lesson 1: fast vs. CONSCIOUS FASHION & SUSTAINABILITY
Intro to the fast fashion industry vs. conscious/slow fashion
The four main factors and their solutions
lesson 2: WARDROBE SECRETS
The sustainable wardrobe
The basic things you need in your wardrobe
lesson 3: CLOTHING SWAPS & BRANDS
How to organize your own clothing swap
A list of my favorite eco and conscious clothing brands
FAST VS. CONSCIOUS FASHION
SUSTAINABILITY IN THE FASHION INDUSTRY & Fair Fashion
As a main organizer of the Swiss Fashion Revolution Day (2016-2018), I've been fighting for fair fashion and a conscious consumption of clothing and accessories for a while now. If you're new to this topic, all the information that is out there can be very confusing and overwhelming. You might feel like you can't buy anything anymore! But that's not true. Once you learn how to read labels, how to find more information, and how to get new clothes in a sustainable way, you will see that there are so many options available to you.
Again, this is something we need to find balance in. It can feel frustrating when you think you can never get anything new anymore, but it can also feel very harmonious and proud when you buy good things that support good people! So tune into your intuition to see what feels good for you.
1) THE ENVIRONMENT: In the fast fashion industry, lots of chemicals are used to dye clothes, to soften leader, to process and produce synthetic fibers, to rip jeans etc. These chemicals are highly toxic for the environment and poison lakes and rivers, where they endanger the local animals and plants. The ground water can eventually also be contaminated through these toxins, which result in severe health issues for the local communities. While producing in China etc. is cheap, it creates a huge CO2 load for the planet, because the cotton may be grown in Africa, is then shipped to India to be processed into yarn, then fabric, and then shipped to China, from where the clothes will then be brought to Europe or the US.
SOLUTION: Buy clothes that are dyed with natural colors and non-toxic dyes. Buy GOTS certified organic cotton, wool, cashmere (if you're not vegan) from sustainable farms that are produced transparently. Avoid leather whenever possible, as the process is usually not only toxic for the environment, but hugely dangerous for the workers, too. Buy clothes that are produced locally and don't have to fly across the planet.
2) THE GARMENT WORKERS: While in western countries, the labor conditions are usually well-controlled and monitored, in third-world countries like China, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Cambodia, etc. these are hardly ever human. The factories do whatever they can to get new deals, produce more quantities of clothing and make more money, which is always what it comes down to. Women have no insurance for their pregnancies and often have to leave their own children grow up with someone else outside of town in order to be able to work and bring home some money to survive. Garment workers often work 16-hour days, 7 days a week, and hardly have a place to sleep. The buildings they work in are not according to minimum standard safety regulations, which was clearly proven on April 24, 2013, when a garment factory collapsed in Bangladesh, which lots of garment workers paid for with their lives...
SOLUTION: Look out for fair trade certified clothes, such as Max Havelaar, or small brands that guarantee transparency when it comes to the supply chain. Buy clothes that are made locally, where you can trust that the working conditions are fair and transparent.
3) THE QUALITY / THE LIFE SPAN: More and more, the quality of today's fashion decreases. People buy t-shirts for one party, or you wash the pieces and they're already out of shape after a few times of washing. Not to mention the quality of sewing, when pieces start falingl apart after wearing them a few times only. When the quality is worse, people pay less. When people pay less, more stuff needs to be produces in order to still make money. It is WAY better to invest in more expensive pieces, which then last longer. But don't be tricked by brand names. Just because something has a label on it, doesn't mean it's better. Zara, H&M, Hugo Boss, Nike etc. all produce in the same garment factories. So look out for quality and not just a brand name.
SOLUTION: Invest in higher quality products, buy one pair of good winter shoes, a solid winter jacket that last for e.g. the next 5 years. Even though people often think they save money when they buy cheaper things, you will eventually save money with this practice, because you'll need to replace good quality less often.
4) THE WASTE: Clearly the environmental impact of the clothing industry is becoming unbearable for our planet. With everything we buy, we also contribute to the waste that we produce onto mother earth. By giving away clothes to charity, people think they're doing a good act, but these clothes are often shipped to poorer countries where people will eventually only use 1/10 of it or less, and the rest is just accumulated waste in their countries. Plus it destroys the local garment market, impacts the local economy in a negative way, and takes away jobs from local garment workers and designers.
SOLUTION: A great way to reduce your waste and move towards #zerowaste is to buy clothes, shoes, accessories second hand. Organize a clothing swap at your home with your besties, or go to an official clothing swap in your town. Resell your pieces online (e.g. on the new App Tradono in Switzerland) or give them away to someone you know needs it and appreciates it. This way, you give these pieces a second life, create zero waste with it, and don't spend (a lot of) money.
It is highly recommended to go over your ENTIRE wardrobe. Depending on how many clothes you have, this might take a few evenings or even a few weekends. These are the steps Silvia recommends:
Get rid of anything that no longer fits you (incl. what you think will fit you again in the future...!). Getting rid of this means getting rid of it and not just putting these clothes in the second row!
Get rid of anything that is damaged and not in its best shape anymore (e.g. where you clearly see the knees or elbows even after washing, where there are holes etc.)
This step is about FEELING AMAZING in your clothes. Put on all the remaining pieces, one by one, and look into the mirror. Be critical and honest with yourself! Only keep what excites you! When we don't feel good in our clothes, this negativity impacts our subconscious mind, which then results in a not-so-glowing and insecure appearance on the outside. And you really can't play this down with your charm, because other people's subconscious will pick up on that energy subconsciously anyway! - Whereas the right clothes will make us truly sparkle! We feel good, look confident, and others will notice this difference. We automatically smile more and get more smiles and positive feedback back - this is just how the magical universe works!
Take some time to feel all the different materials you have in your wardrobe. Do you prefer wool? Cashmere? Cotton or linen? Feel the difference of normal cotton and organic cotton, as well as synthetic fabrics. Smell your clothes. This is how you get to know your clothes even better and will be more mindful when you buy new stuff. Note that there are all kinds of qualities of cotton, cashmere, modal etc. Always go with what FEELS good!
how to build your wardrobe - with silvia borisch
These are the basics you should have in your wardrobe according to Style Coach Silvia Borisch. You can easily mix and match these with all kinds of clothes, plus these will be your solution if one day, you don't know what to wear!
These are the only luxury pieces you don't have to share with anyone unless you want to. High quality underwear will give you a beautiful body shape. It's important that the bras are not too tight. In case it is visible, it needs to fit the color of your clothes. E.g. if you wear a black dress, pick a black bra. This might sound logical, but a lot of people don't do it :) Get at least a pair of white and black underwear.
SOCKS & TIGHS
Make sure you have socks in these colors: dark blue, grey, black and white. With these colors, you will be able to cover all kinds of styles. If you're more of a fancy fashionista, you can also pick some playful socks with colors and patterns.
If you're the kind of woman who wears a lot of skirts, get some tights in different DN (thickness). In winter, it is recommended to wear DN 30 or more.
Get 2-3 t-shirts in the basic colors black, white, and dark blue. Get these in two versions: short sleeves and long sleeves to be able to get through the year. Make sure you FEEL really good in them and the material feels good on your skin. You can also look out for special patterns or small imprints or embroideries that don't seem too sporty to add a special look to your simple t-shirts.
You should have 2 jeans that fit you perfectly. High quality jeans are easily wearable in business as well, and the darker the color, the more professional they seem.
You should have 2 sweaters in high quality - these are basics! You can wear them with blouses and with tshirts. Alternatively, you can invest in jackets as well.
Make sure you consider the quality for your Scarves. You can spend a bit more money here, as you will wear them less than your clothes and they will last longer.
Get an elegant coat for winter and a warm jacket or coat. For summer, trench coats are usually great elegant allrounders.
Get a pair of chic boots, comfortable ankle boots, beautiful ballerinas, simple pumps, and sporty sneakers.
Every woman should have a beautiful nightdress. If you're someone like me who is always cold, get a cozy bathrobe as well.
These are the must-have basics. You can then continue building your wardrobe based on these basics and create more fancy and personal looks, incl. accessories, bags, jewellery and glasses etc.
When you consider all of these factors, materials, colors, cuts that just look irresistible on you, you are on your best way to an incredibly glowing wardrobe - which will result in a really beautiful self-confident feeling!
PERSONAL STYLING SESSIONS WITH SILVIA BORISCH
As always, I LOVE giving you guys special deals on anything! So I'm happy to offer you a professional color and style consultation as well as wardrobe cleanse with my dear friend and Style Coach Silvia Borisch (silviaborisch.com). She will teach you everything you need to know about how to build a sustainable and functional wardrobe that will make you feel much more self-confident. You might spend a bit more money in the beginning, but you will notice quickly that in the long run, you will be saving a lot of money!
These are the packages she specifically created for my Glow Girls:
HALF DAY Color and Style Consultation: Silvia will define which of the six color types you are and will help you find out what styles and cuts of clothes suit you best. You will also get your color palette, which you will be able to use for all your future shopping tours to avoid buying the wrong colors. Silvia will go over your wardrobe with you and help you put together outfits for business and everyday life.
The regular price for this is CHF 600.-, Glow Girls get it exclusively for CHF 420.-!
FULL DAY Color and Style Consultation & Intensive Wardrobe Cleanse: In addition to option 1, Silvia will help you get rid of anything that does not match your color palette and your style. She will also show you how to fold and store your clothes for optimal space and energy (as learned by Marie Kondo!). She will help you create new favorite outfits for business and leisure. You will also get exclusive shopping tips that will help you for the rest of your life.
The regular price for this is CHF 1000.-, Glow Girls get it exclusively for CHF 650.-!
This offer is currently only available in person. Click below to email me and I will connect you guys!
CLOTHING SWAPS & BRANDS
ORGANIZE YOUR OWN CLOTHING SWAP
It is SO easy to organize a clothing swap at your home! Click below to download a checklist to make sure you're well prepared to start swapping!
HOW TO SHOP CONSCIOUSLY & styling tips - by style coach silvia borisch
WHAT KIND OF BUYER ARE YOU?
Do you prefer to have a lot of clothes or rather not too many? Generally, 90% of women have too many clothes, which has been shown to be rather blocking than making choices easy. If you're someone who loves buying new clothes, you should also learn to be able to give away about the same amount of clothes that you buy.
If you prefer to have less pieces, make sure that these new clothes fit perfectly into your current wardrobe. If you're looking for something that goes with a specific piece of clothing, make sure you wear it as you go shopping.
If you're the kind of person who easily gets convinced by the sales agents and regret having bought the pieces as soon as you get home, then I recommend you to go shopping only with an honest and critical friend. It might happen that you end up not buying anything, but you will avoid unnecessary purchases.
MY FAVORITE CONSCIOUS BRANDS & ONLINE SHOPS
WATCH "THE TRUE COST" DOCUMENTARY
A must-watch documentary about the fashion industry. Available on iTunes and Netflix:
READ A MARIE KONDO BOOK
A book that teaches you the Japanese technique about how to tidy up your home and wardrobe and only keep what sparks joy!
(In German, the book is called "Magic Cleaning").
Stylish Sustainable Shopping, Wardrobe Energy, And Making A Difference For The Planet
Eco Conscious Chakra Lingerie with Krista Ruegg
2017-2019 © Martina Fink
All content of this course is property of Martina Fink and cannot be distributed or copied without permission.