3 Myths Surrounding Sustainability and Fashion
Luckily, over the past handful of years there's been a growing interest and demand for more sustainable and ethically made clothing and footwear *yay*.
However, like a lot of things, sustainability is ever-evolving and a bit nuanced. There's a lot of ways of looking at the issues we face, and so we wanted to take the time to breakdown the top 3 myths surrounding fashion and sustainability and share where we stand.
Myth 1: Buying less expensive clothing and shoes is more sustainable
While it might seem like a budget-friendly choice, opting for cheap, fast-fashion pieces actually contributes to environmental degradation. The low prices often mean lower quality and less durability, leading to quicker wear and tear. This, in turn, fuels a never-ending cycle of overconsumption and waste.
In addition, fast fashion comes at the cost of human rights. Did you know that only 3% of garment workers earn living wages? Making them the closest form to modern day slavery. More on this here.
Myth 2: Recycled Plastic
Recycled plastic sounds like a promising solution for clothes and shoes, right? The idea of diverting plastic waste from landfills and transforming it into garments is undoubtedly appealing. However, while recycling is a step in the right direction, it's not a silver bullet.
When plastic is recycled, it goes through a process that can release microplastics and chemicals into the environment. These microplastics can find their way into waterways, soil, and into our skin and food chain (yikes!) posing a threat to ecosystems and human health. More on this here.
Moreover, recycling does little to address the root cause of plastic pollution – the excessive production and consumption of single-use plastics.
Before our founder, Christina Bullock, set out to start Joyasol she was very concerned with the impacts plastics have on our environment and human health. With two young kids, she was worried about BPAs and PFAS chemicals found in many toys, clothes and other household items.
She decided to put her marketing skills to use and worked with local San Francisco Bay Area non-profits focused on reducing plastic waste through reuse. It was here that she really began to understand the root of the problem, and that we cannot rely on recycling for a brighter, healthier future.
Myth 3: Vegan Leathers
Though they spare animal lives, many vegan leather alternatives are made from synthetic materials like PVC and PU, which are derived from fossil fuels and can take centuries to decompose. These materials still contribute to plastic pollution and can release toxic chemicals during production and breakdown. Obviously a huge problem!
Truth be told, our founder, Christina Bullock, was initially interested in offering some of these plant-based vegan alternatives. However, once she dug a little more deep into them, she realized that most of them contain plastic and are not biodegradable or suitable for the wear and tear for footwear.
She is still hopeful that through innovation and technology there will be better alternatives more readily available in the future that do not contain plastics! One of her favorites is a product called Mirium, which is made from plants and entirely plastic-free. Stay tuned for more on this.
Solution: A Sustainable Way Forward
The path to fashion sustainability requires a more nuanced and comprehensive approach. Instead of relying solely on cheaply made goods made from recycled plastic or vegan leathers, we should focus on better, fewer items that are ethically made using responsibly sourced materials and will last season after season - like our Paisley sneakers. Shop now!