Welcome to my brand new blog which is all about finding a happy balance between fashion and sustainability or, in other words, putting some glam into green! Over the coming months, I will be exploring the wardrobes, the runways and the shopping racks for the best of the best in fashion that doesn’t cost the Earth. I will throw in an occasional challenge, too – more on that later.
The inspiration for this blog was born out of a research project I did last year together with two fashionable and classy young ladies as part of the LEAD (Leadership for Environment and Development) programme. One day over lunch we got talking and realized that all three of us cared about fashion, but were absolutely clueless about the kind of impact it had on our planet (and the 7 billion people we share it with). And so we set off to find out.
The more we searched, the more confusing things got. A simple Google search on “sustainable fashion” yields hundreds of thousands of returns – most of them unintelligible. Therein lies the first problem: even if one does want to do the right thing, where does one start looking for answers? Sure, there are hundreds of books and research papers out there, but a vast majority are highly technical and, quite frankly, depressing.
The second one is the conundrum that plagues the fashion industry of today: there is mainstream fashion (and über-brands) that everyone desires, which for the most part is far from sustainable, and then there is the “ethical” and “eco” kind, which still has a marginal market share and is by and large considered uncool (the “socks and sandals” stigma).
Is it possible to bridge this huge gap? Are consumers, designers, and investors ready to embrace a greener, yet still glamorous, style? In recent years, the fashion industry seems to have taken its first wobbly steps towards this goal, inspired by the likes of Stella McCartney, Vivienne Westwood, and Livia Firth and Lucy Siegle’s Green Carpet Challenge. And yet, these wonderful women are still “rare birds”.
You may notice that I use a rather unglamorous word “sustainable” a lot. While I have no objection to the use of terms “ethical”, “green” or “eco-fashion”, they only seem to cover one part of the issue – either the human dimension, or the environmental one. “Sustainable” really looks at all aspects – from economic to social to environmental. For me it also carries an important distinction between strictly animal rights approach and what is ok in terms of our planet’s carrying capacity.
And, finally. This blog is about solutions. While it is inevitable to mention the problems of the so-called rag trade, I will try my very best not to dwell on them but instead to focus on fresh and creative ideas that will help change the status quo.
This first post is dedicated to my beautiful niece, who turns 18 today, and who is exactly the kind of person I would like to have as greenstilettos.com reader: worldly, sophisticated and simply gorgeous. I hope that she, and many other fashionistas with a heart out there, will like this blog and contribute their own ideas.
I even found a funky Green Stilettos Happy Birthday picture which I am sharing with you below.
Speak soon and, until then, have a green and glamorous day! Xx