A Clean & Sustainable Fashion Industry
A Clean & Sustainable Fashion Industry
When I was growing up, going out to a bar or a club meant getting dressed up in your best clothes putting on your best perfume then heading to a dimly lit room filled with social and chain smokers, it was cool to smoke and smoking was in fact allowed, everywhere! As soon as you left the ‘cool’ establishment, the fresh taste of air would feel like standing onto top of a mountain, the perfume that had been applied was totally redundant and had been replaced by that smoky smell that had sipped into your clothes, hair and even your skin not to mention the cherry on top the raspy voice, from the passive smoke inhalation. But it was all part and parcel of going ‘out’ it was in fact the norm.
Now we have a new norm! Bars and clubs are still cool but they are now clean open spaces, free from smoke. And its crazy to think that my young teenage cousins will never have to face those kind of nights of heavy smokers in your face packed in a small confined space, they will never know the disappointment when cigarette ash falls on your new dress or the dry, raspy throat of non-consensual passive smoke. They get dressed up, put on their expensive perfumes and come back home smelling the same. What a difference consciousness makes!
Conscious decisions were made in the hospitality industry, as research and science provided evidence of the true effects of smoking and passive smoking. Pressure came for public spaces to be free from smoke, and to enforce a total ban. The public and the establishment all recognised that as cool as smoking looked it did way more harm than looking cool could ever make up for.
Retailers are much like the clubs of old. Oh my are they cool, they are great places to hang out, and great places to name-drop when you meet friends. Yet when you step out of them there is that stench! The stench of unsustainability, the stench of unethical sourcing of materials and unfair treatment of workers because the average brands and products are just like the smoke that used to fill the clubs it is heavy, its everywhere and worse of all it is killing us.
The fashion industry must now look at the cold hard truths, and make conscious decisions. Brands and retail buyers a like must establish change. Daily we are inundated with statistics with what our consumption has done and is still doing to the planet and the poor quality of life for many back end workers in far off countries. The world now is too global, too information led to be making these horrid and detrimental decisions to continue to use old school practices, which are hurting us. Much like smoking in public spaces is now a taboo I think using unethical and unsustainable products should also be. Why can’t we get to the stage where it is the norm to buy into ethical brands working and paying fairly all their employees?
I do think that retail buyers can put their money where their Pradas are and buy into more sustainable and ethical brands. I mean, what is more luxurious than slipping into a hemp silk dress (AMUR) and strapping on your cruelty-free shoes, buying into brands like this allows for us as global citizens to sustain planet earth for the next generations. What better luxury than to know with your shopping you have helped provide a skill set, pride and economic empowerment for communities in other parts of the world.
And this isn’t charity it is kindness to oneself just like banning smoking in public spaces this kind of shopping only does each and everyone of us good. The reason why I have set-up NYA Brands, is to create a space of visibility for sustainable and ethical brands to sell to like-minded retailer buyers. Buying into these brands and having more of them of brands stocked in retail outlets, this is like the new club scene open, airy, clean and a great time for everyone.