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Wardrobe Yarns - My Meandering Journey Towards Sustainability

What does sustainability mean?

In terms of fashion, 'sustainable fashion' refers to the impact that producing clothes has on the environment. There is also ‘ethical fashion’ which relates to the way the clothes are made, from how the cotton is grown, humane treatment of the animals used to how the garment makers are treated. Another term can also be added to the mix, that is "intersectional environmentalism".

Intersectional environmentalism, as described by @greengirleah, a lead activist in this field, "...advocates for justice for people + the planet."

A horse and carriage ride around Marrakesh en route to Cafe Arabe

Is the cornerstone objective of being sustainable while being fashionable is to ensure that clothing is produced in such a way that the life cycle of the item has limited adverse impact on the environment, and is at the same time socially just to the vulnerable? If so, then perhaps restyling, repurposing and upcycling what you already have is definitely one of the easiest and cheapest ways to do so.

However, a lifestyle of sustainability whether it is through your clothes choices or what you choose to eat, for example, is not necessarily easily accessible to every one. It can be seen as privilege, since not everyone in our society has the opportunity to make these choices such as the most vulnerable, and marginalised.

"[Intersectional environmentalism] an inclusive version of environmentalism that advocates for both the protection of people and the planet. It identifies the ways in which injustices happening to marginalized communities and the earth are interconnected. It brings injustices done to the most vulnerable communities, and the earth, to the forefront and does not minimize or silence social inequality. Intersectional environmentalism advocates for justice for people + the planet.

Snap shot into my sustainability journey

I am on numerous journeys at the moment. One of those is a journey of sustainability. I think I have always tried to be sustainable in one way or another. Becoming a mother has made me more focused. I am trying to be sustainable bit by bit. At one point during my postpartum musings I wondered what I could do to express my creativity and at the same time be sustainable. I literally took stock of what I have, and thought, I do not really need to buy anything more at the moment.

Personal fashion curator- not a hoarder!

Plus, in terms of fashion, I have never really been a fan of fast fashion and have held onto many items of clothing, in case they come back ‘in’ again. Some call this hoarding. I call it ‘personal fashion curation’. The clothes and accessories I have are at once my personal museum pieces as well as contemporary. I mainly keep them because I like the items I have bought and want to get the most out of them. This way, the items become associated with events and celebrations in my life. Thus, making it harder to cast them off so easily. Hence one avenue of inspiration to Wardrobe Yarns, my YouTube preloved and sustainable fashion series. Every item of clothing or accessory you own has a story to tell “if you cared to listen.”

Back to my sustainable journey. In terms of fashion, a few years ago, I realised I did not get the rush I used to get when I bought things or chanced upon a treasure, whether brand new or thrift shopping. I remember the exact time too.

"I have never really been a fan of fast fashion and have held onto many items of clothing, in case they come back ‘in’ again. Some call this hoarding. I call it ‘personal fashion curation’. The clothes and accessories I have are at once my personal museum pieces as well as contemporary."

My "Marrakesh Moment"

In 2013 my husband and I were walking through the souks of Marrakesh. My 'Marrakesh Moment' happened gradually during those walks. It was our first holiday abroad on our own as a married couple. Prior to the holiday, I was super excited about the items I would bring back. Leather bags, shoes, belts, jewellery, scarfs, Argan oil, rugs and any other spectacular treasure I would chance upon. I was earning great money and so my purse was open to splash my cash! In fact they were too enticing.

Treasure overload

I think I had treasure overload and may be could not process the delights I was seeing. Or may be at that point I thought that I had all that I needed or even still, I may have been disappointed that I could not purchase the Argan oil. Perhaps a bit of all of the above. We had purposely decided not to buy any items until our last full day in Marrakesh, as by then we would have had a clearer idea of what we wanted, to avoid impulse buying. Plus, we were not great hagglers and so we opted to purchase the items from the Artisanal Centre. I had decided to purchase Argan oil from the women’s co-op at the centre and then the other items after that. However, on the designated shopping day, it was the day before Eid, and so their stall was not open. We had not factored this into our equation. I was hugely disappointed as I had wanted to sow into that project.

"My 'Marrakesh Moment' happened gradually during those walks through the souks." 

Can you believe, I only bought two things for myself? In the end I bought a small bottle of Argan oil from a stall and then a pair of Berber/Touareg silver turquoise and carnelian stone earrings, as well as a number of gifts for family and friends.

The Berber/Tuareg Earrings

The earrings make a brief appearance in Sustainable Fashion (Styling and Upcycling Clothes) Wardrobe Yarns Maxi Dress , very colourful gems.

Shada yourself!


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