dyes are highly toxic, and I don't want to risk my own health, let alone my clients.
For fabrics we use cotton mostly…it’s sustainable to a degree, and though it does produce manufacturing and agricultural impact, we are continuously looking for affordable sources to reduce it even more. We considered organic, but it uses much more water, and living in the desert, we respect that. Another common fabric we use is linen,which is similar in growth and processing as cotton.
We have considered bamboo, but though sustainable, the processing of the material into fabric is far more toxic to the environment. There’s pros and cons to the sources we have chosen, but it is our commitment to learn more, search more and continue to do our very best to take care of our planet and our people as much as possible.
Our best practices to reduce the impact to world resources is TRUE Refurbishing, Upcycling, Redemption and Bequeathing:
- Refurbishing--a service we provide to all Painted Lady clients to mend and restore their Painted Lady fashions. This is a free service during the first year after purchase for any normal wear and tear, dye fading within reason and obvious manufacture defects. If you've loved your item/s a little hard and longer than normal...well...we can help there, too, with minimal fees to restore the item/s...see "Upcycling".
- Upcycling--giving an old, tired garment new life with new colors or new design altogether. There are minimal fees to restore or completely alter the item/s if necessary.
- Redemption--let us pass it on to someone for you! Trade in your old, tired, or outdated Painted Lady garments for credit on new ones, and we'll Refurbish or Upcycle it for resale or rental...yes, I said rental!
- Non-Painted Lady Redemption, AKA "Lady Faie's Closet"--this is for those classic fashions that just don't work for you anymore. Let us hold the party and donate, resell, refurbish or upcycle it for you. You can either consign it with us or donate it for the cause.
- Bequeathing--this one is up to you, our client, to hand your Painted Lady fashions on to friends and family. They will have the same benefits of the Revivacious Program, but they will need our clothing label and hang tag or approval from Lady Faie after verification of the product. And if you don't know anyone, refer back to "Redemption" for both Painted Lady and non-Painted Lady fashions.
“Your favorite outfit should last for decades and never go out of style.”—Lady Faie