There is a fashion war going on, and we are all involved.
This is something we are faced with every day being in the fashion industry. Our main goal when we started TTK was to produce beautiful handmade garments that were not massed produced and didn’t cost the earth (literally).
Australians buy an average of 27 kilograms of new textiles each year and then discard about 23 kilograms* into landfill – and two-thirds of those discards are manmade synthetic/plastic fibres that may never breakdown.
Sustainability consultant Jane Milburn said Australians are the second-largest consumers of new textiles after North Americans who annually buy 37kg each, and ahead of Western Europeans at 22kg while consumption in Africa, the Middle East and India averages just 5 kg per person. These figures are sourced from North American magazine Textile World.
We need to think more about whether we need new clothing, then choose to buy quality, natural, local and just a few. Trust me I know how tempting it is to buy cheap clothing but I also know that I’m not fussed if it gets ruined and having to throw it out. Where is if I pay more for a piece of clothing, I make sure I look after it and get as much wear as possible out of it.
Journalist Lucy Siegle says 80 billion new garments are produced globally every year and fashion is the second-most polluting industry after oil. Clothing is so cheap it is almost disposable, discarded after only a few wears.
I hear many people say I want to support the slow fashion industry but it’s too expensive. I totally agree that some brands have a huge markup and are here only to profit, but if you look around there are also many labels who are trying to just make a change and produce beautiful garments that could and should be kept for a lifetime. Here is one way of looking at it- Instead of buying 2-3 cheap T-shirts that end up shrinking and fading why not put that money together (even over time) to purchase one quality ethically made T-shirt?
Our label The Travelling Kimono is only small and we have a huge way to go but for us, it’s about doing it all properly from the start. So that might mean a slower growth. We have chosen to not manufacture and to have each garment handmade by our small team of ladies in Vietnam. They are truly the backbone of our business but as the items are handmade and we pay them a fair wage we cannot sell our pieces cheap. However, as we make our products as affordable as possible it does make it more difficult to grow. But as we all know “Rome wasn’t built in a day”.
The quality of our pieces to this day still blows us away. We are on collection number 7 and only TWO faulty kimonos. This just shows that buying quality over quantity is so important.
Not only does our huge demand for fast fashion hurt the earth, but it hurts people too. The modern day slavery is bigger now than it’s ever been. You only need to search Bangladesh warehouse fire to see the devastating effect that the fast fashion industry is causing.
So, although I could go on for days about this topic, I challenge you to- Learn who made your clothes, stop and think -Do I need this garment? Will I get the use out of it or be able to pass it on?
Let’s stop the war on waste together.
Shop Smart xx
Fabric Shopping in Ho Chi Minh