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Created and Restored, the online blog from The Create + Restore Brand
  • Writer's pictureKara Richardson

What is Stylish, Sustainable, Affordable Living?

Question: What does it mean to live, stylish, sustainable, and affordable? It may not be what you think.

I’ll admit it. I was a fast fashion junkie. In my 20s I would go to what I used to call my “club stores” and buy an outfit for that weekend’s festivities. I loved them because the outfits were cheap, and since I didn’t wear anything more than once, the fact that they always had new stuff worked out to my advantage. I fell victim to the gimmick that clothes could be easily attained and easily discarded. I wasted so much money on clothes and those resources that it took to make those items (i.e. labor, time, supplies) were used in vain.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t the only one out here wasting clothes. “The average American throws away around 81 pounds of clothing yearly.” (Saturday Evening Post, 2018). That’s thrown away-not donated or recycled. Here are some more shocking statistics:

-“93% of brands surveyed by the Fashion Checker aren’t paying garment workers a living wage” (Fashion Checker, 2020)

-“Clothing production is the third biggest manufacturing industry after the automotive and technology industries. Textile production contributes more to climate change than international aviation and shipping combined” (House of Common Environmental Audit Committee, 2019)

-“The fashion industry is responsible for 8% of carbon emissions” (UN Environment, 2019)

-“The textile sector still represents 10 to 20 percent of pesticide use.” (The State of Fashion, McKinsey, 2020)

-Fashion accounts for 20 to 35 percent of microplastic flows into the ocean. (The State of Fashion, McKinsey 2020)

There has to be a better solution to our clothing crisis. Did you know that donating old, unwanted clothes can only do so much to change an industry that’s grows year after year? At The Create + Restore Brand, we believe that in order to live a life that’s stylish, sustainable and affordable, you have to do the following things:

  1. Commit to staying away from new fast fashion and buy more sustainable goods. By consuming fast fashion, we are perpetuating the narrative that we need new clothes all of the time, encouraging the industry to do whatever it takes to pump out new clothes at break-neck speeds. Instead, shop brands that use organic materials such as cotton, silk, or linen in their designs and support companies that are committed to environmental change.

  2. Buy more secondhand and less in the other categories. This requires a little more effort but by making small changes to our wardrobe and our lifestyle, we can shift the trajectory and eliminate the desire for fast fashion.

  3. Only buy what you need. If you don’t have an immediate need for something, don’t buy it.

  4. Commit to living a sustainable lifestyle. This might mean changing the way you eat (organic vs. inorganic), the products you use (swapping your normal products for cleaner solutions), the way you think (de-stressing and decluttering your mind), and the way you treat the world around you (how you care for people and nature). You only have one life and you have to do your best to live it. This means being the best you that you can possibly be.

  5. Understand that there is a difference between productive and unproductive trash. There is always going to be waste in one way shape or form, and it’s almost impossible to live a zero waste life. But you can choose what needs to be trashed by making responsible decisions in what you buy.

Our goal is to show you that you can live a life that’s stylish, sustainable and affordable without sacrificing who you are. A life that is beneficial to you AND the environment. Over the next five days we will be posting simple tips to our Instagram and Facebook pages to help you make changes that lead to a more sustainable life.

Here’s your first tip: Watch what you buy. I know that “retail therapy” is a real thing, but what it leads us to do is overbuy. So instead of buying your emotions, talk to a counselor for your mental health, and limit your purchases to only what you need. How do you do that? Make a list of only what you need right now and what you can visually picture in a certain place in your space.

Have questions about living sustainable? Have your own tips you’d like to share? Leave it in the comments below.

*All statistics in this blog post have been taken from the a report by McKinsey & Company entitled "The State of Fashion 2021: In Search of Promise in Perilous Times."



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