{eco challenge} fashion for change: the 30 wears challenge, part II

the 30 wears challenge: when buying an item of clothing, do you consider whether you'd wear it more than a handful of times? would you wear any of your clothes 30 times? ethical fashion advocate livia firth has challenged consumers to do just that, and i am in, boys + girls. 

global retail chains sell mass market clothes at low prices, with 97% of apparel now made overseas {including india + china} and employing over 40 million garment workers in the world: many of these workers do not share the same rights + protections as people in the west and are some of the lowest paid workers in the world*. but there are many companies + individual designers creating sustainable options {see right sidebar on this blog for eco options that consider both garment workers + our natural resources when designing + manufacturing their goods}.

i loved the idea of being challenged to be a conscientious consumer + to use our purchasing power to support ethical companies. i sent a text to my bestie back at home in chicago, letting her know i was going to partake, and she replied, "great! love the idea! i don't think i've ever worn any of my clothes 30 times." 

most of my wardrobe pieces are well-loved {meaning, they are worn multiple times}, and as i packed to move to france i enjoyed asking myself the 30-wears question about each item in my closet in order to determine what made the great voyage across the ocean, and what would be donated. i'm happy to partake in this 30 wears challenge. i really do love a good challenge. 

i've chosen this cotton, cropped top by jacob + esau to wear around town here in paris, i've been wearing this easy little piece myriad ways + it's been fun to get creative and dress it up for job interviews and dress it down for a night out of dancing with friends or scooting around town with my camera. 

follow my eco journey on instagram, join the 30 wears challenge + learn more about how your purchases impact communities far + wide. 

get creative: layer summer or spring items under cozy jackets + scarves to transition them easily into cold weather seasons same top, new day: this top was perfect for formal occasions {i layered it under a blazer for an interview, and i got the job!} as well as casual days of loitering in libraries, museums or cafes + exploring paris. to learn more about the fashion industry, click on over here + watch true cost, the movie

{eco challenge} fashion for change: 30 wears challenge, part I

the guardian christened her "the woman who turned the red carpet green". livia firth is an eco fashion activist who has challenged consumers to ask themselves the following question before buying an item of clothing: would i wear it a minimum of 30 times? livia's 30 wears challenge implores men + women to make purposeful purchases rather than buying fast fashion items on impulse. firth asks consumers, "why not care about the clothes we wear? where they were made and what they really cost in human and environmental cost?" 

what exactly is fashion fashion? when i told my mom i was participating in the 30 wears challenge, she was pensive, then she asked, "what constitutes fast fashion?" i explained that not all brands offer transparency in the manufacture + production of their garments. apparel workers often labor for long hours in unsafe conditions + our waterways + ground soil are being polluted in the process

my mom was quiet; i understood she was taking a mental note of her wardrobe. "well," she said thoughtfully, "i don't know if my clothes were produced ethically, but the clothes i do own, i wear again and again. how do you know if something is produced ethically?" i replied, "ask questions." it's okay to be curious, it's okay to ask questions, my friends. this lets companies know that as consumers, we are watching, we care.

interested in learning more about the 30 wears challenge? hop on over to eco-age's instagram account, then hashtag your way into the challenge! i would love to see who is participating and what items you've chosen for the challenge. you can follow my own eco fashion journey on instagram. learn about the slow fashion movement at eco age or read more at ethical fashion forum.

{images via livia firth/eco-age}