LVD is Green

As we begin to enter the summer season, the nature around us begins to flourish, grow, and give a much needed energy to our lives. However, the current political climate and the urgency of global warming insists there may be a day when nature will cease to be there to provide sustenance and inspiration. That is why La Vie Détroit has taken initiative to promote what we love, fashion, and how we can help change it for the better. An outcry towards change will hopefully shift your lifestyle towards salvaging the nature that remains.

The concept of the photoshoot was to represent an era where sustainable awareness hit the mainstream. This particular era was the environmental movement of the 60s and 70s with our outfits being inspired by the counterculture that played an important role during this time. We styled a concept centered around earth tones taken from nature as well as styling inspired by the rebellious youth of that era. An overgrown alleyway in Detroit sets the perfect scene to represent how nature can make it’s comeback into our modern lives. Nature can provide all the answers we need, let the symbolism influence you to dress in a smart Earth friendly way.

In this current day and age with climate change becoming the largest concern for humanity, it is time that we create change to our unsustainable lifestyle. Being sustainable in what we wear is one habit that needs to become a staple across the planet. Fast Fashion is the second biggest polluter behind oil which goes to show the degree of massive ignorance that is propelling from countless brands. Globally, we are consuming 80 billion new pieces of clothing yearly which is a 400% increase compared to two decades ago. This problem has gotten out of control, and there needs to be a stopping point. Luckily, solutions exist and in most cases many things are easily resolved.

With all the devastating news surrounding you and crushing details of the human destruction on the environment,  how can you be the catalyst of change starting with the actions you take in your everyday life? How can you become sustainable in fashion? The tried and true way is to shop thrifted, consignment, vintage, or secondhand instead of new garments all the time. Not only does this practice save the environment, it also conserves your hard earned money and leaves you with unique pieces that you won't see everyday on the streets. Thrifted fashion exists just around the corner with the high number of second hand stores open locally (see: Detroit Clothing Circle, Boro, Mama Coo’s, Flamingo Vintage, and many others), along with being one click away on your laptop or smartphone at online consignment stores like Thredup, Depop, Grailed, Heroine and The Real Real.

When you cannot find the pieces you want from the thrift store, you can turn to brands known for being ethical and sustainable. When choosing a brand to purchase from one should research how sustainable and ethical the brand is by assessing how the company is committed to the short term and long term use of resources. This includes a guarantee of livable fair wages to employees, developing eco-friendly materials, limiting the water and toxic chemical usage during production, and promoting animal rights. Some big names in the sustainable fashion industry include Olive Clothing, reformation, Staatsballett, Our Legacy, Andrea Crews, Stella McCartney, and Everlane. For some local options to support Detroit businesses, Orleans + Winder, York Project, SMPLFD, Détroit is the New Black and Not Sorry Apparel all operate sustainable and ethical businesses.

Last but not least, when in doubt, get creative! Old piece can be reinvented into new ones and you could always borrow from your fashionable friend’s closet. Being sustainable in these ways can leave you saving money, experimenting with new looks, and feeling a sense of fulfillment from creating your own looks from old clothes and contributing your small changes to the environmental good.

Unfortunately, for every brand that is practicing sustainable and ethical standards, there is another company that continues to be popular using detrimental business practice. These unsustainable and unethical brands utilize cheap labor and cheap production strategies that leak toxins into the environment and undermine the lives of their employees. They produce products made of cheap ecologically damaging fabrics that are usually the trend of the season that won't last or won't be in trend next season. They promote a fashion culture centered around buying what's in now and throwing it away the next season to buy what is in then. In the modern era, there are so many of these types of Fast Fashion brands, it’s difficult to keep count. Some of the bigger culprits include Forever 21, Urban Outfitters, H&M, Gap, Zara, Anthropologie, and Romwe.

In a society where we have many choices and the knowledge of how these choices impact the world around us, it is pertinent to make the choice that preserves our living environment. While other ecological choices like oil usage and energy sources are convoluted wicked problems tied up in government and industry, fashion is a personal choice that you can make today to be a better human being enjoying our planet. The switch to sustainable fashion can be an easy and rewarding one that is as simple as changing a couple stores you shop at. While it may seem like your choice alone may not count, society is made up of a collection of individual choices. If we show brands that our generation’s spending power is tied to caring about these types of issues, change will inevitably come. The time for this switch is now, while we still have a healthy environment to cherish. Soon, there will be a time where it is too late to see the error in our ways. La Vie Détroit hopes that this shoot promotes the messages that a true fashion forward individual is one who is creative, unique, and also conscious of the health of the people and living environment around them. Sustainability is in. Live Green.

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