About a year ago Florien and I were having a beer at a beer garden in Cape Town when one of us dropped the question: what do you want to do with graduation and after that? Turned out we both wanted to follow the minor of entrepreneurship and we started talking about the topic of fashion and sustainability. Did I see the documentary ‘The True Cost’? Florien asked.
Back in the Netherlands, when we had to start that entrepreneurship minor, Florien asked me if I would like to do a project together, based on the sustainable fashion ideas we discussed in Cape Town. It was like she just asked me to be in a relationship (and I said YES!). We started with the blog about our journey towards a conscious and sustainable wardrobe. We didn’t know much about what that exactly entailed, but we were determined. As we were no experts on the topic yet, we wanted to take you along on our journey. Things we came across, we would share, and together we would reach a sustainable closet.
So. Where are we standing? It has been a ride, that is for sure. We have faced challenges, much fun and the journey developed me as a person, my wardrobe and The Talking Thread. I’ve seen changes happening all around me regarding sustainable fashion and I would like to share a bit with you.
My wardrobe has changed
To start small: my wardrobe (small….really…?). Within a year I managed to change my closet for the good. I started this journey with the I-Buy-Nothing Challenge. Three months of not shopping any luxury stuff. No second hand, no cosmetics, no fashion, nada. I must say it calmed me down, and I needed that to see the bigger picture: it is not about buying goods from organic cotton, no, it is about a whole new understanding of consuming (fashion). Buying nothing made me realize how much time we spend on looking at adverts, scrolling through web shops looking for the perfect LBD forgetting we already own three of. The stress it gives and the money we spend!
Instead I discovered the fun of sustainable shopping. Because you spend more attention to your purchases, it is worth more. You will chose it because you love the item, not because it is at sale. And the pride you might feel after finding some true jewels in a vintage store. It is just so much fun to try on new styles. As a matter of fact, I have a more diverse wardrobe nowadays, since I swap items all the time.
‘’Be the change you wanna see in the world.’’
Nowadays, you may look at my wardrobe and ask me about any item; I will have a story behind it. You will find basics from sustainable and fair brands, made from plastic bottles, Tencil (wood pulp based vibers) or other sustainable materials. To spice that up I have trendy items from swaps, vintage stores, second hand or borrowed. vAnd yes, you may find items from fast fashion brands. Nothing to be ashamed of, knowing that that are pieces I own already more than a year, wearing over 30 times. Did you know the average times we wear a piece of clothing is only 7? Changing that to 30 will make a massive change.
TTT has changed
From two greenies who were a little insecure about their blogs, style and, well, pretty much anything as we exposed all to the world wide web, Florien and I are so proud of where we are standing now. May I brag a little? We hosted events, and the last clothing swap was even sold out! We got to speak at the Fair Fashion Festival in Rotterdam (oh boy how excited I was), we got interviewed. The story of sustainable fashion is important, and it is a honor to speak about it. But most valuable of all, we got to meet so many inspiring people along our way. We met (or ran into) many like minded people at our hosted swaps and other events. We also got to meet Chanel from Mumster and Marieke Eyskoot! Meeting such people is all we needed to continue this journey. It is what makes us truly happy.
You have changed
It is not just us who’ve changed. We most certainly see a change happening in society. A certain awareness is rising. People start to ask where their clothes come from, demanding better quality. But the best of all: people are more open towards a change. Whereas I was made out for ‘hippie’ when talking about sustainability, I can now actually finish my story and get asked for tips. Buying second hand is not as ‘dull’ anymore, it is actually trendy (hopefully a trend to stay forever)!
We are definitely moving the right way, but we are far from the finish line. The fast fashion brands are still dominating the high streets, we have to unite and be a voice of inspiration. I can talk on for days, but to come to a conclusion: being a conscious fashionista makes me feel good. I know I am causing a change with the decisions I make. Somebody made my outfit with their hands, and I literally cary their stories. I don’t want to wrap myself up in something I don’t believe in, and I came to the insight this is not hard to achieve. This year has been amazing and I am very excited about our years to come. Hopefully we can inspire even more to join our journey, so together we make bigger changes!
Happy new year, much love.