Noise Pollution in the Fashion Industry?

The fashion industry is known for its poignant impacts regarding the environment, particularly when we talk about emissions. Water wastage and disposal are the most frequently visited subjects, so today I’m here to talk about a less known, but equally bad sector of the industry: noise pollution. 

To build an empire within the world of fashion we need factories. Most developing countries are home to factories and factory workers, because popular brands provide jobs and housing by employing civilians and using their resources. Conversation on the humanitarian aspects of the fashion industry opens up another dimension, so the main focus here is the effects of the factories outside of the physical pollution we see. 

Textile industries always incorporate modern automated machines, however, ‘emissions of excessive noise and ambient sound at work in the textile industry have shown a noticeable increase’. Noise levels of 70 to 110 dB are commonly recorded in textile plants workrooms and allegedly the progress towards greater speeds has resulted in excessive noise levels, often exceeding 110 dBA in spinning and weaving mills (Ejigu, 2019) (Noisy Fashion). 

The reason these stats are important are because the noise does impact individual health to varying degrees. According to Noisy Fashion’s analysis, the latest data (EEA, 2019) concludes that ‘long-term exposure to environmental noise is estimated to cause 12,000 premature deaths and contribute to 48,000 new cases of ischaemic heart disease per year’ in Europe alone. Similarly, it is estimated that 22 million people suffer chronic high annoyance and 6.5 million people suffer chronic high sleep disturbance as a result of environmental noise exposure throughout the EU member states.

Industrialisation, transportation, and urbanization have historically pushed environmental noise to the limelight, and the sustainability of future growth and development may be jeopardized as a result of noise’s detrimental consequences. These consequences have an impact on people’s quality of life and well-being, as well as the potential to affect their physiological health. Recent data from large-scale epidemiological studies has conclusively connected environmental noise exposure to negative health outcomes. 

As a result, environmental noise must be viewed not only as a nuisance but also as a serious threat to public health.

NJ Beekeepers Association Visits EB Save Club

We’ve all heard “Save the Bees” almost the same amount of times we’ve heard “Save the Turtles”- but let’s take a moment to really talk about the impact bees have on our ecosystem. Being a keystone species, they play a critical role in pollinating our crops and generally being an important factor in almost every food web because of the job they carry out. They are important commercially for farming practices worldwide and it is estimated that about one-third of global food production requires animal pollination and that 80–90 per cent of this role is carried out by honeybees (We Need Bees).

The climate crisis whiplash phase we are currently living through is disrupting more than we can ever imagine. Along with rising water levels, ecosystem habitats, and consequently animals, are being constantly overwhelmed and deranged, with bees being no exception. The rain limits the ability of spring bees to collect food for their offspring and super hot summers reduce flowering plants which is associated with fewer summer bees the next year. Warmer winters also lead to reduced numbers of some bee species. 

With that being said, the importance of bees is yet to be talked about in our school curriculums, even in classes like Environmental Science, the specifics tend to be blurred upon. And so, green clubs such as SAVE (Students Against Violating the Environment) have taken it upon themselves to spread the word, this time inspired by the New Jersey Beekeepers Association. 

New Jersey Beekeepers Association

The CJBA (Central Jersey Beekeeping Association) is a branch of the New Jersey Beekeepers Association whose focus is to promote beekeeping throughout the state. The CJBA serves Middlesex, Mercer, Monmouth, Ocean and Burlington counties.

Their mission is to:

  • Promote and support all aspects of beekeeping in Central Jersey
  • Educate the general public about the benefits and importance of beekeeping
  • Dispel myths and misinformation concerning the honeybee
  • Promote the honeybee and the beekeeping industry
  • Provide resources and communication to the beekeeping community

After meeting with Secretary, Mrs. Angela Juffey through emails, I reached out to the organization to give our club a presentation about bees. 

“My role, as Secretary and Beekeeper, is to support the CJBA’s mission. While having 14 hives, I reach out to my community and give Honeybee presentations when requested. When the weather is cooperative, my “girls” travel with me in an Observation Hive to various garden clubs, schools, libraries, and Harvest Festivals.” – Mrs. Juffey

The presentation not only covered the role bees play in the environment, but their different types, roles in the hive and even how to become a beekeeper yourself. 

Some of the highlights of the presentation included:

  • Specifics on bees, The Queen, Workers and Drones
  • Honey bee collapse
  • Colony Collapse Disorder, Cons and how it happens
  • Raw honey vs. Pasteurized Honey (Ms. Juffey does collect raw honey from her beloved bees)
  • Honey Bee diseases, pests and predators
  • Bee behavior and communication
  • How to be a friend to the bees:
    • Plant bee friendly wildflowers and shrubs: crocus and snowdrop, lavender, thyme, sage, etc.
    • Bird bath for thirsty bees
    • Dandelions have a lot of nectar for bees, so do not pick them near bee hives!!!
    • Make your own bee house – hollow bamboo shoots in a flower vase
    • Become a beekeeper
    • Always face hives east to get the bees out as soon as sun rises

As the Vice President of SAVE Cub, on behalf of all of us, I’d like to thank NJ Beekeepers Association and the wonderful Ms. Juffey for such an insightful presentation. 

Take a look at to learn more!

Is Carbon-Capturing Clothing Possible?

The Green Revolution in the 1950s made way for numerous sustainable projects on the basis of reducing carbon emissions and air pollution- which were at the highest levels ever seen following World War 2. As technology advanced, by the time we reached the 70s, scientists were able to trace disastrous climate reactions to the heating up of the atmosphere because of the unstopped emissions. The idea of Carbon-capturing technology (CCUS- Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage) came into place as a method of capturing emissions before they were released into the atmosphere, and following collection they would be converted into another energy form. However, with the Cold War and rise of nuclear warfare, the cost of sustainable energy sky-rocketed while research on their efficiency declined. So, CCUS did not get the time or money it needed for development and never became reliable enough for our daily use. 

Its all changing now, though. 

Currently, there are 21 large-scale CCUS projects for reducing factory emissions around the world. Over the past ten years, technology has been able to make carbon capture processes cost up to 70% less than before with new solvents and chemical “sponges” to capture CO2 and catalysts to speed up the CCUS processes.

Now, with these improvements on energy efficiency, we need to consider which industries must begin their transition into utilizing these technologies. Of course, those with higher contributions to overall emissions must prioritize green energy- namely, the fashion industry. In 2018, the fashion industry was responsible for 10% of global carbon emissions and nearly 20% of wastewater (mostly attributed to jeans production). Moreover, fast fashion is one of the most wasteful sections in the garment line, their very ideology of cheap clothing for cheap prices puts up major red flags. 

Keeping that in mind, certain designers have begun researching carbon–capturing type clothing, so the garments can limit their negative impact through material usage. Post Carbon Lab was founded by Dian-Jen Lin, a London College of Fashion graduate from their fashion futures program, and Hannes Hulstaert, an Architecture graduate of the University of Antwerp. Their mission in creating the company was to promote something they call Regenerative Sustainability Activism, which they describe as “making sustainability as easy and accessible as daily conveniences like putting on clothes and commuting,” which includes designing garments with photosynthetic and pollution-filtering properties to reduce the environmental impact of the fashion industry (Caldas).

As of right now, the garments feature a “living algae coating, consisting of layers of photosynthetic micro-organisms that can turn carbon dioxide into oxygen [and glucose].” To keep the algae alive and carbon-capturing, though, the outfits need to be looked after as if they were almost like plants. Caring procedures include daily watering, ph neutral detergent washing when needed, direct heat prevention, and storage in well-lit, ventilated spaces (Caldas). 

This is still an upcoming idea, and will take more time to create real SUSTAINable clothing that will last long enough to be viewed as slow fashion, without needing so many resources to ensure it’s wearability. 

To conclude with a statement from the producers, “We love how each piece has turned out and how accessible they are for people looking to make a statement and reduce their carbon footprint.” Despite the fact that the collection is only a designer concept, it demonstrates how, as time goes on,  more enterprises will seek to reduce their carbon footprints through further investigation, research, and experiments to ensure a brighter, greener future.

Take a look at Is Carbon-Capturing Clothing the Possible Future for Fashion? for more! 

Top 5 Online Thrift Stores

We know that thrifting is one of the most effective strategies to lessen your environmental footprint and avoid fast fashion.

Thrifting online brings both sustainability and convenience to the table. Rather than having to search through materials to ensure eco-friendly creation- you can be sure that simply buying from these sites already sets you on a greener path. Many online thrift stores let you narrow your search by color, size, brand, and price range to locate exactly what you want, so the options are limitless!

  1. ThredUp

ThreadUp promises good quality clothing and even provides material descriptions. Fabric content is essential regarding sustainability, and they do an excellent job of displaying that information so it’s possible to see what you’re purchasing. 

ThredUp ships in cardboard and tissue paper keeping things plastic free!

Thrift unique, one-of-a-kind treasures from your favorite brands at up to 90% off retail! Shop high quality second hand clothing on one of the largest online thrift stores. Up to 50% Off Code: NEW. 100% Guaranteed Authentic. Designer brands. Hassle-free returns.

  1. Swap

Quite similar to Thredup, garment wise, however, the pricing is notably a steal. One of the main issues people have with sustainable clothing are the prices that come with it. Swap is undeniably inexpensive, the only downfall is the lack of material description and shipping packaging. 

If purchasing from Swap, it may be beneficial to further research your cart’s materials, if you are very particular about sustainability in the processing part. Additionally, Swap does send shipments using plastic- removing a point from the eco-friendly factor!

Get 40% off your first order!

  1. eBay

One of the most popular websites for buying and selling, Ebay is very consumer-based. You have the freedom to scroll for hours, and of course, ebay extends outside of just clothing. You can turn to it for mostly anything, making it a very reliable alternative to buying new. 

Regarding a return policy, it depends on the buyer, so definitely keep your eye out on that. 

  1. Vestaire Collection 

According to Katherine Kellogg (Going Zero Waste) “Last year for mother’s day, I bought my mom a really nice scarf from Vestaire Collective and the process couldn’t have been easier. Vestaire Collective skews more towards high-end and luxury designers. Similar to Poshmark or Depop, Vestaire simply acts as the connector pairing individual sellers to buyers. The big difference is that Vestaire authenticates their sellers items. Before the scarf was sent to my mom, it first went through authentication to ensure it wasn’t a fake item. This is a great addition of security if you’re interested in buying luxury items.”

  1. Etsy

Etsy is an online marketplace that connects sellers with buyers. It is primarily used for selling vintage items, handmade goods, art, and crafts. To sell on Etsy, you must create an account before you can open a storefront.

Etsy is also the first major online shopping destination to offset 100% of carbon emissions from shipping so every time you purchase an item on Etsy, they balance out the carbon emissions by creating a positive environmental impact. Regarding packaging, you can contact your seller and explain how you’d like the package to be plastic-free or sustainably packaged!

Be sure to check these online thrift stores out and give one a try! 

Tips for a Sustainable New Year

2021 is coming to an end, and with a year full of notable moments, we are ready to move onto the next. I’m sure you all have your own new year resolutions, but here’s a few more simple ones to add to the list. This way, you’ll improve more than just yourself- take a hit at helping our environment too!

  1. Switch our disposables for a reusable set
    1. Utensils and straws come in more reliable, good quality metals
    2. Rather than using paper towels for hand drying, invest in kitchen towels and throw them in the wash with your regular laundry load
    3. Tote bags instead of plastic bags 
    4. Reusable cotton balls and face cleansing tools for makeup removal 
  2. Careful food-shopping: When you go grocery shopping, start at the perimeter of the store. The bulk and produce areas, which are usually on the outskirts of grocery stores, are a wonderful place to start if you want to avoid the central aisles’ excessive packaging.
  1. Eat less meat: Eating less meat and dairy is the most effective strategy to lower your carbon footprint. You could try Meatless Mondays, being Vegan Before 6 like author Mark Bittman, only eating meat on weekends, only purchasing ethically and sustainably produced meat and dairy, or simply going vegetarian or vegan, or participating in Veganuary, depending on how much meat and dairy you already consume.
  1. Avoid driving solo: Try public transportation or carpooling
  2. Try packaging alternatives: Look for bamboo, glass, and stainless steel alternatives to plastic packaging.
  3. Buy less “new,” try secondhand: Limit yourself to one new purchase every month and buy everything else secondhand or make it yourself! For example, Goodwill!
  1. Shop locally: Shopping locally is a great way to reduce carbon emissions and grow your local economy. This takes into consideration transportation and packaging for more commercialized stores. 
  1. Choose organic alternatives: Choose organic whenever possible. Organic farming uses fewer resources, protects bees, prevents air and groundwater pollution, and increases biodiversity, which are all critical to sustainability in the truest sense of the word. 
  1. Say no to fast fashion! Gone are the days of overpriced, irritable hemp dresses. With the rise of climate based advocation, brands have been making themselves more accessible to the general public with cute styles and good prices.
  1. Keep your eyes open and influence your community: Send an email or leave a review every time you visit a restaurant or store with excessive plastic packaging, requesting sustainable alternatives. You could do the same with online shopping for clothes, everyday materials etc. 

Even if you can’t do it all, you start making a difference one step at a time. Pick up one point from the list, see if it works out and then add more with time. 

Happy new year to you all, and best of luck with your resolutions!

The Fashion Industry’s Efforts at COP26

Despite sustainability’s numerous jumps in recent years, committing to net-zero and relying on carbon-offsetting procedures will (probably) never be enough to bring us back where we should be. These means will only attempt to undo the unsustainable emissions that have already been collected in the atmosphere. Even with motives like “carbon positivity”- where we utilize more carbon than we emit- we need changes on a bigger scale. Please, don’t regard my negative tone as “biased”; I’m simply giving you a realistic rundown. 

The global climate summit wrapping up in Glasgow is known as COP26, with COP standing for Conference of the Parties. In diplomatic parlance, “the parties” refers to the 197 nations that agreed to a new environmental pact. The United States and other countries ratified the treaty, which aims to combat “dangerous human interference with the climate system” and stabilize levels of greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere. This is the 26th time countries have gathered under the convention. Hence, COP26 (“What does COP stand for?”). We’re at a place where the fashion industry’s emissions are actually double what they should be in order to stay in line with the Paris Agreement’s goal of keeping global warming to 1.5 degrees celsius (Chan). The enormity of the situation called for the  United Nations Fashion Industry Charter For Climate Action to gather and set initiatives that rule out specific ways of reading CO2 emissions in order to keep them level with the Paris agreement.

So far, specific changes include increasing the percentage by which CO2 emissions will be reduced- however the real question of how is not as easy to come by. Brands like Burberry, Chanel and Gucci have committed to halving greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, rather than solely decreasing by 30% like the original plan was. 

These commitments only do so much, so setting transparent, specific goals can also ensure reliance. The Charter has also set a new target for 100% of “priority” materials – such as cotton, viscose, polyester, wool and leather – to be low climate impact by 2030. The agreement specifically points to materials that can be recycled in a closed loop, and are deforestation-free, conversion-free (meaning natural ecosystems are not destroyed in the process) and produced using regenerative practices (Chan). 

Transparency with the pubic is as important as transparency within the creative process. Brands must work with their suppliers to track the supply chain and recognize which areas are in need of change. The new Charter pledges tier one and tier two providers to phase out coal by 2030, with zero new coal power by 2023, as well as assisting suppliers in implementing science-based targets by the end of 2025.

To track progress and ensure efficiency, brands have a year from now to submit their plans regarding specifics on how they will reduce their emissions, and will send reports every three years to serve as updates. These plans will be evaluated on effectiveness through constant monitoring to guarantee we reach out carbon emission goals by 2023. 

With further research, I came across a simple, general list that could be a starting point for most large brand names. 

  1. Reducing energy usage

This can be done through utilizing more energy efficient lights, appliances, switching to a green web hosting company etc. 

  1. Eliminate single use plastic

Every time someone discards a plastic straw, bag, cup, or other packaging materials, they contribute to climate change.Cafeteria silverware, disposable coffee cups, and plastic water bottles can all be easily replaced with reusable alternatives. Reusable replacements cut carbon emissions while also lowering waste disposal expenses.Additionally, for shipment, using degradable material for shipping and not overpacking can decrease waste buildup by a large margin. 

  1. Tracking supply chain efficiency

Increased transparency with suppliers allows companies to see where resources are wasted through inefficient operations. 

Take a look at Vogue’s “How Fashion Is Ramping Up Its Climate Efforts at COP26″ for a more in-depth analysis. 

An Ethical Guide to Tackling Black Friday & Cyber Monday

At any other time of the year, it’s easy to preach sustainability and anti-black Friday mindsets because of the holiday’s celebration of overconsumption. However, as Thanksgiving break rolls in and you see everyone around you doing clothing hauls and stores flaunting 50% off sales, it becomes hard to resist the temptation to go out and shop; especially when you give yourself the excuse that it’s for the holidays and you’re gift shopping. 

As companies slash prices for the kickoff of the holiday shopping season between Thanksgiving Day and Cyber Monday, shoppers overconsume electronics, plastics and fast-fashion apparel — and our planet ultimately pays the price. According to the National Retail Federation, an estimated 164 million people plan to go shopping between Thanksgiving Day and Cyber Monday this year (“Tips For Conscious Consumerism”). Along with this, on a personal basis,  Americans are expected to spend an average of $837 on gifts this holiday season (“5 Ways to Shop”).  

As a high schooler, I can confidently say that I understand the external pressures as well as anyone. I can also say I have emerged strong (following Black Friday) buying nothing. So, take my word, and here’s a guide on how to deal with Black Friday more sustainably!

  1. Don’t buy anything!

Of course, this is easier said than done, and the most obvious solution- but consider it. If you find yourself in a position where you have no wishlist, no research or any necessities during Black Friday, then there really is no reason to shop. While most people do wait for this time of the year to splurge the most, if you aren’t in that group, then the most logical reason is to keep your distance. 

  1. Make a wishlist before you go

Make a list of goods you’ve been intending to buy all year before Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Include any items you want to buy as gifts for others. First you make a list of necessities; things you need to replace, something you’ve been saving up for, etc. Then you make a second list of things you want. These should be items you have given some thought to, but aren’t vital. If you can see yourself using these items on multiple occasions and if you find a good deal on them, then it’s a good buy. If you see yourself falling into the trap of purchasing just because something is on sale and you’ve never actually thought about it- you catch yourself. That is why the wish list is helpful; by going in with an idea of what you’ll come out with, you avoid unnecessary purchases. 

(I actually do this one every time I go shopping!)

  1. Purchase essentials first

You definitely have a few favorite goods that you use on a regular basis, and some of them are probably more expensive than you’d like. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are excellent opportunities to stock up on home essentials.

  1. Combine shipments 

Instead of ordering per individual, plan ahead and order as much as you can all at once. Then, rather than  20 individual boxes and shipments, you can buy for the entire family in one transaction, one shipment, and one payment. This will greatly reduce your carbon footprint outside of over-purchasing.

  1. Stay mindful, participate in Giving Tuesday!

Launched in 2012, Giving Tuesday is a heartening development in the wake of Black Friday and Cyber Monday mayhem — and a way you can take action as an individual. This global movement across more than 150 countries encourages charitable donations and community action, and it serves as a good reminder to get involved in causes you care about. This Giving Tuesday, consider volunteering to clean up trash in your local park, starting a fundraiser, or offering your professional services for free to a short-staffed nonprofit organization or mutual aid in your area. You can also simply donate money to your favorite charity or organization, like Oceana! (“Tips For Conscious Consumerism”)

In addition to all of these, if you do end up shopping, go for more sustainable brands: 

Check out my blog post with brand specifics: Best Affordable + Sustainable Fashion Brands

Have a happy Cyber Monday and stay sustainable! 

Is Halloween An Excuse to Buy Fast Fashion?

Short answer, no. There’s never an excuse to buy fast fashion with the wear-it-once mentality. 

The most recent trend we’ve seen lately, regarding Halloween costumes, is buying a whole new set you’ll wear one time and then throwing it out or donating it because it can’t be reworn. This creates a multitude of problems, starting with the wasted garment material. If the clothing is donated, it will likely go to the trash because of the cheap material most read-made costumes come in. Additionally, goodwill stores have proven to be highly selective with their donation process, so even if the clothing is in an okay state- more often than not, it will end up in a landfill. So, while the warm sentiment is there, the fact is, up to 90 percent of clothing donations to Goodwill, Salvation Army, and other charities ends up with textile recyclers, according to a Saturday Evening Post report.

For clothes that don’t immediately land up in your trash can or recycling, it will sit in your closet collecting dust for years to come- waiting for that inevitable moment. The main idea is inarguable; Halloween is fueled by consumerism. The carbon footprint left behind following October 31st each year is unmatchable when it comes to garment unsustainability. 

According to the National Retail Foundation, the expected consumer spending on Halloween-related items was $10.14 billion. To magnify our topic on clothing sustainability, it is estimated that 4 in 10 costumes are only worn once (Fairyland Trust). Halloween presents a different idea with one-time use costumes, which goes against the sustainability agenda of promoting higher-quality goods that will last longer and eliminate fast fashion.

Despite the fact that there are more environmentally beneficial ways to dispose of costumes, only about 13% of the material is recycled internationally, and just 1% is repurposed into new apparel. Due to the failure of costumes to be fully recycled, I propose that you construct your own costumes, restricting your purchases to rewearable items or (at most) inexpensive accessories to really pull off your look.

In response to the unsustainable mentality that comes with Halloween, campaigns around the world such as Sew Spooky encourage people to be creative with their costumes. Through costume workshops and swaps, people can get involved with their community and celebrate Halloween while still being conscious of the environment. Keeping the environment in mind during the holidays can make a significant difference (Scot Scoop).

A list formulated by Harvard Education offers different ways of celebrating a greener Halloween. 

Check out 6 Tips for a Greener Halloween.

This list includes:

  1. Vintage, DIY costumes
  2. Getting craft with your fall decorations
  3. Throw a green party
  4. Purchase sustainably and locally grown pumpkins
  5. Pass out organic, gmo free candy
  6. Reuse!!!

Be sure to share this list with your friends for a greener Halloween next year!

Biodiversity and Fast Fashion’s “Positive” Feedback Loop

First, to define biodiversity, it’s the variability of life on Earth. The different kinds of life you will find in an area is classified as biodiversity. To go back to the importance of the food web, each element in an ecosystem plays a huge role, and for one to be forcibly changed will alter the whole system. 

There are different ways ecosystems react to changes- and changes can vary from a resource decrease because of human interference or the introduction of invasive species. As of right now, there are prevalent examples on both of these subjects; the climate crisis and carbon emissions are a result of human activity and Spotted Lanternflies are the current invasive species taking New Jersey by storm. 

However, the balance of nature is a theory that proposes that ecological systems are usually in a stable equilibrium or homeostasis. This means, with change- an environment will always take measures to keep balance and any negative change will be stabilized. So essentially, based on how magnified the change is- it can have negative or positive feedback. 

For most manmade changes, the impact is bad enough that nature can’t counter the impacts. This leads to events that can create a positive feedback loop- which means that changes occur and lead to more changes. For example, global warming causes ice to melt- which makes water levels rise and increases the area for the sun to reflect off of and create more heat- once again starting the cycle. 

So what’s the positive (not so positive) impact loop in the fashion industry? In one general statement, the whole cycle of fast fashion can place you in a never ending loop. It starts with manipulation from the companies themselves. 20 years ago, there were 4 fashion seasons. Every quarter, brands would release new styles promoting the change of season. Now, there are 52 seasons with different styles released every week, in unforgettable patterns. By promoting clothes that can’t be reworn because of bright colors and trendy designs, consumers are forced to constantly purchase more and more. The media and fashion corporations have put pressure on individuals, making them think rewearing clothes is not a good look. In addition to buying fad styles to keep up with the ever-changing seasons, these companies make bad quality, cheap clothes that crumble after 3 washes. This forces consumers to go out and buy more clothes- because the last ones couldn’t sustain enough wears. 

This crisis moves from a consumer issue to an environmental one, explained by BioMedCenter on the topic of environmental health in The global environmental injustice of fast fashion.

Environmental justice is defined by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, as the “fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color national origin, or income, with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations and policies” [5]. In the United States, this concept has primarily been used in the scientific literature and in practice to describe the disproportionate placement of superfund sites (hazardous waste sites) in or near communities of color. However, environmental justice, as it has been defined, is not limited to the United States and need not be constrained by geopolitical boundaries. The textile and garment industries, for example, shift the environmental and occupational burdens associated with mass production and disposal from high income countries to the under-resourced (e.g. low income, low-wage workers, women) communities in LMICs. Extending the environmental justice framework to encompass the disproportionate impact experienced by those who produce and dispose of our clothing is essential to understanding the magnitude of global injustice perpetuated through the consumption of cheap clothing. In the context of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 12 which calls for sustainable consumption and production as part of national and sectoral plans, sustainable business practices, consumer behavior, and the reduction and elimination of fast fashion should all be a target of global environmental justice advocates.

So, in the realm of fast fashion, every move impacts another and places us back in a never ending circle. The only way to remove yourself from that lifestyle is to make an effort to push out. 

Sustainable Stars at the 2021 Met Gala

With the sustainability trend growing on the red carpet, it’s no surprise that this year’s Met Gala was full of eco-conscious looks. The 2021 theme was “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion,” so we saw a wide range of looks- varying from political statements to old-hollywood. This year was also the first to offer an entirely plant-based menu, so along with fashion sustainability, we saw it with the food too! From Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez to Billie Eilish, here’s a list of the most sustainable and fashionable Met Gala outfits.

Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez: Brother Vellies

Met Gala: AOC is still defending her 'Tax the Rich' dress - Los Angeles  Times

AOC wore her own statement piece, a “Tax the Rich” dress. Brother Vellies is known for creating homemade dresses (sustainably handcrafted) pieces from artists internationally. The brand began in Brooklyn, founded by Aurora James. Ocasio-Cortez claimed she was proud to work with James,”sustainably focused, black immigrant woman.” Additionally, the dress was borrowed from a Fashion Library, making it more sustainable than purchasing and never rewearing. By promoting clothing libraries, you prolong the service life of garments, therefore reducing the demand for new clothing and slowing down the fashion cycle.

Billie Eilish: Oscar de la Renta

Billie Eilish wore her Oscar de la Renta Met Gala dress on one condition -  CNN Style

Eilish’s Grace Kelly inspired gown was created by the already-sustainable Oscar de la Renta. . She only agreed to walk the red carpet in the show-stopping dress if the brand agreed to stop using fur in future collections; and they did. So, Eilish convinced Oscar de la Renta to ditch fur. 

Adam Mosseri and Monica Mosseri: Bode and Kamperett

Adam Mosseri and his wife monica wear KAMPERETT met gala 2021, net worth |  Mebere

Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri wore a geometric suit repurposed from vintage fabrics by Bode, while his wife wore a Kamperett gown made from dead-stock materials.

Nia Dennis: Adidas by Stella McCartney

Watch Viral Gymnast Do Performance at the Met Gala

Gymnast Nia Dennis walked the Met Gala 2021 red carpet in a bright blue bodysuit and an all-vegan Adidas by Stella McCartney netted wrap and Earthlight sneakers. The shoes are made of Parley Ocean Plastic, a brand which recycles plastic waste found in the ocean. 

Ella Emhoff: Adidas by Stella McCartney

Kamala Harris' stepdaughter Ella Emhoff hits 2021 Met Gala

Rising fashion icon, Ella Emhoff stunned in red. Similar to Nia Dennis, she wore a beautiful red diamond bodysuit and Earthlight trainers from Adidas by Stella McCartney.

Jennifer Lopez: Ralph Lauren

MET Gala 2021: Jennifer Lopez Rocks 2 Jaw-Dropping Looks Back to Back --  but Where Was Ben Affleck?

JLo proved, once again, there’s no place or reason for real fur on the red carpet (or anywhere)! She wore a faux fur bolero jacket along with rodeo inspired accessories. 

Tessa Thompson: Iris Van Herpen and Rombaut 

Actress and producer Tessa Thompson wore a pair of vegan cowboy boots to the red carpet by Rombaut, which uses various vegan and upcycled materials such as cactus leather, apple leather and felt made of recycled polyester. 

Check out more links on this year’s Met Gala!

Met Gala Red Carpet Sustainable Looks

Oscar de la Renta Finally Ditched Fur. We Can Thank Billie Eilish