[ENG] This Christmas, Adam gave me a book called ´This is a good guide´ with a subtitle stating ´for a sustainable lifestyle´ written by Dutch author Marieke Eyskoot. This book tries to raise awareness about sustainable approach to every aspect of our daily routine, including fashion, beauty, food, home, work, leisure, tips, and the lists of green stores and brands. Recently, I finished the chapter covering the sustainable alternatives in fashion industry concerning any subfield of fashion you can imagine. Despite my constant learning in this field, there were a lot of facts which truly surprised me. I still lack knowledge and experiences in other options for instance bathroom goods or detergents, but I´m willing to improve remaining spheres of life to lower my personal impact on a planet. Since I don´t want to describe the main points from this book in too much depth nor explaining them in detail, I´ll only present the key takeaways that either surprised or concerned me the most. Therefore, I hope this approach will encourage you more in going through at least some of them, and I further think it might be enriching for your life as well. People say that living sustainable life is more fun.

  • First thing we have to remember is “that something is cheap, doesn´t mean it costs little, but that someone other than you is paying the price”. If we think about it, it really makes sense. If the T-shirt costs 5€, the cotton is grown with a lot of chemicals, sewers are receiving less than minimum wage and the fashion chain doesn´t care about the environmental cost of its products.
  • Seven advices on how to buy sustainable fashion:
    1. Choose ethical brands
    2. Buy smart
    3. Take quality over quantity
    4. Go for timeless and take your time
    5. Appreciate second-hand
    6. Shop local
    7. Buy less

There is no such a thing as cheap: (example) Kanye West hoody
Sale price = 96,78€
Factory and manufacturing costs = 13,44€
Sea transport and insurance = 0,90€
Import tax = 2,24€
Store cots = 2,70€
Tax = 1,80€
Profit = 75,70€

  • Amancio Ortega who owns Inditex (62.8 billion), which includes Zara for example, is richer than Bernard Arnault owner of LVMH (28.6 billion) which unites brands such as Louis Vuitton or Dior.
  • Minimum wage per month of garment workers in: Sri Lanka 54€, India 58€, Bangladesh 60€, Cambodia 87€, Indonesia 91€.
  • “Rental will be a major part of our future. Do we have to own everything we wear? If you rent, you can keep your wardrobe up-to-date without contributing to over-consumption” – Elin Larsson, director of modern Swedish brand Filippa K.
  • Cotton & water: “It takes enormous amount of water to make clothes, particularly cotton ones. The Aral Lake in Uzbekistan is a good example. Formerly the fourth largest lake in the world, only 15% remains. Pumped away to cotton plantations.
  • Initiatives that can help you with the shopping addiction:
    – 30wears- only buy clothes that that you will wear at least 30 times
    – Project 33- every three months you choose 33 items from your wardrobe which are the only things you´ll wear. It´ll help you to get to know your personal style.
  • Simple truths about fashion industry:
    – Many clothes (by non-sustainable brands) are designed to fall apart.
    – Items by major brands that you buy hugely reduced or in outlets, are often made for that particular purpose, from a poorer quality.
    – The fashion industry deliberately tries to make you feel ´out´ after the first few times you´ve worn something, by hanging new things in the stores 52 times a year
    – Sequins and beading can be a sign of child labour. this often takes place at home, where children work alongside the parents
    – Some clothes are purposely labelled smaller, so you feel better after your purchase
  • Since repairing and not buying new clothes is very sustainable, here are some tips, how to keep your clothes as long as possible:
    1. Are your clothes clean, but smell a bit ´off´? Put them in the freezer, this kills the bacteria that cause the scent.
    2. Sweat patches in your (white) clothes? Try ox-gall soap before washing or rub in half a lemon. Spray with a bit of water, allow to dry and fingers crossed.
    3. Chewing gum comes off your bum by putting your jeans in the freezer and then scraping it off.
    4. Talcum powder is meant to be good for oil stains, shaving cream for make-up on your collar, salt for nearly everything and hairspray (or first salt and then milk) for ink.

Surely, all those facts can not be simplified and applied for everything but represent a good start and possible shift in your future life or decisions. However, more and more people and brands are supporting sustainable fashion or seasonless collections. For example, Czech brand Odivi introduced their seasonless collection on MB Prague Fashion Week, which consisted of naked models. I certainly recommend thinking more before buying and to purchase this book. It´s a good investment.

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