Peony, an adorable swimwear line from Australia I’ve fallen in love with, is going sustainable this season. As if boasting feminine florals, quality craftsmanship and beautiful fit aren’t love-inducing enough, this Spring they decided to take a lead in what is undoubtedly one of the most important causes in the fashion industry: sustainability.
Fashion, particularly fast-fashion (designs produced at low-cost, high speeds and high turnover rates), produces inexorable damage to both the environment and our wallets. From leaching toxic chemicals and microplastics into our oceans, using large amounts of clean water and dangerous pesticides for agriculture, life-threatening working conditions for workers, and the small shelf-life these products give us, in turn having us spend more, results in a system that does a whole lot of damage for just about…nothing. Nothing, because statistics show the average American throws away huge amounts of clothing, each household producing 80 lbs of textile waste per year. When you apply that number to the entire country, roughly 10.5 million tons of textile waste is being thrown away each year. For exaggeration, let me drag out the zeros: 10,500,000 tons.
–Prioritize quality over quantity (Save to buy better and long-term, rather than more of short-term. Quality items last longer!).
— Know where your clothes come from (Are they made in sweat factories? Are they made locally or consciously? To whom is your money going to?).
— Awareness about textiles (check the tags before purchasing! Are the materials synthetic? Chemical-ridden? or recycled?).
— Upcycling and recycling (although big change starts with our purchases, as around 75% of our textile donations go straight to landfills).
— Buying vintage or used items. Another form of recycling, giving new life to items that risk going to landfills.
— Last but (maybe) least, if you do buy something from a fast-fashion retailer, make sure you 100%, absolutely love it. That’s my rule. Otherwise, most likely that item will sit in the closet and be donated to a landfill at the end of three years.
In Peony’s case, their swimwear this season is made from upcycled Nylon textiles. “Nylon waste such as fishing nets, carpets, and fabric remnants are collected…regenerated by Econyl through a depolymerization process that returns it to its natural form…transformed into textile yarn and woven or knitted into high-quality fabric in Italy. The end result is premium quality peony swimwear that is not only beautiful but sustainable and good for your soul.” (1)
As a model working in the fashion industry, I take pride in being able to collaborate and work with brands and designers that have a sincere will to change the way fashion is consumed and produced. With fashion being the second largest polluting industry in the world (behind oil)(2), it’s important we all do our best to do our part in taking care of our planet. It’s also important to realize that we, as consumers, have the power to make big change. Money talks and where we decide to spend our money has a large impact on our planet. The sooner we become aware of our spending habits, the sooner the fast-fashion companies will realize we aren’t buying it. Literally.
A few shots from their past season 🙂