Conscious Fashionista

Conscious Fashionista
At first blush, the idea of “mindful fashion” sounds like an oxymoron. Possibly even a buzz kill.

Isn’t fashion about looking 💯and feeling fab?  Isn’t our dressing based on spontaneity, creativity, and self-expression? Doesn’t the very thought of a new outfit, a new pair of shoes give you a little thrill?

For some yes, for others, wardrobe dissatisfaction is indicative of a deeper issue.

Turns out, mindful dressing can be a game changer for your day-to-day, and, if you take it seriously, it might be a world changer.

And this is true whether your jam is Zara or Louis Vuitton.

Closet Case

As with most learning curves that take us from numb to ‘woke’, it typically begins with something small and highly personal. Something so ubiquitous it’s nearly impossible to see.

Fashion Psychologist Dawnn Karen suggests in this article on Fashion Psychology that we take a minute to connect with our inner dialogue before mindlessly reaching for something to throw on every day,  “Ask yourself what, if any, negative feelings come up when you’re staring at your closet? For example, frustration or boredom. So, you throw on something, but, you still don’t feel good. Or, you might go shopping to alleliviate the negative feelings.  All that does is focus on the external.”

The issue isn’t your wardrobe. It’s the gap between how you feel inside and how you are presenting yourself to the world.  And, mindfulness, she says, can turn that around.  Your clothes won’t  suddenly make you happy, but, at least you’ll know why.

It doesn’t stop there. 

Beautiful Clothes Ugly Truth

The fashion industry uses an obscene amount of resources – water, electricity and chemicals, to produce the billions of pounds of clothes we consume every year. It is one of the worlds largest polluters, Not to mention the human toll far from our eyes and consciences.

Sorry (#notsorry) to rain on your True Religion parade, but, y’know, mindfulness.

christina dean redress eco mindful fashion sustainable honk kong

Dr. Christina Dean, Founder, Redress

In 2007 Christina Dean, a former journalist who had uncovered “so many horrific truths about the fashion industry’s impact on the environment”  that she decided to devote her life to raising awareness of this issue started Redress, an NGO that holds the industry accountable and helps it to change it’s polluting ways to a more sustainable industry across the supply chain and ultimately make for more mindful consumers.

Last year Vogue named Dean as one of the UKs Top 30 Inspirational Women.

She hasn’t bought new clothes since 2013. (Check out her insta for inspo)

“…[After] years of understanding the challenges, both at the industry level and also on a personal level, I have changed completely. I now only wear (and buy) clothes made from re-used or recycled sources. This essentially means that I wear secondhand clothes or clothes made with up-cycled fabrics or recycled fibres. This ensures that in my personal quest to reflect my own style, I am not consuming new fabrics or driving up demand for virgin fabrics.” source

Mindful Trend: BioTech

Now in their tenth year, Dean and her Redress co-founders published a consumer handbook Dress (with)) Success:The Practical Guide to a Conscious Closet and this fall launched a luxury up-cycled clothing line called B Y T.

Partly thanks to the Green Carpet Awards, held in Milan,  sustainable clothing designers who use up cycled and recycled textiles, are becoming stars and making money.

Luxury clothing designer Stella McCartney is one of the OG’s of ethical garment sourcing.  She recently gushed on her social media about a partnership with Bolt Threads, a San Francisco biotech lab that’s developed a number of sustainable textile options for luxury brands.  Her gold dress made from their protein-based silk is on display at MOMA in New York City.

yellow dress mama stella mccartney mindful fashion ethical sustainable

MOMA: Is Fashion Modern? Stella McCartney one of a kind dress made from biotech silk. Photo: Forbes

Adidas, with whom McCartney’s had a longstanding partnership, is also focusing on recycling and upcycling to produce it’s products. They’ve partnered with Parley to recycle plastic harvested from the oceans to make high performance footwear.

Not that long ago we didn’t think to read the labels on our food (if it was even listed) .Now we demand it because it’s better for everyone. The garment industry is headed there.

Ideally, we can merge both of these approaches to mindfulness to transform the decision of what to wear today, and transform the fashion industry that holds the key to our choices.

For more tips on how you can be a more mindful fashionista, check out the Redress consumer guide here .

Read more about Fashion Psychology.

Christina Dean’s TedxTalk

 

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