Being passionate about something often means wanting everyone to know about it and have as many people as possible join your efforts. This was definitely true for me when I learnt about the many impacts of the fashion industry, I wanted people to be aware of them and to help me spread the word. Unfortunately this wasn’t so easy. This is because fashion is seen as something frivolous and those who don’t particularly care about their style don’t feel like this is something that concerns them. But because we all wear clothes, we all play a role in the fashion industry.
It was quite frustrating seeing people not taking this seriously, I felt quite alone and anger was building up inside me as I realised the extent of the problem. I got mad at my parents and siblings when they would buy from unethical brands and was always preaching to my family and friends what they should and shouldn’t do. This wasn’t engaging, it just created countless arguments. Instead I learnt the best way to get them to live more sustainably was to lead by example. I showed them that brand new clothes aren’t always necessary and thrifting is a great way to shop, I showed them petitions to sign and explained them how powerful collective action can be. I bought gifts from sustainable brands, taught them ways to take care of clothes to make them last longer and we watched documentaries together, these might seem like small actions but they go a long way!
These are just simple things that you can do to involve more people into sustainable fashion without making anyone feel guilty or overwhelmed with negative stats! I always try to be enthusiastic when I speak about sustainability and I noticed that enthusiasm is contagious so if people around you see how passionate and excited you are about this topic, they’re more likely to support you! That won’t happen overnight so be patient, it’s all about the little things. Manage your expectations and be realistic, remember that no one can be perfect!
Educate, don’t suffocate. Being aggressive or too demanding isn’t going to persuade people around you to join in your efforts, just slowly introduce them to the topic and you’ll influence and inspire them to take actions too!