My 2017 Ethical Fashion Wishlist
In an ideal world, all fashion would be ethical. While most of us certainly would prefer to buy cruelty-free clothing, a murky supply chain makes it tough for the average customer to know just about anything about just about anything they wear.
Ethical fashion made some decent progress in 2016, but there is way more work to be done if we're going to bring good style with good intentions in 2017. Here's my pie in the sky, please, fashion gods, make it happen, wishlist for the year to come.
1. Expanded sizing from the big players in ethical fashion.
I mean, I'm not personally pining for Patagonia on the regular or anything, but they act like plus size people aren't interested in the outdoors. And what about Everlane, whose stock answer remains to be something like "We'd love to extend our sizing when we have the funding." (This is not a direct quote, but the gist of responses I've seen them give on social media in the past.) I believed it in the beginning, but I'm not sure I'm buying this response from them when I see them continue to expand their offerings in other directions. I'm wondering whether they have more of an Abercrombie & Fitch branding method that excludes anyone who isn't one kind of beautiful from their branding. I'd love to be proven wrong.
2. Ethical capsule collections from top designers.
Sometimes, it's baby steps, right? If you've read anything I've written in the past year, I've probably mentioned Christian Siriano 100 times. He's one of my favorites for so many ding dang reasons, but what would permanently seal him in my heart of hearts would be an ethical collection with a major retailer. I have this crazy idea that if designers like Siriano took a shot at doing a capsule collection with a big retailer like Lane Bryant or Payless, they'd not only prove that ethical is possible, but that ethical fashion is its own kind of healthy addiction for designers. Double dog dare ya, Christian!
3. Ethical corners in local boutiques.
I met this owner of a home goods startup recently who told me all about her work and research to source ethically, and I couldn't help but think that if I walked into a local boutique, it would make my life so much easier as a customer if I didn't have to do my own research on each item I picked up on the shelf.
4. More ethical designers in fashion spreads.
This one's on me as a wardrobe stylist, and all other stylists and creative directors out there. The more we feature the brands doing right by the world, the more we present the opportunities for fashionistas to fall in love with good, clean style.
5. More green and good on the red carpet.
Much as I despise "Who wore it better?" spreads, I'd love to see those side-by-sides of two fabulous women wearing the same fabulous, ethically made dress.
6. More marketing.
Did you know that ASOS put out a fair trade collection last year? Or that ModCloth only carries fair trade clothing and jewelry from one brand? Unless you were specifically marketed to or went out of your way to search for it (like I did), chances are, you didn't always know if what you were buying came with conscious bragging rights. The more these brands start talking about the good stuff, the more their customers will find it.
7. Less fast fashion.
Are we all tired of buying shit that falls apart before it's washed, yet? Are we all over it with walking into an anxiety filled room of here-today, gone-tomorrow garments actively pilling on overfilled racks? I find Forever21 so overwhelming, it's depressing. The level of "We don't give a shit, just buy it" in these places should be insulting. The reason that Papaya skirt doesn't fit right is not because you need a new body; it's because it's a piece of garbage that was likely made by modern slaves.
8. Fewer and better.
Because nobody's over-stuffed closet is actually making any of us happier, myself included. I suffer from closet bloat myself because I never know when an item will be good for a shoot, but that hasn't always been a convenient excuse. We all have too much shit that brings us down and actually steals joy by staying in our closets. If you're not going to wear it or frame it for posterity, pass it on.
9. More transparency.
Did you know that some clothing marked "Made in USA" is actually made by the American prison population who can collect as little as 18 cents an hour for their labor? That shit is fucked, man. What are we doing about this?
So here's mine. What's on your wishlist for 2017?