Since 2017, Mary has been proving on her blog Green Looks Great that sustainability and style can be easily combined. In the interview, she reveals how it works
Source & Copyright by Green Looks Great
Author: House of Eden
Mary has been successfully running her fair fashion and green lifestyle blog since 2017 Green looks great. Here she proves that style and sustainability can go hand in hand. And as authentically as possible: Since the marketing manager herself had concerns that her fashion weakness could not be reconciled with eco-fair fashion, Mary's blog impresses with her intensive research as well as exclusively honest and personal tips, tricks and assessments.
In an interview, Mary tells how she lives sustainability in everyday life, refutes clichéd assumptions that aesthetics and eco-fashion are mutually exclusive, shares her best fair fashion tips and gives expert insights into the future of the fashion industry.
Source & Copyright by Green Looks Great
No matter how, my wardrobe will be fair and sustainable
Environmental and animal welfare have played a major role for me since I was a child. Over the years I became more and more concerned with the negative developments in agriculture, the worldwide depletion of natural resources or the pollution of the world's oceans. Later, the topic of social justice became more and more important. And yet I was pretty addicted to shopping - to compensate for a very stressful job.
When I saw the film 'The True Cost' at the beginning of 2016, I had my aha moment. On the same evening I decided: No matter how, my wardrobe will be fair and sustainable! On the one hand, I was concerned that my penchant for fashion could not be reconciled with eco-fair fashion. On the other hand, I wanted to prove to myself that style and sustainability are not mutually exclusive. I did extensive research and was pleasantly surprised at how many sustainable, trendy fashion labels exist.
I wanted to dispel the prejudice, for myself and for others, that eco-fashion is boring
The idea for my own blog was born very quickly. With styles for women aged 30 and over - and with looks that are also suitable for the office. There are so many women who, like me, love fashion and want to dress more sustainably. My basic idea: Here I can help other women by sharing my experiences and combining outfit inspirations with background information on fair fashion.
The more I got into the topic, the more I recognized the complexity of fashion with its political and technological dimensions behind it. There is so much to discover and learn. And that's exactly what's exciting about it!
For me, living sustainably is an expression of my appreciation for other people, animals and the environment
Living sustainably means something different for everyone. Because so far there is no clear definition for sustainability. And what works for one person's lifestyle and budget cannot be transferred one-to-one to other people.
I know my privileged lifestyle is part of the Climate problems is. And that's why it's only possible with less! Sometimes I succeed better, sometimes worse. I feel that living more sustainably than a kind of trip on which I learn a lot. It makes me look at the big picture and question:
- What resources do I use?
- Which system do I support with my purchase?
- Which company shares my values?
It is an expression of my appreciation for other people, animals and the environment when I make sure that the products I use are based on fair and ecological values.
I always try to consume less and if so, then only produced fairly and as environmentally friendly as possible
As a student around 20 years ago, I started to switch to organic food. Because in my opinion, only organic farming makes sense in the long term. I eat as fresh as possible, seasonal, regional and vegan and only buy what I need - so I don't have to throw away any groceries. I love to travel, but it doesn't have to be far away. For me, the main thing is to get into nature and relax - in the forest or by the water.
Four years ago I started converting my wardrobe to eco-fair fashion and second hand. After this change, I still bought a lot at the beginning, until I noticed here that I didn't need a lot of new things. I take care of my clothes very well, so that I have owned many items for over 10 or 15 years. I deal with my wardrobe and try to combine it again and again.
Whether clothing, furniture or technology - everything lasts forever with me because I take good care of my things and have them repaired if necessary. I also try to reduce my plastic consumption and use green electricity from Greenpeace. Nevertheless, I am aware that this is far from being enough. I use a CO2 calculator every now and then to estimate my consumption. I do very well in fashion. But there are some areas where I would like to improve, such as the Mobility.
Due to the diverse sustainability criteria, sustainable fashion can mean something different for everyone
The fashion industry is very complex. Anyone who gets into the matter can be overwhelmed at first - be it a Seal of approval to decipher or to determine for yourself which criteria are most important to you.
For everyone who wants to better understand the interrelationships of the fashion industry and the many facets of sustainable fashion, I recommend the following sources of information:
- Fashion Revolution
- Clean Clothes Campaign
- Greenpeace campaign "Detoxifies our clothes"
- Good on you
- Get Changed
- "Simply attractive" by Kirsten Brodde & Alf-Tobias Zahn
- "How we can change the world with fashion" by the Fashion Changers
We consumers are used to the low prices of the fast fashion industry
The fundamental problem with fast fashion is that these clothes are manufactured and sold far too cheaply. But we have to recognize that there is no such thing as a “bargain”. Because everything has its price. If we save something ourselves with our clothes, it is only because someone else 'pays' for it. And these hidden costs will definitely come back to us, at the latest as community costs in the context of climate change. Fashion that is not based on ecological and human exploitation must therefore have a certain price.
A higher price for eco-fair fashion pays off in the long term
Especially when I know that I wear the item of clothing often: Because it fits the rest of my wardrobe, can be combined in many ways or I will still like it in five years.
I achieve this certainty when I know what my fashion demands, my style and the colors that are best for me. Therefore, I recommend anyone who wants to dress more sustainably to deal with it. A style advisor can, for example, support a color, style and wardrobe analysis. Those who prefer to try it for themselves will find great suggestions in the guides “The Wardrobe Project” by Anuschka Rees or “Minimal Fashion” by JAN 'N JUNE founders Anna Bronowski and Juliana Holtzheimer.
With good care of high-quality clothing, # 100wears or more are quite realistic. This means that the "cost per wear" of eco-fair clothing is actually lower than that of fast fashion, which is disposed of after being worn a little.
My top 3 tips for sustainable & stylish outfits
Tip 1: Only wear clothes that we feel absolutely great in
Clothing that hangs unworn in our closets usually doesn't match our personality, lifestyle, body type or color scheme. Therefore we should ask ourselves these questions before every purchase:
- Are the color and cut flattering to me?
- Do I feel good all round so that I don't want to take off the garment at all?
- How many occasions can I wear the garment on?
- Is it timeless and will it be my taste in a few years?
These questions help us to gradually build up a wardrobe that is individual and independent of any fashion trends.
Tip 2: variety in a sustainable way
Most of us love variety in our wardrobe. But we don't have to buy something new right away. There are now platforms for Rent clothes - also for sophisticated fashion and special occasions. So we can always change our clothes without piling up mountains of clothes. It also helps to refine our own style, as we can easily take a fashion risk with borrowed parts.
Tip 3: outfits that follow our own rules
There are tons of styling rules. Many of them make sense, others are long out of date. Really individual and stylish looks are those in which we skillfully break such rules. For this, I recommend investing in eco-fair, high-quality basics and enhancing them with statement pieces.
These can be forgotten treasures in the closet or unusual pieces from vintage shops or rental platforms. In this way we do not consume new resources, but we can still put together unique, fashionable outfits.
Examples for such outfits can be found on Green looks great!
Source & Copyright by Green Looks Great
I think there are many exciting and encouraging developments in the fashion industry.
Even if all of these have so far been done on a small scale or at a very low level. In Germany, for example, the proportion of fair fashion is currently estimated at less than 1%. So there is still a lot of room for improvement.
The most important development for me right now is the government's commitment to a supply chain law. Too often companies do not take voluntary commitments seriously or use them for pure marketing purposes without independent controls. Strict and effective laws are therefore needed to fundamentally change the textile industry.
Mary's top 4 predictions for the future of the fashion industry
1. Intensification of the minimalism trend
I expect that the “less is more” trend will continue to grow. On the one hand, because we are becoming more and more aware that we already own far too much and that this waste of resources cannot go on like this. On the other hand, also aided by economic bottlenecks such as the Corona crisis now, which means that many people no longer have so much money.
2. Further development of innovative materials
I am always fascinated by innovative materials, such as vegan imitation leather made from pineapple, apple or eucalyptus fibers. I hope that such materials can do without plastics in the future and thus become 100% compostable. This has already been achieved with the new Bananatex®.
3. More relevance of sharing concepts
I believe that even more creative ideas from the sharing economy will be implemented in the fashion industry in the future. We already have that with clothing swap parties or rental offers for clothing and accessories. Start-ups are emerging that would like to offer clothing swap apps for private individuals. It remains exciting to see whether this will be accepted and work on a large scale.
4. More concepts to promote the circular economy
Circularity in the fashion industry, for which I also take measures to extend the life cycle, such as Upycling, Second hand and repairing clothes is one of the most exciting and important topics for me. I am sure that repair offers will be offered more and more often by fashion manufacturers or retailers in the future.
A real circular economy, in clothes'cradle-to-cradle'is - in which the materials of the garments can be clearly identified and fully traced and which can be recycled several times or completely composted after use - is a great resource-saving vision that I would love to see come true.
Starting to question critically is the most important step for me.
More and more consumers attach importance to sustainability, and so the big fashion companies are increasingly bringing out so-called 'conscious collections'. Mostly greenwashing is behind this, because the actual business model of the big fashion companies has not changed so far. It is therefore important that we, consumers, do not allow ourselves to be blinded by this. Instead, we should inform ourselves and possibly ask the brand directly - and not let up if there is no adequate answer at first.
Anyone who begins to wonder how their own clothing was produced will automatically find their way to more sustainable fashion consumption.