Hurricanes, earthquakes, wildfires. Mother nature has certainly been in a foul mood this season, and it really does beg the question: How are we treating our environment? No matter where you land on the subject, I think we can all agree that making eco-conscious choices is never a bad idea. As a small business owner, I personally want to do my part to nurture the planet we call home and be as green as possible in my fashion design. (Metaphorically of course – everyone knows this season’s color is red.)

I touched on the concept of sustainable fashion a few weeks ago in my t-shirt blog, but I wanted to take some time to really dive in a little deeper. The fashion industry as a whole is the second largest contributor to pollution worldwide, and the average American throws away close to 70 pounds of clothing every. single. year. That’s like throwing away 70 pair of jeans! It’s pretty obvious we have a negligent relationship with the environment when it comes to our closets.

As a designer in an industry infamous for pollution, I feel an obligation to be as efficient and environmentally friendly as possible. Sustainable fashion design doesn’t necessarily mean using only fabrics made out of hemp – it simply means making conscious choices that don’t contribute to waste. For example, using deadstock fabrics or reimagining vintage pieces are easy but creative easy to design sustainably.

This method of fashion design is not only better for the environment, but also better for animals, yields longer lasting clothes, and makes garments way more personal. It’s also less expensive to take care of sustainably designed clothing. I personally really enjoy the process of going down to the thrift store and finding a really cool vintage piece, then adding my own embellishments and embroidery to create something totally new that you won’t find anywhere in a department store.

I draw a lot of inspiration from other people who practice sustainable design. Soham Dave creates beautifully earthy pieces and focuses on using primarily biodegradable fabrics, recycled materials, and hand embroideries. I especially dig his hand embroideries and tie n dye! SVILU is another one of my favorites with forgiving silhouettes and bohemian vibes, plus really gorgeous romantic colors. Fonnesbech is another great one – very chic with timeless pieces!

As I look to the future, I hope to work with more vintage finds and make glam one of a kind custom pieces. I am also continuing to develop a cutting edge organic t-shirt line. I’m just at the beginning of my sustainable design journey, but I’m moving forward with creativity and the knowledge that I’m doing my part to preserve this beautiful planet we call home!