In style: Sustainable fashion

Posted by on Sep 25, 2013 in Sustainability, Writing | 0 comments

In style: Sustainable fashion

It’s not enough to just buy stuff anymore.  Mindful consumers today want to be socially and environmentally conscious about the products we choose.  We don’t really trust greenwashing or advertizing from a single bottom line.  We trust relationships.  We want to do good in the world.  And we’re not willing to sacrifice style and comfort.

Enter the Versalette, a fashion and travel garment designed for 30 diverse ways to wear.

The frock was originally designed via a successful Kickstarter campaign in 2010 by Kristin and Shannon of {r}evolution apparel.  At the time, the two women were considering the sustainability of their own employment in a faltering economy, and decided to collaborate on a project they truly cared about instead of falling into the convention of corporate America.  Originally marketed as the perfect travel companion, the Versalette travelled the United States in a van named Zooey, visiting like-hearted pioneers on the road to sustainable fashion.   What begins as a square piece of fabric quickly molds into dresses, scarves, shirts, skirts, bags, and ponchos with a simple slide of hand.


{r}evolution apparel closed its doors in 2012 to allow Kristin and Shannon to explore and grow in their own interests…but the Versalette was brought back to life, in conjunction with an expanded clothing line, with the creation of, a sustainable fashion company that converts fabrics with character (i.e. deadstock fabric on its way to being wasted) into clothing for women.

As it turns out, what we think of as the more expensive option is actually the frugal solution to the problems of waste and injustice.  When we ship our labor overseas, we create situations for “sweatshops, environmental disasters, cotton farmer suicide rates, chemically toxic waterways, and abuses to our neighbors and the planet” to arise.  Cheap labor comes at a huge cost down the line, and bringing our labor home and establishing relationships locally mitigates some of the damage.  So they give a new home to American-made, recycled fabrics.  We pay a little more, and practice minimalism, for a little peace of mind.  Consider it fashionable karma.

Recycled fabric, made in America, sewn in America, by people we know and love.  And that makes each wear a little more wonderful.

Even fashion designer Vivienne Westwood says that we buy too many clothes.  “Buy less. Choose well. Make it last. Quality, not quantity. Everybody’s buying far too many clothes.  It doesn’t mean therefore you have to just buy anything cheap. Instead of buying six things, buy one thing that you really like. Don’t keep buying just for the sake of it.  I just think people should invest in the world. Don’t invest in fashion, but invest in the world.”

There you have it.  Sustainability is fashionable, from the icon herself.


Photo credits: Kristin Glenn

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