How to Make Your Diwali More Eco-Friendly

Diwali is the festival of lights, a time for festivities and cheer, where families and friends get together and exchange presents, eat sweets, and light up their homes with diyas and rangoli art. It symbolizes “victory of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance.” and is widely observed. The sense of warmth, appreciation and togetherness that this holiday provokes plays a large part in it’s importance and reputation. Celebrated by millions of people, starting in South Asia and the West Indies, now all over the world, the celebration spans the month of October or November. The occasion lasts for five days, but the festivities last for weeks. 

People get together and light the sky up, and while there is no denying the beauty in the  traditional activity, there are some environmental impacts that tend to get overlooked. The action of individually lighting fireworks and firecrackers (during all celebrations which call for it) in itself is not harmful enough, but added together, the effects are causing a strain.

There are ways of maintaining the air pollution that is generated, while still being able to have fun and participate in activities, it is just important not to overdo it- simply for the sake of the bigger ecological picture. 

Fireworks and diwali go hand in hand, although lately this celebration tactic has gone overboard. Fireworks create dire consequences, during all phases of its lifeline. During production, the chemicals used in the manufacturing process pollute surroundings and create large buildups of waste. During combustion, the chemicals can put the surrounding people at risk. It is a real threat for people with asthma or chemical sensitivity. The inhalation of these chemicals can also cause breathing difficulties, and highly populated cities like Delhi face the brunt of impact  with the nearly suffocating air. 

Additionally, the greenhouse gases released from fireworks jeopardize the planet’s stability. Over-accumulation of greenhouse gases causes a buildup in the atmosphere, creating a blanket and warming the overall temperature. The steady climate rise comes with it’s own list of problems, destroying habitats, resources and posing a great threat to majority ecosystems, if not all. 

Alternative Solutions

Putting an end to the usage of fireworks is not an option most people would consider, so there are alternatives to make the most of the fun, while limiting possible dangerous reactions. 

  1. Reducing the days of celebration.

The occasion lasts five days, but celebrations go on for weeks before and after the said five. Each get together consists of hour of lighting firecrackers and fireworks, and with more than 1 billion people celebrating, the effects add up to be outrageous. In 2019, days before Diwali, New Delhi citizens were concerned for their own welfare, scared of what would happen when the diwali celebrations clashed with the unhealthy air quality and smog. The air quality index, which ranks pollution from 0-500, reached 256, classified as “very unhealthy.” Rather than lighting fireworks every day for an entire month each year, it is better to limit celebrations to one or two nights. This way it stays true to the original celebration of 5 days, and reduces the amount of unnecessary pollution. 

  1. Reducing the hours spent celebrating.

Rather than lighting fireworks for the entire night, creating both air and noise pollution, setting time regulations would prove beneficial. This will make the event more exciteful and inviting, rather than overtime becoming a nuisance to those not participating. Having set times would increase anticipation for the event and would likely have better social results. Additionally, reducing and regulating the hours spent on launching fireworks is sure to bring down the overall collection of unclean air and over time it;s impact will begin to show clearly. 

Waste Buildup

The accumulation of waste is highly unsustainable, and a lot of the waste is not disposed of properly. It is not uncommon to see used firecrackers heaped up in corners on the streets, and while this is already harmful to the environmental growth of the location, it is highly toxic for any animal or living thing that could unknowingly ingest it. 

There are proper ways to dispose of used firecrackers.

  1. Submerge firecrackers into a bucket of water
  2. Leave submerged overnight
  3. Double wrap firecrackers in plastic wrap so it does not dry out
  4. Place inside a regular garbage bag and take it to your solid waste facility. 

Health Effects

This article previously mentioned the effect chemicals from combusting fireworks have on people. 

Here is a list of more specific issues triggered by the chemicals released from firecrackers:

The Ill Effects of Firecrackers

It is important to raise awareness about the environment and it’s steady deterioration. Changing our lives in these small ways can have the greatest impact and people must be reminded to never overlook the smallest actions they can do to create a better future. 

How To Fall In Love With Your Wardrobe Again

Contrary to common misconception, wearing the same clothes does not have to be boring or uninspired. Experimenting between different styles in your own wardrobe can heighten your own love for fashion, while being the most sustainable option. There are different ways to fall back in love with your closet. By following these steps, your wallet won’t be the only one thanking you; rewearing clothing you already own is one of the highest forms of ethical fashion and reducing your footprint. 

Aesthetic clothing – Casual and Formal wears are relatively cheap

1. Disregard Fashion Trends 

Overtime, fashion trends have gotten increasingly ridiculous, with the constant changes of nearly 52 micro-trends a year. It is better to simply ignore them, rather than fall into their trap. A way to do this is to stick to buying classical, sustainable pieces with long lifelines that can be paired in different ways. By unadhering to fashion trends, you are more likely to find your own preferred style. This way, you will stop unnecessarily buying new clothing whenever new trends come into the picture- and as a result, you will have less clutter and useless, unworn clothing taking up space. 

2. Wear Your Star Pieces More Regularly 

Special pieces often find themselves sitting in the back of the closet, waiting to come out. Usually, more special clothing is not worn as much because of the fear of over usage and eventual demise. The common tearing, staining and generally spoiled scenarios want to be avoided, therefore these clothes are rarely used. Wearing them more often is a great place to start. Clothes are bound to get damaged, but better to wear it to the extent and enjoy wearing it, than to let it rot alone. These star pieces can be dressed up or dressed down, it’s all about the accessories and the way you style them. 

3. Purge Your Closet 

Sometimes, the best thing you can do for your closet is to give it a ruthless purge. Start from the beginning, empty out your closet entirely and then get started. Purging is different from your end-of-the-season cleaning; rather than removing all the seasonal clothing that are damaged or out of style, you go through it ALL. There are countless garments that you have “just in case” that you really just forgot about, or will never wear. Tidying expert, Marie Kondo, refers to this tactic and goes in depth in her book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. To effectively purge your closet, follow these four steps:

Step 1: Empty Out Your Closet

Take out all your clothes, everything from the attic, storage, and laundry. Start with the full lot to get the biggest picture of what you have and to purge most effectively. 

Step 2: Sort Each Item Into 4 Piles

Love It- Something you can’t see yourself living without, and fitting for the current season can be put right back into your closet. 

Maybe- If it doesn’t feel just right, whether it be the color or the fit; put it into a box and if over the course of the season you find yourself wanting it, go get it. If you feel no urge to bring it out, then it’s time to donate it.

Hate It- Straight to donation.

Seasonal- If it is not in season but you wear it frequently and love it, then store it in a box until the season comes around, and bring it out when the time is appropriate. 

Step 3: Assess What’s Left In Your Closet

Live with you clothes for a while before deciding whether you need to go and shop for more. This is when you begin to consider shopping less frequently, and more sustainably.

Step 4: Shop

Make a list of what you need, and shop smart. Ask yourself whether you will wear it often, whether it can be paired with different outfits, if it is good quality and sustainable. Think before you buy.

“When you feel like you have a closet full of clothes, and nothing to wear, start by purging your closet.”

Check out How To Purge Your Closet and Love Your Wardrobe for more information on the process. 

4. Rearrange and Organize Your Closet

Overtime, our closets get organized in such a way that the most used clothing stays in the front, while the ones that are used less get pushed further back. Reorganize in such a way that all the clothes are visible to you, so you can create different combinations and make your old clothes feel new. Make your closet easy to navigate, so you see your variety of options rather than sticking to the overused ones. Don’t shy off from trying new combinations until you find one that works. 

5. Keep Clothes Away During The Off-Season 

Having a capsule wardrobe can involve small tricks, such as removing off season clothing, and then adding them back to your closet when the season starts up again. During summer, put your sweaters and cardigans away and keep your shorts and tank tops. Once cooler weather starts rolling around again, bring it all back out and you’ll find yourself feeling more excited to wear them all again. It can also bring a freshness and creativity to one’s wardrobe and outfit planning (Fall In Love With Your Closet Again). 

Follow these steps and regularly perform some of these recommendations, and your closet will never feel dull again. Fall back in love with your own fashion. 

Plastic Inside Your Clothes: The Impact and Solution

Humans have been generating more plastic waste now than ever before. Plastic and it’s byproducts can be found in nearly everything, and the waste litters our oceans and cities. It has a large contribution to stemming health issues, in both animals and humans. The fact that plastic cannot be escaped is proved even further when clothes are taken into consideration. The irresponsible usage and lack of upcycling has major short-term and long-term effects. 

It is clear that people have begun to be more conscious, by resisting the usage of plastic utensils, bottles and packaging- but people fail to realize that even their clothes contain plastic. 60% of clothing produced is made from plastic. Considering there are 16.9 million tons of clothing produced each year, it is important to realize that about 10,200,000 tons from that is plastic. What happens to it? Where does it all go?

A new problem arising from the usage of plastic in clothing, are the tiny microplastics (microfibers). When garments are washed in the washing machine, and the water is later disposed of, the microfibers get released into the environment. According to Plymouth University UK, each washing machine cycle can release 700,000 microscopic particles into the the world, infiltrating natural habitats. The study goes on to explain that a single person can release 300 million polyester particles, simply as a result of running their washing machine.

Which materials contain plastic?

  • Polyester
  • Polyamide
  • Spandex (lycra)
  • Acetate
  • Vegan Leather
  • Elastane
  • Acrylic
  • Nylon

Blends of these materials, especially containing synthetics are especially difficult because they are rarely recyclable and still release microfibers. Acrylic has proven to be one of the worst fabrics in this category.  An average washing load could release ~728,789 fibers from acrylic, ~137,951 fibers from polyester-cotton blend fabric, and ~496,030 fibers from polyester. 

The released fibers prove to be catastrophic for the environment. After being released into the environment, it is consumed by animals. The material proceeds to clog their guts and the animals commonly face death as a result. 

To prevent this problem from creating a larger impact, it is important to take a stand and learn about different solutions. Every time you go to buy clothes, buy sustainable fabrics. Investing in high quality materials leads to longer usage and less waste. The longer materials are used, the less plastic is wasted. 

Choose natural, biodegradable materials such as organic cotton, recycled cotton, bamboo, and Tencel. One of the most sustainable options include upcycling from your own wardrobe. Experiment with revamping your own wardrobe, stop investing in more unethical clothing. 

Wash your clothing less often, make sure you wash and buy with reason. The more frequently you wash your clothing, the more microfibers are released. Washing them in cooler temperatures for shorter amounts of time proves successful. Always be careful with how you dispose of your clothing and never undermine the beauty of upcycling. 

Check out 9 Sustainable Fabrics To Be On the Lookout For for more ideas about which materials to invest in. 

Alex James: Slowing Down Fast Fashion Summary

5 Must-See Fast Fashion Documentaries | Shop Ethical and Organic Apparel  for Kids
Documentary Film by Alex James

Film Synopsis: 

Alex James, Blur bassist turned cheese maker, presents this critical look at our disposable approach to clothing and it’s enormous human and environmental cost. Far from predicting the apocalypse, Slowing Down Fast Fashion seeks to provide solutions. By talking to designers, activists and high street brands, the film shows that there is a wide ranging and ever growing thirst for change. (IMDB,

Documentary Summary

English musician Alex James became familiar with the term “fast fashion” during his days on tour. Rockstars are constantly being sent new clothing, with no addression of the environmental factors. James found this outrageous and began avoiding Fast Fashion from the beginning, by negotiating whether new pants and socks were necessary. The first step to solving a problem, is acknowledging that you are part of it, as he did. With that, he began his exploration of fast fashion.

He began by explaining that the answer to the problem is hypothesizing positive action. The first thing we have to do, is ask ourselves these 5 questions:

  • How can it be so cheap?
  • What is it made of?
  • Who made it?
  • How long will you wear it?
  • Where will it end up?

Clothes are disposable. They are not created with the intention to last a lifetime. However, Fast Fashion rarely lasts one season. Before the introduction of fast fashion, there were 4 clothing seasons in one year. Now, there are 52, with new styles coming out every week. Fast fashion clothing cannot even sustain a short lifetime.

50% of clothing we own ends up in landfills (washington post), and 80% of what we wear is made up of petroleum- which is non-degradable. Throwing clothes in landfills is a unsustainable option. After asking yourself questions before purchase, it is also important to come with a knowledge of clothes you intend on wearing. 

Researching provenance is important, because it gives a better understanding of the clothes that you will purchase.

The documentary shows a slip where Alex directs the viewer to a “Keep away from fire” tag on a garment. He then performs an experiment to show the difference between acrylic and wool. He chose two identical sweaters, one acrylic and one made from wool, and set them both on fire. The acrylic sweater automatically caught fire, melted and stuck to the floor. The wool sweater began to burn but it did not catch fire. This shows the difference between the quality, and while the acrylic would have been cheaper, it’s quality was terrible. This highlights the importance of focusing on fabrics and materials which are good quality. This will not only keep you safer in such situations, but also will have a better financial outcome for the buyer in the long run. Rather than being forced to purchase new clothes every week as a result of cheap quality, you will get more out of your money by spending it on clothing with longer lives. 

The bottom line is the question, what can we do about it? 

Per Alex:

  • Research provenance
  • Buy less and buy natural
  • Look at labels and know fabrics
  • Think about who made it
  • Think about where it will go
  • Buy quality, no matter the age
  • Repair the clothes you love
  • Buy from charity shops
  • Upcycle

In the end, you need to ask yourself, is participating in this industry worth it in the long run? 

Watch Alex James: Slowing Down Fast Fashion for more

Watch Trailer

5 Trendy & Ethical Shoe Brands


With 20 billion pairs of shoes produced annually, and according to the U.S. Department of the Interior, at least 300 million pairs of shoes thrown away each year- the footwear industry is one of the most wasteful. These shoes end up in landfills, where they can take 30 to 40 years to decompose. Most shoes are made from unsustainable and nonbiodegradable materials, proving the waste to be harmful to the furthest extent. Additionally, the creation process of these shoes “use virgin plastic, rubber, and petroleum, producing alarming amounts of carbon dioxide” (BUSINESS INSIDER.COM).

The problem with carbon dioxide is that it is a greenhouse gas. This means, the buildup of CO2 in the air creates a cover in the atmosphere, which traps the heat from the sunlight. This causes immediate fluctuating temperatures, and overall, a steady rise. The unnatural temperature increase plays a big role in global warming and rising sea temperatures consequently. 

In order to prevent these negative results, it is important to be aware about how sustainable your preferred shoe brands are. That said, here is a compiled list of recommended, sustainable footwear brands. 

  1. Nothing New

This startup was founded in 2014, with a different mindset in comparison to other already-popular brands. While other brands strive to change their unsustainable materials, Nothing New’s core idea is sustainability. 

As the name explains, Nothing New is made from only recycled materials. No virgin materials are used, in any part of the shoe. All the way from the recycled plastic laces to the recycled rubber/cork soles. 

Additionally, Nothing New offers $20 discounts on new pairs to those who send back their used sneakers. Depending on the condition of the sneakers, Nothing New will clean and donate them or break them down and put the materials back into its recycled supply chain (BUSINESS INSIDER.COM).

  1. Converse Renew
Converse Chuck 70 Tri-Panel Renew Release Date |

Converse is one of the most timeless shoe brands in the world, and they are still able to keep up with modern demands. They have created a new line of shoes, made from recycled materials. The canvas upper is made from recycled water bottles, polyester and other waste scraps. They renew denim and jeans, and reuse cotton

  1. Allbirds
Sustainable Shoes | The Most Comfortable Shoes in The World | Allbirds

In just about 4 years, Allbirds is valued at about $77.5 million. Their footwear is unmatched in reliability and comfort. The standard sneaker emits 12.5 kg CO2e, while their average shoe emits 7.6 kg CO2e. The goal is to have no carbon footprint, which the team is working toward. 

The shoes are made from merino wool, eucalyptus trees, sugar cane, castor bean oil and recycled plastic. The shoes are even packaged in 90% post consumer recycled cardboard with many uses. 

Visit Allbirds Sustainability page.

  1. Veja
Veja V10 Sneaker Review and Esplar Comparison in 2020 | Sneaker outfits  women, Fashion jackson, Casual chic outfit

Veja is a French brand known for ethical production of sneakers. Materials such as rubber and cotton are used sparingly, sourced from farmers. They also just released a new sneaker called B-mesh, which is made from recycled plastic water bottles- all the materials coming together to create a breathable and waterproof shoe. 

  1. Everlane
All Of The Spring Shoes In Everlane's 'Choose What You Pay' Section |  HuffPost Life

Everlane is an AMerican clothing retailer, with ethical factories for their material production. The clothing primarily come from factories located in Italy, and they specialize in countless different styles. The factory recycles 98% of its water, uses renewable energy produced onsite, and repurpose byproducts to create affordable homes. 

Visit Everlane’s Sustainability page

Shoe production and disposal have a large environmental footprint, and the constant purchase of these materials have tremendous environmental defects. Do your research before purchasing shoes and always think sustainably. 

Consumer Sentiment on Sustainble Fashion During Covid-19

McKinsey & Company | Global management consulting
All statistics in this article are derived from McKinsey Survey& Article

When the Coronavirus was hitting new heights, McKinsey & Company sent out a survey to gain information on customer sentiment on the topic of sustainable fashion. In April of 2020, the survey was conducted on more than 2,000 individuals, all stemming from different age groups, to gather a variety of data. 

Following the spread of Covid-19, sentiment toward the fashion industry changed. Consumers began to notice the environment impact the fashion industry had growth to have, and how the Earth benefited from the virus. For some time, clothing demand lessened, giving the planet a break. There was less wastage and less creation from the factories themselves. According to the survey, two-thirds of consumers believe that limiting the impact on climate change is imperative, and 88% believe that more attention should be paid on reducing pollution. (McKINSEY SURVEY)

Additionally, the pandemic has pushed people to to change their behavior to reach sustainability goals. 

It is also important to note that consumers have begun to pay heavy attention to the social and environmental effects clothing companies have. Maintaining ethical connections is vital for a company to be deemed trustworthy. 

Purchasing behavior has also seen a shift. Consumer spending on fashion is decreasing, and this is having major environmental responses. More than 60% of consumers spend less money on clothing as a result of the pandemic, and about half are expected to continue this trend even after the pandemic passes. Additionally, as a result of Covid-19, 65% of survey responses state that those consumers are planning on purchasing more durable items. 71% of respondents say that they are planning on using the clothing they already have for longer. (McKINSEY SURVEY)

Finally, the acceptance and usage of second-hand clothing has increased. Around 50% of Gen-Z and Millenials are planning on purchasing more second-hand clothing. 

The overall analysis of this survey proves that simply changing your mindset can have a large impact in the long run. The occurrence of a global pandemic has pushed consumers to think more thoroughly, therefore getting more promising solutions for the future. 

“Consumer sentiment suggests that the COVID-19 crisis could serve as a reset opportunity” (McKINSEY SURVEY).

Take the poll and read the full article.

The True Cost Documentary Review

The True Cost |
Documentary Film by Andrew Morgan

The True Cost Documentary Synopsis

Filmmaker Andrew Morgan travels around the globe to see the people who make clothes for the world’s fashion. This is a story about every side of clothing and the fashion industry. The film highlights the impact the fashion industry has on everyday lives, and the world in itself. While clothing prices drop, the environmental and humanitarian effects increase. This film brings you to look at fashion in a new light, and has you question what goes on behind the scenes. 

The film includes interviews with Stella McCartney, Livia Firth, Safia Minney and Vandana Shiva, and features scenes varying from the village slums, to the bright runaways, to the factories where the clothes are made. See the different perspectives stemming from the clothing industry and the lives of those behind your clothes. 


Andrew Morgan began his journey after the 2013 collapse of the Dhaka garment factory in Bangladesh. After the death of 1,134 people, it was brought to attention that prior to the collapse of the building, the workers had filed complaints about the unstable building. It was clear that the building was full of cracks and was overall an unsafe environment. This led Morgan to investigate further and ask questions about why the workers were forced to work in such unreliable conditions. 

The documentary began by showing a timeline of fashion in the past. We learn that in the 1960’s, American made 95% of their clothing, while today we make less than 3%. Rather than having only 4 clothing seasons, it gradually became 52. New styles were being released every week. The constant production of new clothing encourages customers to throw out “unseasonal” clothing and constantly purchase more. The clothing becomes increasingly cheaper and cheaper, despite the fact that costs do not. Therefore, labor is also impacted by this cycle. 

Companies such as H&M and Forever 21 are at the forefront of cheap labor. They are not liable for the conditions in the factory, and they tend to go to countries who do not hold on to regulations. They participate in globalized production. Globalized production means that all of the making of goods has been outsourced to low-cost economies, particularly where wages are very low and kept low. This means that those companies at the top of the value chain get to choose where the products are being made. So if one factory says “We can’t make it that cheap anymore” then the brand will say “then we will not come to you anymore, we’re gonna switch to another place which is cheaper.” This how they pit manufacturers against one another and get the best prices. 

The film even zooms in on the living conditions of those who work in the factory, alone with working conditions. Long hours, no protection from toxic chemicals, and abuse are common in these areas. 

Even before clothing enters the factory, there is foul play at the start of production- in the cotton. Monsanto, the producer of pesticides and and genetically modified crops interrupt the natural procedures. Constant production rates in the factories require large amounts of cotton. Farmers must keep up with demand, and therefore they turn to the use of the genetically engineered seeds. These seeds need an exorbitant amount of pesticides, therefore causing the Earth to depend on the chemicals over time. Farmers go into so much debt due to the amount of pesticides needed to keep up with demand, that they are pushed to suicide. Over 250,000 Indian farmers have committed suicide due to the debt from the purchase of the seeds and agrochemicals. Additionally, the pesticides have proved to increase cancer/death rates and birth defects. 

The number of humanitarian issues caused by the fast fashion industry is enormous, and while it is an extremely important issue to discuss; the environmental impacts are also astonishing. 

The world now consumes about 80 billion new pieces of clothing every year. This is 400% more than the amount we consumed just two decades ago. As new clothing comes into our lives, we also discard it at a shocking pace. The average American now generates 82 pounds of textile waste each year. That adds up to more than 11 million tons of textile waste from the U.S. alone. Historically, clothing has been something we have held onto for a long time, but with cheap clothing now abundantly available we are beginning to see the things we wear as disposable. (TRUE COST MOVIE.COM).

Going back to the use of cotton, nowadays, more than 90% of cotton used in the garment industry is genetically modified, using large amounts of chemicals and wasting water. Cotton production is now responsible for 18% of worldwide pesticide use and 25% of total insecticide use. The usage of pesticides has terrible long term effects on the land it is used in and the surrounding flora and fauna. 

Finally, leather production. “Leather production is increasingly linked to a variety of environmental and human health hazards. The amount of feed, land, water and fossil fuels used to raise livestock for leather production come at a huge cost to the health of our world. In addition to raising the livestock needed, the leather tanning process is among the most toxic in all of the fashion supply chain. Workers are exposed to harmful chemicals on the job, while the waste generated pollutes natural water sources leading to increased disease for surrounding areas. Studies have found that leather tannery workers are at a far greater risk of cancer, by between 20% – 50%.” (TRUE COST MOVIE.COM). 

It is important to open our eyes and see the bigger picture. The fashion industry is full of many unexpressed layers, and this documentary highlighted each part of it with immense detail. 

Disposable Clothing: Interview With Livia Firth

Livia Firth is the Creative Director of Eco-Age and founder of the Green Carpet Challenge. Livia is also an Executive Producer on The True Cost.

Cotton: Interview With Larhea Pepper

LaRhea Pepper is a cotton farmer from Lubbock, Texas. She grew up farming and is a key advocate for the importance of organic farming, working to inspire and equip people to accelerate sustainable practices in textile supply chains. Her personal story is a profoundly powerful one and has impacted her passionate involvement in the field, including participating in a lawsuit against Monsanto, the agrochemical corporation.

Marci Zaroff (Eco-Fashion Pioneer) talks about cotton

Leather: Interview With Stella McCartney

Fashion designer who does not use leather. 

Visit The True Cost for more information.

5 Eco-Friendly Celebrities & Sustainable Red Carpet Looks

There have been noticeable changes when discussing the “face” of fashion. Brands have become more inclusive, and have begun to show all different faces of beauty rather than sticking to one basic idea. In addition to changes on the runway, there has been a steady uprising of changes behind the stage. Brands have started to embrace the idea of sustainable, ethical clothing and have made changes as a result of general awareness of unsustainable clothing increases. 

Celebrities have used their platform for years, to speak about the unethical impacts the fashion industry has on the planet, and now, as this issue has become popularized, more voices have come together to fight for a better future. 

Take a look at 5 celebrities with iconic sustainable red carpet looks, and get deeper into what they have to say about ethical fashion. 

  1. Miley Cyrus

At the 2018 Met Gala, Cyrus wore Stella McCartney, an advocate for sustainable fashion. According to McCartney, “You can be sustainable and stylish all at the same time.” Cyrus adds that she wants to spread a message; “There doesn’t have to be torture in fabulous fashion.

Additionally, Cyrus promotes thrifting, and shopping for second hand clothing. She took to her Instagram, encouraging her 100 million followers to follow her footsteps. She posted a picture of her top picks, including a stylish Tom Ford hat captioning it “Tom Ford but make it thrifty (previously loved/owned clothes = most sustainable fashion source).”

  1. Alicia Silverstone

Alicia Silverstone brings her eco-friendly lifestyle into her closet, by promoting the use of second hand clothing and ethical brands. “I really love used clothing for a lot of reasons. The first reason is because it’s more environmentally sound. I can’t bear all of the clothes that are wasted and then landfilled, it’s just outrageous. The clothing industry is really out of control in terms of how much gets thrown away. So that, to me, is number one,” she said. ““I have some guidelines when it comes to clothes, or anything really,” Silverstone said. “First, I try to find it used so I’m not creating more waste. If I can’t find it used, I’ll make sure it’s made with an eco material. If I can’t find it in either of those categories, I’ll buy something regular. But I rarely have to do that.”

  1. Anne Hathaway

For her press tour for the 2016 movie “Colossal,” Hathaway decided to wear only eco-friendly clothing, in order to send the fashion industry a message. Her stylist, Penny Lovell revealed “All of her choices for this tour are sustainable and will be either vintage pieces or archival runway looks.” For the press tour, she wore  $15 dress she found at the flea market. 

  1. Emma Watson

The queen herself, and one of Hollywood’s greatest sustainable fashion advocates. In 2015 she took part in the Green Carpet Challenge (world renowned sustainability initiative where every outfit worn on the red carpet must be ethical), and later she created an Instagram account The Press Tour where she posts her eco-friendly looks. She believes that “as consumers we have so much power to change the world just being careful in what we buy.”

  1. Serena Williams

In 2018, Williams launched her own 100% vegan clothing line, and she spoke out about sustainable fashion being a “new trend in fashion that will never go out of style.” She believes “We have to somehow figure out how to live on this planet and not destroy it,”- and she is completely correct. Shop Serena

These celebrities speak out so they can make a difference, and influence others to help participate in the right movements. Be on the right side of history. 

Check out Best Affordable + Sustainable Brands to get started on your journey to a more eco-friendly lifestyle. 

Best Affordable + Sustainable Fashion Brands

When it comes to buying new clothing, nowadays, there are many things to be on the lookout for; the style of the clothing, the quality, the price and, of course, the sustainability. As more people have become aware of the effects of fast fashion and the inevitable evil cycle it causes buyers to participate in- it is important to also make the public more familiar with alternatives. 

To minimize the impact fast fashion companies have on the environment, it is imperative to stop buying from the industry and to get comfortable with buying alternatives from eco-friendly brands. 

For reference, here is a list of the best, affordable and trendy sustainable fashion companies:


Price Range: Up to $50

Adult and Children Apparel

“The best ingredients make the best clothes and products. The people who make the clothes are as important as the people who wear them.Style & sustainability can coexist.” (SHOP PACT.COM)

Pact sells both adult and children’s apparel, both created to be worn for long measures of time. The fabrics are soft and cozy, while still being sustainable through countless washes. Their style is timeless, and their morals are outstanding. Here, Pact not only attacks the environmental issues caused by fashion, but also focuses on humanitarian issues. 


Price Range: Up to $80

Adult Apparel

“Garments are made of environmentally-conscious materials that’s kinder to the planet and feels great to wear.” (SHOP TENTREE.COM)

For every garment sold, tentree plants 10 trees. Their goal is to plant 1 billion trees by 2030; they believe that we have created this problem, and it is our duty to solve it, step by step. They use organic materials for production, and provide more jobs; creating a solution for the unemployment crisis. 


Price Range: $50-$80+

Contemporary Clothing

“Reformation’s design mission is to make effortless silhouettes that celebrate the feminine figure…We source the most beautiful and sustainable fabrics possible to bring those designs to life quickly.” (SHOP REFORMATION.COM)

Being aware of the environmental impacts clothing companies have is an important step toward building a sustainable wardrobe. Here, Reformation makes a point to take all factors into consideration (water input, energy input, land use, eco-toxicity, greenhouse gas emissions, human toxicity, availability and price) and then create clothing using the best graded fibers. 

Girlfriend Collective

Price Range: Up to $80+

Women’s Activewear 

“Trash looks better on you than it does polluting the planet. That’s why we turn old plastic bottles, fishing nets and other waste into bras, leggings and shorts you’ll never want to throw away.” (SHOP GIRLFRIEND.COM)

In addition to making stylish clothing out of waste products, Girlfriend also has the Regirlfriend theory;

“Our recycling program that collects old Girlfriend clothes and turns them into new pieces… when you recycle them, you’ll get site credit so you can buy more socks and underwear (or anything else).” Therefore, encouraging you to dispose of clothing waste properly and making the most out of the material’s lifetime. 


Price Range: $25-$80

Cotton Basics, Adult Apparel

Kotn works directly with farmers in rural Egypt, “like farm-to-table, but for clothes.” Kotn begins clothing production from raw cotton, already a step toward eco-friendly garment production. In addition to the clothing being sustainable, in regards to quality and process of creation- each purchase also “directly supports the lives of farmers and their children.” (SHOP KOTN.COM)

Kotn sells timeless, basic, comfortable fashion pieces. 

It is possible to live sustainably and stylishly at the same time. 

Be sure to check out these companies, and check out my bonus mentions as well.

Bonus Mentions

Rent the Runway: Eco-friendly alternative to buying new clothing. Gowns, jumpsuits for galas and even every-day clothing is available from this store. Garments are delivered to you in reusable bags and then thoroughly cleaned and ready for the next user once returned. 

Cuyana: Timeless handbags, made by skilled craftsmen. 

Tom’s: This popular shoe brand creates shoes made from sustainable and vegan materials like natural hemp, organic cotton, and recycled polyester.

How Fast Fashion Attracts Teens

In today’s world, growing up as a teen is hard. There are certain expectations we have to meet, and there are pressures that no other generation has had to face to this extent. We are pressured to be perfect, and since we live in a world full of social media and connections, it is even harder to meet the high standards. This is why we sometimes take the easy way out- so we can get a break. 

Our public image plays a large role in who we are. Many teens look up to famous influencers from popular platforms such as Instagram, Tik Tok, or celebrities and models from our favorite movies, shows and brands. Teenagers follow these celebrities and get inspired by their clothing choices- this is where fast fashion begins to crawl into the picture. 

There are 3 main reasons teens turn to fast fashion when buying new clothes. These reasons include the lower price range, the trendy clothing, and the popularity of this fad.

Most teens are aware that fast fashion is bad, but they do not feel the need to look into the details of the industry, or they feel the humanitarian and environmental issues are not large enough to be stopped. Because of this, they continue to purchase from these companies, and continue the cycle. 


The attractiveness of fast fashion can be played out, and there are other solutions. 


Stereotypes say teenagers love shopping. Unfortunately, this generalization is not too far-fetched. Big name brands release new styles on the runways, and teenagers become obsessed with recreating the looks. Sadly, most of the clothing that is made by famous luxury brands are too expensive for a teenager’s small budget. So, they turn to cheap brands such as Fashion Nova, a company known for creating copycat versions of luxury brand clothing. (Check out 16 Times Fashion Nova Was Slammed For Ripping Off It’s Designs.)

The best part about shopping from places such as Forever 21, or Shein, is that they sell clothing that is both cheap AND popular. This may seem like a steal, until you begin to consider the terrible cheap quality of clothing, and the speed at which the clothing they sell goes out of fashion. The basis of these brands is releasing new styles every week, and expecting the crowds to keep up with it.  A former Accessories Specialist and Visual Merchandiser at Forever 21 states that new merchandise is released nearly every day. This is the epitome of Fast Fashion. They create cheap clothing that is unable to sustain more than 5 washes, forcing buyers to come back and buy even more clothing. In addition, the clothing that does not break after a few washes, is so out of style by the time new trends take over- the buyer is instantly bored and they want to purchase more. This leads to an incredible amount of waste. 

Despite all this, there is still a certain appeal, to be able to buy fashionable clothing without making a dent in your wallet. To help get out of this cycle of constant buying from these unsustainable companies, is to remember that over time, as trends rapidly change, there will be a build up and you will essentially be wasting money. Rather than always constantly buying, convincing yourself it will not hurt your wallet because you are buying cheap textiles, invest in more expensive, good quality, classic clothing. Clothes that never go out of style, which can be paired in an endless amount of ways without it seeming repetitive. Fast Fashion will never be able to accomplish what the classics can. It is better to occasionally buy clothing that is slightly more expensive, yet classic, rather than continuously purchasing cheap, trendy clothes with short lifelines. 


Seasonal trends have evolved into fads. According to Mark Schneider Design, “fads are short-lived. Typically, fads last for a total of one season, but they can also last less than a month. Fads are novelty driven fashion choices. A fad is often referred to as “catching on” with the larger population, but will often fade as quickly as it appeared.” 

Brands such as Fashion Nova launch 600-900 new singles each week, according to the CEO (Fast Fashion, Explained). This rapid rate of production triggers the desire to purchase more clothing, leading to more waste. 

The superficial need to stay updated with trends and always be up-to-date is understandable, if not relatable. It requires one to see the larger picture, in order to understand the strategy. Trends are changing faster than ever, only to provoke consumer interest, and attract more buyers. The faster newer clothes are being produced, the more waste is created and improperly disposed of. Teenagers want to stay on track, they want to show the world they know what they are wearing, but in this case, it is better to stay out of the cycle. 

Seeing new styles of appealing clothing all over the internet is just the cherry on top. Social media heightens the fast fashion industry, as it provides the most effective way of advertisement and customer gain. 

A lot of it comes down to wanting to be perceived in a “cool” way, or wanting to impress the people around you. To show you have a good fashion sense and you are always on the top of your game. It’s part of being a teenager.

In the end, it is important to consider the larger effects your actions can have, despite the fact that it may have a short-term benefit for you. 

Always think about the bigger picture; play the long game.