Do you have to compromise on style to be sustainable? – VILDNIS

Do you have to compromise on style to be sustainable?


Have you ever thought about changing your fashion buying habits to buying sustainable (ethical and/or eco-friendly) fashion only? 

I did. A holiday in Borneo some years ago touched me deeply and inspired me to change my shopping habits.

Borneo is one of the most beautiful places on the planet: white sandy beaches with clear turquoise waters, rain forests with an abundance of wild life, mangroves and impressive mountains. But it also has a darker side: the palm oil industry constantly expanding, deforesting and ruining wild life habitats.

However much I love Nutella, upon our return to the UK I decided to make some changes to my grocery shopping habits and stop buying products with palm oil. Apart from having to ditch the incredibly addictive 'hazelnut' spread, it was an easy change and I decided to make better choices in general - ethical & environmentally friendly -  including when shopping fashion!

In our family we have a tradition of writing wish lists for Christmas and birthdays, helping to point each other in the direction of something that we would really love & cherish. The following Christmas, I spent hours and hours trying to find cool, ethical and eco-friendly fashion brands. I discovered a few sustainable brands, but they were all quite artisan and 'eco-looking'. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that, but when you are a rock-chic at heart like me, it was just too much of a compromise on my image & identity and I ended up with an empty list... 

I started wondering why only a few of the high-street fashion brands offer (half-hearted) sustainable collections? Having worked in the fashion industry for years, and experienced both the good and bad sides of it, I knew that it is possible to source AMAZING sustainable fabrics that look and feel exactly like conventional fashion fabrics - and at a reasonable price.

Similarly, I knew that it is possible to choose factories who treat their workers nicely, including paying fair wages, without having to position the brand in the premium or luxury category. Yes, it IS the end of the t-shirt that retails at £4 and that is a good thing. How can a retailer pay a reasonable wage to a factory worker if the cost price at maximum £2 includes: fabric, sewing, shipping & overheads to name a few?

It suddenly became crystal clear that this wasn't about changing my personal shopping habits - it was about changing the norms in the fashion industry. And about challenging and changing the perception of sustainable fashion. 

With VILDNIS, we want to show you that it is possible to shop sustainable fashion AND maintain your usual cool style & image at the same time. That eco-friendly and ethical fashion can be just as contemporary, bold, edgy & audacious as conventional fashion!

VILDNIS is more than a fashion brand though. It is a lifestyle, and we hope it will serve as inspiration to enjoy all the amazing places on the planet & life in general, while making responsible choices. Doing good & feeling good at the same time. 

You now have a choice!

Ulla

 


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