Fashion Revolution – Switch to a Sustainable Wardrobe

Today’s post is inspired by my dear friend and client, Eli from Sunvibes. She wrote Loved Clothes Last, a blog post about clothes, sustainability and family heirloom pieces.

This week is Fashion Revolution Week which “encourage millions of people to come together to campaign for systemic change in the fashion industry.”

I’m trying as much as I can to reduce my fashion footprint. Let me share with you some of my tips on how to have a wardrobe that brings you joy and doesn’t cost you an arm and a leg, without turning to fast fashion.

Sustainable Fashion Day

This inspired me to share with you memories of Sustainable Fashion Day Sunvibes organised 2 years ago. At that time, I was an intern for Eli so I helped her creating this amazing event. Eli is an Italian fashion designer based on Mallorca, each of her design is made of Italian fabric, printed with her original hand drawn designs, and treated with love. Her dresses are absolutely gorgeous.

We had different station: sewing a passport holder by using the leftover pieces of fabric of the dresses, dyeing clothes with natural fabrics (more info here) and screen printing a tee-shirt with Sunvibes caravan design.

We had amazing music by Christina Jones and lovely delicious healthy food by Vitanja.

You can read more about this day on Sunvibes Blog.

How to Switch to a Sustainable Wardrobe

fashion revolution who made my clothes

“We are living in a climate emergency and the fashion & textiles sector is one of the most polluting and wasteful industries. The industry continues to lack transparency, with widespread exploitation of people working in the supply chain. Never before have there been this many people on the planet in slavery, and fashion is a key driver of this reality. Brands and retailers are still not taking enough responsibility for the pay and working conditions in their factories, the environmental impacts of the materials they use or how the products they make affect the health of people, animals and our living planet.” Fashion Revolution

Second Hand Shopping

I’ve always been used to buying second-hand clothes since I was a kid. Let’s be honest, when I was a teenager I hated it because I couldn’t have the latest trendy items that all my friends at school were wearing. When I first earned a bit of money I did go a little crazy with shopping. That lasted for a couple of years I’d say, while I was at University. Even if at the same time I was still buying things at flea markets (we have a lot of them in France from Spring until September). Nowadays, my wardrobe is 90% pre-loved and I avoid going shopping as much as I can. I love going to second-hand shops and vintage markets and try to find piece that I’ll love for years to come.

My three favourite items from flea-markets in France: high quality leather boots for only 5€ (bought in 2015), a Moroccan bag that cost me 1€ only (bought in 2012) and these cute summer shoes bought for 3€ (bought in 2019).

Then in 2017 I spent a few months in Northern Ireland and there I discovered amazing second-hand and charity shops. I had not much money but needed warm clothes to survive the Irish weather, so I was happy to not spend hundred of pounds on items I’d only needed for a season.

Here is the only item I kept: a blouse bought in a charity shop in Coleraine, Northern Ireland, for 3 pounds. I gave back all my warm sweaters to a charity shop before I left as I was going to Australia and then moving to Spain, I didn’t have space for so much winter clothes!

When I moved to Palma de Mallorca, I was a bit disappointed with the second-hand and charity shops. I’s nothing compared to what they have in the UK! Click here for a guide to pre-loved fashion in Palma.

However, there are a couple of good vintage markets in Palma de Mallorca. My favourite is Mercadet Tira´m Els Trastos in Santa Catalina (Glorieta Pau Casals), every last Saturday of the month, organised by In Progress. Check their Facebook page to know when the next one will be!
It’s such a nice atmosphere, with live music. You can also enjoy a delicious breakfast and drink at Mama Carmen as they have some tables between the market stalls. One of my favourite piece from this market is a super cute cactus shirt.

Clothes Swap

In Mallorca I’ve also discovered the most amazing way of getting new clothes without spending money nor contributing to polluting by buying new items of fast fashion: CLOTHES SWAPS!
My first one was with Mallorca Girl Gone International and I couldn’t believe what I saw! Dozens of women bringing all their pre-loved items that they don’t want anymore and swapping them for new pieces! You have to bring minimum 1 piece, and you can leave with as many pieces as you want. All the leftovers clothes are then donated to charity. I organise these events with GGI, we try to do one every season. Join Mallorca GGI on Facebook to know when the next one will be!

Look at all the gorgeous new pieces of clothing I got for free! Summer dresses, sweaters, casual tee-shirts and more formal jackets: a new wardrobe without spending a cent!

Shoes and bags, too! In my opinion, you never have enough pair of shoes or bags… But I’ve stopped buying them new unless I really need a specific piece. I’m always super happy with my finds at the clothes swap as they are not necessarily things I would have bought if I saw then in the shops, but they bring so much joy to me when I wear them!

Tell me what are your favourite second hand pieces you own! What changes will you make to switch to a more sustainable wardrobe?

A Sweet Surprise

As I was finishing to write this blog post, a lovely surprise package from Eli arrived at my door. Of course, it had an upcycled theme to celebrate Fashion Revolution Week!

Scrunchies made from the leftover fabric of her dresses, and a textile transfer paper with Sunvibes Caravan illustration to upcycle our tee-shirts!
Thank you so much!!

If you want to know more about Fashion Revolution and how to be part of the change, visit www.fashionrevolution.org. Here is also an Instagram post that explains what you can do to take action now:

View this post on Instagram

The overriding reason I started FROM Clothing was to make people understand how their activewear, from typical high streets brands, was made ⏬ By disadvantaged people in faraway countries who are paid a pittance. People we don’t see 🙈 In factories we don’t see 🙈 In conditions, we don’t see 🙈 I wanted to do it differently. So without any background in the fashion industry, I set off with my Mum’s inheritance to start an activewear brand that would show the world we could do things better. Better for people, better for the planet 🌍⠀ It was an extremely steep learning curve. Back in 2011, there was very little talk about ethical fashion & where clothes came from.⠀ People were resistant to change. They wanted the ’shiny’ leggings, the cheaper leggings 🧘‍♀️ And then 7 years ago today, 24 April 2013, Rana Plaza clothing factory, in Bangladesh, collapsed 🏤⛑😵 1100 people were killed & 2500 injured.⠀ Most of the victims were young women making fast fashion clothes for some of the biggest brands in the world. So finally the true cost of cheap fashion was revealed. I had more fuel for my purpose. I was doing things differently. I was doing things better. I had my WHY. ⠀ So today, join the #fashionrevolution use your voice & social platforms to demand transparency from the fashion brands you buy from:⠀ – Repost these images⠀ – Tag a brand⠀ – Ask them #whomademyclothes and #whatsinmyclothes⠀ ⠀ Keep the pressure on. Don’t let them off. We need transparency more than ever now to help people and the planet.⠀ ⠀ ⠀ #whatsyourwhy #yourwhy #simonsinek #passionpurpose #makeadifference #impactbrand #consciousbrand #sustainableliving #philanthropy #alturism #ethicalfashion #sustainablefashion #consciousclothing #fashrev #fashionrevolutionday #greenbusiness #bizcoach #businessmentor #leadbyexample #serialentrepreneur #femalefounder #femaleleader #ethicalbusiness #sustainablebusiness #ecowarrior #smallactscount #covidisolation

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Have a lovely week-end,

Adèle xx