A lot of our blog posts are light reading with the intention of beautifying our brand. However if we could choose just one of our posts for you to read, this would be it. THE TRUE COST. In relation to the documentary about the fashion industry and it's social and ecological impact on our world today. We now know the impact is catastrophic. We are serious, this is serious. We have watched this doco numerous times. We cry each time. It's heart breaking, it's emotional, it's moving, it's real and its important that if you haven't watched this film, you make time to watch it. Actually its imperative that you watch and share. If there was a way we could make our customers watch this before accessing our check out page on our online store, we would! We wouldn't even mind if we end up loosing the sale because they decided they already have enough swimwear in their wardrobe. Truly, we would give them a high five! We have spoke about this issue before and we will continue to talk about this issue... What is the true cost of the products and clothing we purchase, how are we responsible individualy for our personal values and beliefs when it comes to the impact we have on other peoples lives and the environment with everything we use and wear in day to day life. We are not going to give away the details of the film, to be honest its pretty grim. We at Seamone Swimwear just want to assure you, we have spent a lot of time digesting various information in relation to what we value in our business and our responsibilities. We have even asked ourselves, are we doing the right thing starting an online fashion business? We have ponded and have discovered one of our main business values is honesty. So lets be honest... fashion today is the No. 2 most polluting industry on earth. How bad is that. Don't hear that in the media much do you... why? Because who owns the media? The fashion industry. Clothes adds, car adds, shampoo adds... whatever the product... it's all fashion because its based on style, trends and looking better. Its out of control. So we decided to still go ahead with Seamone Swimwear, with the intention to educate our customers on this issue and to inspire change in the way our customers shop. In hope of a better future for the people who make fashion and the planet that supplies the materials.
Sure at Seamone we are using recycled materials, that takes pollution out of the ocean, giving us the opportunity to transform it into swimwear. Yes we use recycled and biodegradable packaging, we run our business from home, we don't over stock, we construct our products to last longer then other swimwear labels. Our factory is as close to Australia as possible, we have strong supplier ethics and do not use factories in China or India. We have considered almost everything we can in creating a sustainable brand. But is it efficient enough? If our customers don't shop with us wisely, and if they don't take on the message we are trying to send, then to us we have failed. We would be really disappointed if we seen someone wearing Seamone on the beach and walk straight past a piece of rubbish without picking it up. And we would be sad if someone chose to purchase an item that looked similar to ours from a fast fashion giant just because it was 50% cheaper. We want to see environmental activists increase as a priority over our profit increase. So we think its a good idea, just to give some positive tips in how we can change this industry. You, me, we, everybody needs to make the changes. Because together we can make a difference before its too late.
1. ASK QUESTIONS
We live in a time of consumerism, especially when it comes to fashion. Are you the type of person that just looks at price tags when shopping? is getting a bargin the only thing that matters to you? or are you the type of person who makes decisions based on the 'made in' tag? Don't know the answer... Maybe take the time to go through your wardrobe and look at the care labels of your garments, look at where they where made, what materials are used. How many of your clothes are vintage? recycled? hand-downs? organic? fair trade? made by your grandma? How many are made in your local country? how many from China? India? How many have you owned for more then 1 year? 5 years? 10 years? This will give you a pretty good indication on what kind of consumer you are. Don't feel bad, its ok... We are here to support you. Take the time to imagine the person who made these items, in which you own... consider the conditions and the hands that actually constructed your favourite dress or bag. Good on you if you made it yourself or know the person! However on the other hand, if you don't know the person, try to imagine them and their lives. The reality is that a lot of factory workers loose their lives or become ill making the everyday items we purchase. So if you have never considered this before, thats ok because a lot of people don't. All we ask is that you ask the right questions when deciding on what you consume and the behind the scenes cost.
2. PLAN TO CHANGE
We all hear about the dramas of spring cleaning, we all do the change of season "I have nothing to wear tantrums" Don't be embarrassed, we know its true. Turn that frown upside down girlfriend and make a plan to organise yourself. To hold on or let go? a question sometimes overwhelming in many aspects of our lives... is it time for you to declutter? Organise your style, your wardrobe, what you do wear, what you don't wear. SIMPLIFY! Think about what you really need? NEED not WANT. Make your new motto less is more!... Its about quality not quantity. For example a good quality organic chemical free leather jacket made by a reputable brand, buy a reputable leather maker might cost $500 onwards. That jacket might last you 10 years, worn every winter because its made well, its beautiful, you look after it, you value it, its classic, timeless and will never go out of fashion. On the other hand you might think that buying a $50 PU leather copy jacket from a fast fashion brand is the better option because your saving $450. (which you could spend on getting that new GHD hair straighter and a dress your obsessing over!). But really that $50 fake jacket is going to fall apart and flake after one winter. It will end up in the bin and you will have to buy a new one next year. So do the maths, if you spend $50 every year for 10 years on fake leather jackets thats $500. The same $500 you could of spent in the first place, saving you time, saving the environment of chemicals and waste, saving animals skins and homes, saving people who are being exploited for cheap labour, saving landfill 10 jackets on the pile. Women should really be limiting themselves to a few new pieces a year, when they go shopping, taking the time to consider what they want, shop around, try on, sleep on it, try on again, sleep on it... then buy if it is really worth it, if its going to last.
3. DISPOSE RESPONSIBLY
Once you have gone through and planed your wardrobe and have all the keepers and all the victims... Don't feel all high an mighty about dropping off a few bags to charity, because 90% of that will end up in land fill anyway. Give your clothes away to people who will appreciate and wear them, tell them to do the same when they are finished with the item. Think siblings, extended family, friends first. Then reselling is an also an option. Go to the markets, use EBay, carousel, and other online channels to resell and make a note to that person, who purchases from you, to take responsibility when they too have finished with the item. If the item is too cheap to resell, sounds like your a fast fashion addict and you need to stop buying cheap clothes. Buying quality and sustainable fashion, you will look better and you will find when you have your statement pieces, the years to follow you will spend less. It will also save the environment having less to buy and less to dispose. Feeling creative! Use the fabric of unwanted clothes to make something new, get the sewing machine out, make pillows, make that dress into a skirt, make hair scrunches... Whatever it is, reuse those materials. Give to your local schools sewing classes even or day care centres where kids can make soft toys. There are so many ways materials can be reused. Do not ever put clothes in the bin, they will go to land fill and they will take 200 or more years to decompose, while letting off toxic gases into our atmosphere.
We know this is contradicting considering, we are trying to sell swimwear here. But at the end of the day our planet is more important to us. Simple as that. We would prefer our customers to really question their buying habits, and make positive changes by cutting down the amount of fashion they purchase in the future, and to tell their friends to do the same. We would prefer our customers to stop comparing prices and start comparing the recycled percentages instead. We would prefer our customers to ask for our factories information rather then ask for a discount. Its so important that we shift away from big brands, fast fashion chains and the social pressures of fashion. We need to all look in the mirror, and we don't mean the change room mirror. We need to look at ourselves and our planet and decide which we would prefer to look more beautiful. We need to find a better system, a better balance so that us and the world may be clean and pretty at the same time.
Founder & Creative Director of Seamone, Simone xx