Open Thread: What’s Your Relationship With Sustainable Fashion Like?

reduce reuse recycle graphic

As the fashion director for a brand that covers and cares deeply about fashion, I’m never not grappling with the ever-increasing importance of sustainability in the industry. I’ve been sitting at my desk for 20 minutes trying to think of a metaphor that accurately describes what I mean when I say “grapple,” because that word makes it sound like I think it’s a burden and I don’t. I just think it’s complicated.

I know its complexities are on the minds of Man Repeller readers, too. Based on traffic and clicks, there is clearly an appetite for shopping recommendations and trend reports, but based on a steady stream of thoughtful comments, there is also a great deal of  concern for how these things impact our planet. I think on the internet, it can often appear that these interests are held by two opposing camps–those who are passionate about sustainability, shun fast fashion, and refuse to use plastic straws vs. those who willingly turn a blind eye, shop at budget-friendly brands, and have no qualms with single-use plastic. The starkness of that dichotomy is misleading, though–and exacerbated by the digital world’s propensity to flatten people and pit them against one another. In truth, not only is it possible to maintain an interest in fashion and a desire to do better when it comes to the environment, it actually seems to be the prevailing perspective based on in-person discussions I’ve had within the industry and outside of it.

Like I said–it’s complicated. But that’s precisely why I’m interested in cracking open the topic here. I want to know what’s on your mind as it pertains about sustainable fashion. What are you interested in? What are you still trying to figure out? Are there writers you read or Instagram accounts you follow that have helped shape how you think about the issue? Are there particular aspects of sustainability you encounter in conversations with your friends? Whatever thoughts you have to contribute, I’m hoping they can serve as fodder for making stories that feel particularly relevant to this community. So meet me in the comments–I’ll be waiting with bells on.

P.S. If you want to catch up on some of Man Repeller’s prior coverage of sustainable fashion, click here, here, here, or here

Graphic by Dasha Faires.

Harling Ross

Harling is a writer and was most recently the Brand Director at Man Repeller.

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