Tanjuria Willis discusses fast fashion’s environmental impact ahead of first annual Sustainable Fashion Week

“Quick trend” has been filling landfills globally for years, however solely not too long ago has the time period and its connotations begun to enter People’ vocabulary.  In line with CBS Information MoneyWatch, the attire and footwear industries collectively account for greater than 8% of world local weather affect — greater than airline flights and maritime transport journeys mixed. Tanjuria Willis is the proprietor of eKlozet Luxurious Consignment and creator of Sustainable Style Week Atlanta, whose first annual celebration begins this week. She joined “Metropolis Lights” host Lois Reitzes by way of Zoom to introduce the brand new 3-day occasion sequence that can convey yearly consideration to the essential challenge of trend’s affect on the surroundings with enjoyable, aptitude, and sustainable type. 

Interview highlights:

On the hidden price of “quick trend”:

“Quick trend was invented about 20 years in the past or so … Your locations like Zara, and H&M, and Endlessly 21 are all thought of quick trend manufacturers, and what they did was they principally replicated what was coming down the runways, the style runways, and so they mass-produced it very cheaply utilizing low cost labor and manufacturing crops with actually fast turnaround in order that they might get them onto their flooring and supply to shoppers at a really quick tempo,” mentioned Willis. “So that they’re sometimes made in poisonous environments, in environments the place there will not be essentially truthful labor practices. As a result of they’re so cheaply made, individuals are inclined to discard them … You’re going to be apt to throw that costume away while you’re achieved with it and get a brand new one since you’re going to really feel prefer it’s so low cost — there’s nothing you are able to do with it.”

“Sustainable trend is trend and clothes that helps to maintain our landfills clear. We’re geared in direction of preserving the surroundings intact and actually information it in direction of zero emissions,” mentioned Willis. “What it truly is, are clothes that makes use of materials which can be doubtlessly biodegradable, or they don’t add poisonous chemical substances to the surroundings or the landfills. They’re high quality clothes that, actually, we prolong the life cycle on by preserving them in circulation, i.e., consignment shops and your shops the place you re-use supplies to do new issues with … Along with what we’re doing to the landfills and the chemical dyes which can be going into the waters, we even have to consider the power use that it takes to make this stuff, as effectively.”

How Willis grew to become a dedicated advocate for sustainable clothes:

“I’ve a level in electrical engineering. I began my profession working in a nuclear facility as a plant programs engineer, and as I developed, I’ve at all times been a lover of trend and clothes, as a result of I’ve at all times felt that clothes helps individuals to achieve success,” mentioned Willis. “I say that my mantra is ‘Clothes is power, power is confidence, confidence is productiveness, and productiveness results in success.’”

“That’s precisely why I created Sustainable Style Week Atlanta, as a result of I felt like there needed to be a option to present those who we may dwell sustainably, we may costume sustainably, in a trendy and classy manner, similar to we at all times have, and so they additionally present that training for them — to assist them to grasp the results that the clothes that they’re sometimes used to purchasing … has on their day-to-day lives, how the chemical substances have an effect on the air, how that’s affecting what we’re seeing now in our hurricanes, and our tropical climate … the melting of the glaciers, all of this stuff are oblique outcomes of what we’re doing to the surroundings,” mentioned Willis.

Runway reveals, panel discussions, and the philosophy of Sustainable Style Week:

“Once I created the occasion, I actually wished to current excessive trend in sustainable clothes, as a result of I believe individuals have this notion of what sustainable clothes means, and so they consider it as solely being this bohemian look, or the burlap sack, or one thing that’s not enticing in any respect,” mentioned Willis. “So a part of my objective was to current higher-end clothes or simply stylish-looking clothes for individuals to see there are options to what you purchase now, and also you received’t have to alter your aesthetic.”

“We’ve additionally included panel discussions that can discuss every little thing from busting the quick trend hole to our round economic system — which means what corporations are doing now to speculate extra in sustainable practices … We now have the UK doing a panel concerning the results of sustainability in the UK, we’ve somebody from the German Style Council speaking about why are we shopping for the garments that we’re shopping for and what we’re doing to the surroundings, in addition to one other younger woman from the African Style Information,” mentioned Willis. “We’ll have additionally dwell leisure, and we’ll have some procuring boutiques in locations the place individuals can get demonstrations on weaving and the way to do issues merely, flip issues that you’ve got, and use these t-shirts that you will throw away.”

“We hope to create, as effectively, a recycling program for clothes and textiles the place we are able to take clothes and have them issued again to be re-used as new designs or lowered to one thing that we are able to use. We all know that polyester is absolutely plastic, and so possibly it may be used for furnishings,” Willis added.


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