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But What Is Sustainability? | Let's cover the basics

Have you ever heard of living a sustainable lifestyle? or shopping sustainably? If not, you probably still have a good idea of what sustainability means. You’ve also probably never visited because “sustainable” is talked about a lot here. So, hello! Nice to meet you and thanks for stopping by. Sustainability has recently become the alpha word for the growing movement of making better buying decisions. Sustainability simply means maintaining something at its current state. If our goal is to sustain social justice and a healthy environment, we are striving to prevent the current situation from getting any worse. (Recycling, zero-waste, and carbon neutral are all examples of sustainability initiatives). When I hear the word sustainable, I think "common sense." As in, "well duh we should try to stop things from getting worse." We need to stop polluting the ocean with plastics, we need to stop exploiting factory workers, we really super duper need to stop releasing carbon into the atmosphere. There's something we need to get straight in our heads.

Sustainability should not be our goal.

It should just be a requirement! We should want to improve, thrive, and become better than we ever have been before. New technology and business shouldn't be considered bad things by activists and environmentalists. Humans are cool and they make really cool things. We will always have room for more improvement, discovery and daring adventure. I like the way William McDonough put it in a podcast by VOGUE Australia's sustainability editor Clare Press. He said,

"Well what's your relationship to your spouse? And if you said, 'it's sustainable,' I'd say well that doesn't sound very exciting. If sustainability is going to be being less bad, or kinda maintenance, then it's not like life, which is about growth and abundance and creativity. So let's have children, let's have fun.. It is a great word, but what I like is when it gets combined with the word 'development'."

Now that's the kind of way I want to think. And I hope the brands I am buying from are thinking that way too, striving to become both sustainable and innovative.

Sustainable fashion is fashion that isn't harming people or the earth. It has been around for awhile, but the sustainable fashion movement is growing fast. Most sustainable fashion brands are not just trying to be "less bad." They are seeking new ways to improve current working conditions, manufacturing processes and more. This whole movement is really just something I don't want to miss out on. At this rate, I am getting FOMO every time I hear of a new sustainable brand fighting for a cause or a mission. I've gotta follow them. I've gotta know how they get things done! Here on the site, the ethical brand directory is a great resource for you to find these brands. There are also many blogs, magazines, podcasts, and online marketplaces out there to introduce you to new ethical brands as well.

I'm excited to introduce you to the Sustainable Fashion Awards being put on by one of these sustainable fashion online marketplaces. Jak&Jil believes we must "Buy less. choose well. make it last," and helps us with those apparel choices. Now they want to honor those creating the clothes that practice sustainability. The award winner will receive $3,000 for a cause of their choice and $3,000 to keep. They are currently still reaching out to fashion designers and brands to be a part. On January 10, the winner will be announced on their site. If you're a designer or brand owner or know someone who is, definitely go check it out!

Thanks for reading and add your thought to the comments below!

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