EcoFashion, ever heard of it? Marci Zaroff, entrepreneur, speaker, and fashion icon, coined the term in the 1990s. YesAnd, one of her many sustainably-oriented brands, is a partner of Emilia George and we look forward to featuring their products in our store! Check out her online store here. I spoke with Marci this week about career and lifestyle choices, fashion and food production, and (you guessed it!) sustainability. She was as upbeat and passionate over the phone as she is in her speeches. This blog post reflects our conversation and includes the incredible insight and points that she offered.
When we think of lifestyle choices, we often think about diet and routine, but let’s not forget that we spend at least 15 minutes (a modest estimate) picking out our outfit of the day. The clothes we put on our body become a part of us. They have the power to transform our confidence and express our individuality. But they also have the ability to make us feel comfortable, proud, and aligned with the earth. In the same capacity that we make an effort to feed our bodies with nutrients and natural ingredients to make us feel good, we can dress ourselves in fabrics from the earth that do the same. If the synthetic fibers in your fast-fashion clothes make you sweaty and itchy, it holds you back from being the confident woman you know you are. Likewise, you should feel assured that your clothing is manufactured by a facility that has the proper safety, financial security, and rights for their workers. Aligning yourself with your values and not letting fashion trends and social pressures distract you from staying true to yourself can improve your mood and outlook on the world. The food you eat, the clothes you buy, and the values that you stick to have the power to make you feel confident, comfortable, and balanced.
Food and Fashion - The Bare Necessities
The agriculture and fashion industries are immensely interconnected in the initial stages of production. Marci Zaroff informed me that cotton plants actually provide valuable products for our food system. The seeds, which are the part of the plant that does not contribute to thread, is used as cotton seed oil. Considering the intensive water requirements of cotton, as well as the exhaustive use of pesticides for non-organic farms, clothing and food production is built on a system rooted in carbon emissions and pollutants. Not only does the overuse of pesticides contaminate our natural environment, it leads farmers to a never ending cycle of debt and economic instability. Further, monocultures continue to pose a threat to biodiversity and agriculture runoff endangers the health of nearby communities. To try to remodel either industry in a sustainable framework, means the other must change as well. The first step in initiating long-term change is for consumers to shift their demand. The two industries are inseparably bonded together and require foodies and fashionistas alike to make a difference!
Before You Clean Out Your Kitchen and Closet!
Marci and I are NOT asking people to throw away the animal products from your fridge or donate all your fast-fashion garments. We ask that you be conscious of your shopping choices moving forward and incorporate what you learn into what you buy. Supporting local farmers and wearing organic fabrics is a great way to start. Spreading the word about the true cost of a cheap product can make a bigger difference than you know. Most of all, we want you to WANT to make good choices. We want you to feel confident in your purchases and most of all, feel great in your own skin.
Remember Our Relationship With Nature
In the wise words of Elton John, “it’s the circle of life”. We are all connected in a never-ending circle, interdependent on each other and all life on this planet. Everything we do is made possible by plants and microorganisms, from breathing to eating. We cannot survive without the complexities of our ecosystems, which survive and evolve despite the chemicals and pollutants that we have created. In the end, if we continue on this path of destruction and contamination, we will decimate our circle and leave the Earth to rejuvenate on its own, which it has done for billions of years. We are not fighting for the life of the planet, we are fighting to save humanity. Allow your clothes, your food, and your lifestyle choices to be a reminder of the ways you can align yourself with nature. We promise you will feel the difference.