Photo by Ferran Jorda
I spend a lot of time reading and writing about eco fashion and beauty; and I’m absolutely convinced of the value of going green when it comes to personal style. But at least once a week someone asks me what the “point” of eco fashion is. So I’ve come up with a list of ten reasons why eco fashion is an infinitely better choice over traditional clothing, shoes, accessories and cosmetics. Ready? Ok!
1. Planet Earth is a Nice Place to Live.
Here’s the thing: there is no other planet for us to live on. Now, even if you’re not a Grape-Nuts-eating-Greenpeace-card-carrying-bleeding-heart-liberal, you still have to recognize why we should take care of the limited resources we have. Living sustainably is simply LOGICAL. When you buy and wear eco-fashion, you’re making a conscious decision to buy a product that was made with the least environmental impact as possible. DUH.
2. I Like Children.
No, I LOVE children. I have a couple of them myself. They are amazing! Small versions of adults with unlimited potential to learn and grow. Future discovery, art, and innovation lies dormant in them; waiting for us to provide a nurturing environment where it can blossom.
But a huge percentage of clothing is made with child labor overseas. That means that while my children are enjoying their childhood–taking swimming lessons, going to the zoo and seeing movies—other children the same age are working 10+ hours a day just so they can help feed their family. And they have to do this because their parents can’t make enough money working all day, either.
Eco fashion is about buying FAIR TRADE products which are made by ADULTS who earn a LIVING WAGE. The next time you pick up a beautiful blouse at the store, think about the tiny fingers that probably worked on it all day. Then put it down and look for a shirt that has a fair trade label.
3. Money Is Important to Me.
I will freely admit that I like having money. I work hard for it and I like knowing that the stuff I buy is worth the hours I spend earning the money I’ve paid for it. That’s why it pisses me off to no end when I buy something and it falls apart quickly. Eco fashion is as much about quality as it is about environmental impact. I want to buy products that will last so that I don’t have to KEEP buying the same things over and over again.
4. Sacrificing Health for Beauty is Stupid.
Ok, I’m not talking about chain-smoking-coke-head models. I’m talking about you and me–the American Woman–who wants to look her best. We each spend more than $600 a year on beauty products and cosmetics–and half of that crap doesn’t even live up to its claims. Plus, its full of synthetic chemicals that are known carcinogens. So stop making your beauty choices based on advertising and marketing. The chemicals used in most beauty products are going to kill you. If you dont believe me, please spend some time reading on the website Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.
5. I Love America.
I don’t like seeing my fellow countrymen/women out of work. And while I appreciate the other cultures and societies around the world, I would really prefer to support the people who live around me–my “neighbors”–with my money. And yes, it might cost a little more. But that’s because it costs money to live. And I don’t begrudge anyone from earning an honest living.
6. Clothes Make the Wo(man).
When people look at you, they know what kind of person you are by the clothes you’re wearing. Yes, it’s superficial. But that’s how the world operates, so you might as well get used to it. Wearing eco fashion is a great way to let the world know that you are a person who walks your talk. You value hard work, honesty, ethics, health, and kindness. You make choices based on what’s good for everyone, not just yourself (a/k/a The Golden Rule).
7. Style = Uniqueness
It used to be that fashion was an art. People used it to express themselves, and took great pains to stand out as individuals. These days, people are fashion lemmings. Vogue comes out with a new Coach bag and people rush to plunk down their money so they can be seen carrying it. As if fashion were some kind of club and everyone who was “in” had the same matching cashmere t-shirt. Look, I like luxury. But I am no sheep. Eco fashion is about finding independent designers, exquisite vintage pieces, and unique materials. It’s about building your own look, not buying a pre-manufactured one.
8. I Like Bunnies.
And puppies. And kittens. And monkeys. And even lizards. I think animals are amazing, beautiful, and valuable members of our global family. That’s why it breaks my heart to think of hundreds of thousands of them trapped in cages, being tortured every day just so some company can pass off synthetic chemicals as “beauty” products. Especially because its not even necessary. Buy cruelty-free or vegan beauty products, please. Even some mainstream drugstore cosmetics companies have stopped animal testing. To check if your favorite company is kind to all God’s creatures–use this search tool on the PETA website.
9. Smart Really Is Sexy.
Come on, you know it’s true. Smart girls are sexy. They may be pretty; they may be fun–but underneath it all, there’s substance that keeps you coming back for more. A smart woman thinks about all her choices; and that includes what she puts on.
10. I’m Worth It.
No, really. I am. It’s not just a marketing slogan. I am WORTH spending a little extra on to take care of my body and live up to my ethics. I’m WORTH the luxury of organic cotton and paraben-free lotion. I’m WORTH taking care of, and eco fashion is just one of the ways I do it.