I have been watching some amazing fashion documentaries lately (see list at the end of this article) and they made me realize that vintage shopping is not only fun, but is actually extremely good for our planet. Here are some of the astonishing points I discovered about the fashion industry after watching all these documentaries and why vintage shopping is more important now than ever:
On a more empowering and positive note: if our high demand for low priced, disposable clothing is contributing to this crazy vortex of waste and environmental degradation, then when we buy clothing made sustainably, with love and care, and shop vintage we can start to make a difference with our simple flexing of purchasing power.
Appearing in “The Next Black” documentary, Rick Ridgeway, environmentalist, mountaineer and Vice President of Environmental Initiative at “Patagonia” clothing company, reminds us how damaging ‘fast fashion’ is to the environment and why we should consider only buying clothing we actually need, fix it when it tears, and vintage shop. With vintage shopping, he goes on to say, no raw materials are taken from our precious earth to make a new garment of clothing. If we buy vintage until we can save up and purchase a few well made, ethically manufactured clothing items, with this one little purchasing choice we will force the garment industry to rethink the way it does business. This basic, yet important need of dressing ourselves won’t continue to damage the environment at the staggering rate it is now.
Creative and passionate people are working hard right now on revolutionizing the way clothing is made. Textile designer Suzanne Lee has been working with scientists to develop biodegradable textiles that are grown in vats of liquid, similar to brewing beer, or making kombucha, while Dutch fashion designer, Iris Van Herpen, is creating exquisite couture gowns using 3D printers (check out her “Aeriform Runway Show” on youtube and be blown away) . If we can scale and support these efforts we can have an end product that is usable, beautiful and in the end biodegradable, which is exactly what we and our planet need.
In the meantime, let’s make vintage shopping cool and sexy and “treasure hunt” our own way to a fabulous closet!
Look out for ‘The Art of Vintage Shopping: Part 2’ , where I share with you some clever vintage shopping hacks so you can build a fashionably sustainable closet. In the meantime check out these fantastic fashion documentaries: