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  • Hannah Applequist

The Emerald Slipper is Going Green!

Updated: Dec 29, 2021

Here's why:

2020. This year probably sends a shiver down all of our spines. In the last hours of 2019, I remember making the resolution (along with countless others) that 2020 was going to be a year of being present; of seeing things with 20/20 vision. How true that turned out to be. While I couldn't be physically "present" thanks to stay at home orders and social distancing, I was almost forced to be present in the current reality of our world. The state of our environment continues to be on the forefront. Almost exactly one year ago, the effects of climate change were personally felt when my in-laws lost their cabin in the East Troublesome Fire in Grand Lake, Co. 2020 (and 2021 so far) have been eye openers for me in so many ways, and I am ready to take action.


The Problem

I have become increasingly conscious of the fact that, as an influencer/fashion blogger, I help contribute to the cancer that is fast fashion. Fast fashion clothes are cheap and trendy. They are easy to find and huge amounts of money are spent marketing them to us. We are constantly told, "Here is the latest trend" or "Wear this to look cool" or "Here is this crazy sale". However, the reality of this practice means clothes that are made from cheap, synthetic materials in unsafe factories and in mass quantities. These clothes are meant to be worn only a couple times and then to be thrown into a landfill (150 billion articles of clothing a year) where they will never break down. Fast fashion means excessive water usage (1.5-2.5 trillion gallons), pollution of said water from the dyes used in the clothing, 10% of world carbon (5 times that of the aviation industry), and shed microplastics after each wash.


How I Plan to Help

I am just one tiny voice in a huge problem, but I have decided to do everything I can to change my lifestyle and to inspire others (hopefully you, as well as fellow fashion bloggers) to start taking a stand against fast fashion. Here's what that looks like:


-I have found a best friend in the app, "Good on You". This app takes a look at a ton of fashion brands and rates them on three conditions: environment, labor rights, and animal protection. The overall score helps you determine if you should continue to support and buy from this brand. I went through every brand that I followed and/or purchased from and found their rating on this app. If they were found lacking/harmful, I unfollowed and will stop purchasing from them. This app also contains a HUGE amount of amazing brands that are great for the environment! I highly recommend using this app to help you find clothes.


-Beginning November 1, I will be leading a "No Buy November" challenge to start things off. During the month of November, I will not be purchasing any clothing and solely shop from my current closet. I hope you will join me!


-I will not be quitting the blog, just adapting how it works! To get the most use out of all of the items in my closet, I won't be getting rid of any of them, even those from fast fashion brands. I will still be wearing them in outfits and making posts, but I will stop linking to those brands that are harmful to the environment. Think of me more as outfit inspo. than a saleswoman from now on! If I do link or advertise a clothing item, it will be one from a sustainable brand/source.


-After the month of November, when I need to buy clothing, I will only buy sustainable options (or rent/thrift). It can be hard to let go of brands that you have used for years, but finding new ones are as easy as using the app I mentioned above, or simply searching on google, "sustainable _______".


-I will be constantly researching and exploring different brands and sharing them with you guys. I plan to make a guide soon on favorite sustainable brands at different price points. I also plan to share other ways to go green in your daily life as I progress in my journey. Stay tuned on my blog and my Instagram for upcoming posts!


One issue I realise is that "sustainable" unfortunately doesn't always translate to "affordable". While sustainable brands tend to run more expensive than the recognizable "affordable" brands like H&M and Shein, the goal with every closet should always be quality over quantity. Sustainable is a long term investment, meaning a piece of clothing that is made from better materials will last longer and offset the initial cost in the long run. It can be hard when our consumer society preaches the exact opposite.


Summary

I have always been told that when confronted with a monumental problem, it is best to take on tiny bits at a time. My goal is to not stop at clothes alone, but to try my best to make sustainable and healthy decisions in every aspect of my life. This is the first step of many into a journey to help make the world better and healthier. I know I will not be perfect in this and I have a lot of learning and research to do, but I am going to try my best!

My goal is to help change the way we as a society look at fashion. Sustainability needs to be what's "in" in order to save our planet. I would love to see my followers and fellow influencers help me lead the charge.


Sources

https://www.greenmatch.co.uk/blog/2016/08/fast-fashion-the-second-largest-polluter-in-the-world

https://psci.princeton.edu/tips/2020/7/20/the-impact-of-fast-fashion-on-the-environment

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/03/books/review/how-fast-fashion-is-destroying-the-planet.html?.?mc=aud_dev&ad-keywords=auddevgate&gclid=Cj0KCQjwt-6LBhDlARIsAIPRQcK7S4wZ8hGNyDxXsIcEJzCv1ZDE6eLjQKP255ezHWKRWZh7JHHtFv0aAgohEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds


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