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  • Isha King

Hey, 2021: Realistic Sustainability Resolutions

Earlier this week, we gave you an industry retrospective for 2020. We took a look back at some of the moves towards sustainability that the fashion industry has made over the course of the year – the most tumultuous year for fashion in living memory.

Now, 2020 is finally over. While the world certainly didn’t go back to ‘normal’ at the stroke of midnight, we at BADLANDS wanted to talk through some of our New Year’s Resolutions that relate to fashion and consumption, just in case any of our gorgeous readers were looking for a few tips on how to shop better in 2021.

First and foremost, for any resolutions regarding fashion consumption, it’s important to be realistic (and optimistic), rather than fatalistic.

If you say, for example, that your 2021 fashion resolution is to not purchase a single fast-fashion item in 2021, you’re setting yourself up for failure, which will ultimately discourage you from pursuing your sustainability goals altogether. So let’s not do that.

Instead, join us as we ramble through a few realistic goals for fashion girls who want to do better for the planet this year.

In 2021, Less is quite literally more.

By this, we mean doing less, spending less, throwing away less, washing less. In fact, less isn’t just more – it’s the most.

In our view, reduction is quite simply the best action that fashion consumers can take to combat the climate crisis and take a stand against the human rights violations that we associate with fast fashion and overconsumption.

And the great thing about it is that it’s not all that difficult. A practice in self-discipline, sure. But actively trying to purchase fewer clothing items and accessories will also give you a renewed appreciation for the things that you already have. Trust us!

Take notes from BADLANDS guest author Laura Robinson’s Closet Crunch and assess where your closet stands. How many pieces do you own? Where do they come from originally? Did you buy them new? How long have you owned them? How are they holding up?

Consider using this information as a framework for what you do and don’t need to purchase in the coming year, and use it to maybe reintroduce yourself to that sweater that’s been sitting at the back of your closet for three years, unworn.

Additionally, if you’re seeing that a lot of what you own is synthetic – don't get rid of it, just wash it less!

We are learning more and more than the environmental impact of our clothing doesn’t end when we purchase it, and for synthetic fibres that takes the shape of microplastics leaching into our laundry water.

Next laundry day, look that T-Shirt deep in its eyes and ask it if it reeeeally needs a wash, or if it could stretch on until next week.

Acknowledging what we own and working actively to take better care of it. Sure! Bring it on, 2021.

Alternatives are out there, somewhere. In 2021, I’m going to find them.

So, you need a new dress. I’m not sure where you’re going to wear it, given that there is literally nothing happening right now, but work with me on this hypothetical.

You need a new dress. Where are you going to get it from?

In 2021, instead of immediately jumping onto your go-to brands’ sites, let’s resolve to go the extra mile and research. Maybe you just need the dress for one occasion and a rental might make do. Maybe there’s a pre-owned something-or-other that might do the trick instead. We have more second-hand platforms than ever this year!

Maybe you could do a little googling for made-to-order dresses! By Megan Crosby is killing this game right now. The beautiful thing about made-to-order fashion is that it’s much much more size inclusive than the traditional fashion business model AND it’s more affordable than you think it is.

If you exhaust out these options and can’t find anything that works for you, just do yourself (and the planet) a favour and buy something that you know you’ll be able to wear a lot, for a long time.

In 2021, I’m going to pay attention.

Knowledge is poooowwwweeeeerrr. 2020 has shown us, if anything, that we need to pay attention to what businesses and governmental organizations are doing. Full stop.

This year, let’s resolve to keep building momentum towards an accountable fashion industry.

The best way we can do this is really just to pay attention to what brands are doing by engaging with key resources (start here).

Instagram Girls Made #PayUp Possible

In 2020, Remake Our World’s Pay Up campaign unlocked over $22bn in withheld wages for garment workers globally. This came to fruition because people like you, dear reader, took the time to sign the petition, pay attention to fashion’s internal affairs, and care.

So, in 2021 let’s agree to keep the pressure on and keep on keepin’ on – brands like Urban Outfitters and Victoria’s Secret still haven’t paid garment workers for their cancelled 2020 orders, and nor have any of the LVMH & Kering luxury brands with affected orders, so sign Remake's petition and get loud about it where you can.

We’re all holding our breath waiting to see what 2021 brings. As we look towards the future with tired, hopeful eyes, let’s remember that improving your fashion consumption matters, and a little goes a long way when doing so.

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