Welcome August! I can’t believe we’re rounding the corner of another seasonal change. Are you looking forward to a new season? Do you like change? Or do you resist it? I wouldn’t be a proper Gemini if I didn’t say I’m a mix of both. I’m currently on my way to my sister in law’s chalet just outside of Montreal and although I was looking forward to the change of scenery, I am feeling very unhinged. This is so weird! Why? This time last year I was landing in Heraklion on Crete and looking forward to a month of sun, beach and adventure - why am I so nervous about spending time one province away? 

Of course, change has its benefits. I’m hoping to get away from daily life tasks and focus on some long term projects for you while away, but it got me thinking about change in the fashion industry. Good change. In McKinsey & Company’s The State of Fashion report for 2020, two of the top 10 themes are sustainability and inclusivity. Of course, this makes me really happy but it also means that many brands will see these themes as trends, and not long term changes that need to be implemented with longevity in mind. So what does that mean for you as a consumer?



Even more than before, it means we have to put our bullsh*t goggles on and suss out brands that are greenwashing (when a brand or company markets the idea that they’re doing more for the environment than they actually are), or simply using buzz words like “sustainability” and “conscious” to be on trend and sell more things we don’t need. This isn’t easy though - for brands or consumers. Proper change into a sustainable model takes time, and for brands that truly are making changes, it won’t happen all at once. But I do believe there are specific things we can look for. So here’s my tip for the month, which, when it becomes a habit, gets easier and easier.

For a more detailed background of what greenwashing is, as well as global cases of greenwashing, I found this article on Medium really helpful. 

When it comes to due diligence, I understand we don’t all have a lot of time to deep dive into brands we are interested in, so I rely heavily on apps and sites like Good on You and Marielle Elizabeth (for plus size slow fashion), to help me get a quick idea of whether I can trust a brand. 

If you do have a bit of time, here are a few quick things I keep an eye out for on websites: 

1 - a detailed sustainability or environmental impact section(s) OR detailed product pages: Just because a company has a sustainability page, doesn’t necessarily mean they’re free and clear (see below). You can also seek out great general information about a company’s practices (whether they use limited size runs, or deadstock, or whether all items are produced in house, etc.) and glean from that how they treat the environment and people who work for them. Ice Breaker is a great example of this. They don’t splash “sustainable” all over their site but the amount of in depth information about their fabric, manufacturing and supply chain is a great indicator of their practices. 

2 - fluffy words and no substance: a sustainability page, or phrases on their “about” page that use a lot of buzz words without actually explaining what makes their fabrics eco-friendly, if they’re recycled, where their product is produced, and how they maintain ethical and environmental standards through their supply chain. Always look for supportive information to back any claim.

3 - certifications: this one is tough because as far as I know, there is no international regulation on these certifications so I am wary of assuming a company is great just because they have one. Certifications that I look for are: Certified B Corp, FSC, GOTS  and 1% for the Planet. There are countless others, but these are some of the most internationally recognized. 

4 - trade-offs: I’ve been fooled by this one - where a company will emphasize a strong environmental initiative in one area to divert attention away from a very unsustainable practice in another area. As an example; a company brings attention to the use of biodegradable packaging or recycled materials, but they produce many new styles on a weekly basis. 

5 - match your scrutiny with your source: I think an additional dose of detective work is required when the source of any sustainability claim is coming from a brand or influencer who has never shown an interest in sustainability before. Looking for authenticity is difficult via a tiny screen, but this is where asking questions is key.

This article outlines more ways to identify greenwashing if you’re keen! 

If you don't know what signs indicate quality in garments, its hard to fill your closet with long lasting clothing! In this video point out the hallmarks of quality that I look for no matter the price point.
I did a bonus Shop Your Closet video featuring two awesome bloggers who I recently discovered. And I got to break out the tutu! Watch it here.
This little triangle diamond necklace from Mejuri has been a great accessory on days when I want to keep accessories light. *affiliate
It was my turn to pick the book for a bookclub I'm part of and I chose Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi. We are meeting about it next week but in my personal opinion, I loved it. It is an intergenerational novel and starts with two half sisters from Ghana whose lives lead to vastly different lineages. I would highly recommend! You can find it here.
Thank you so much for reading, I am always grateful to be included in some small way in your day. Wishing you a beautiful month of August. xx
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