For the longest time, the term “sustainable fashion” evoked to me an image of a rather bohemian style—something on the more organic side that’s definitely not aligned with the luxury pieces my eye naturally gravitates toward. Spoiler alert (and I don’t admit this often): I was very, very wrong.
Brands have been increasingly conscious about the materials they use and the processes they follow, resulting an uptick in slow fashion versus cheap, disposable pieces. And sustainable style doesn’t have to mean that the fiber of the cotton shirt you’re wearing came from a tree in some pastoral land; it can also mean investing in quality pieces you wear over and over again.
While scrolling through my discover page for sustainable fashion inspo, Orion Carloto popped up. She’s a seriously cool L.A.-based poet and artist who somehow can make a stack of pancakes look chic. She’s like a real-life embodiment of the beige mood board I saved in my collections back in January, so obviously I wanted to chat with her about sustainable fashion and the collections she turns to now that she’s more conscious about her shopping habits (hi, AG).
“My best friend is unbelievably educated on slow fashion versus fast fashion, and to be honest, I never really understood it, nor did I care,” she told me. “It wasn’t until we sat down and had a talk about it and she really laid down the (harsh) facts of how fast fashion isn’t just affecting the fashion industry, but also the environment and our people.”
I couldn’t agree more, so we went a little deeper on this subject, and trust me when I say the girl knows how to style one wildly chic sustainable wardrobe. Keep reading to see what I mean…
WHO WHAT WEAR: Do you try to live sustainably in other aspects of life?
ORION CARLOTO: Oh, absolutely. I’ve always been one to just buy water bottles out of convenience, but now I carry my own reusable bottle around, and that has changed things up for the best in terms of being conscious of how I’m contributing to the environment. Not only that, but even just bringing my own bags to go grocery shopping or donating old clothes to a thrift shop. It’s the little things I’ve noticed that make a difference.
What about AG’s spring collection feels like it’s sustainable?
Everything in this collection is classic. I can pair each of these pieces—from the white denim jacket to the black T-shirt—with so many different items, and style them up or down casually. Also the quality is everything—just what you need when you’re trying to be sustainable in your shopping habits. I don’t predict that these will be torn down after a few uses and washes, which is why it felt like a smart decision to invest.
What are your tips on converting to sustainable shopping, even if someone’s a die-hard fashion fashion shopper?
Read, read, read up on the dangers of fast fashion, or watch videos about it on YouTube! If you think you can find that fast-fashion piece at a thrift store, go to one before making that purchase. Clothes that are given a second life will always be better for the environment than a fast-fashion piece you’ll toss after one wear. And lastly, pieces that were made sustainably will forever stay in your wardrobe, so it’s always worth it.
What about affordability? Sustainable fashion can sometimes cost more than fast fashion; how do you justify shopping for more expensive pieces? Is it cost per wear?
Slow fashion doesn’t always mean spending a fortune on a brand that’s selling something costly. Slow fashion starts at even shopping at your local thrift stores! I’ve found most of my favorite pieces at places like the Goodwill in L.A.’s Valley Village. Recycling someone’s once-loved article of clothing into your closet is shopping sustainably, and you’re making a difference. If you’re not into thrift stores or secondhand clothing, remember that a quality pair of jeans or a classic button-down will last you for years.
See what I mean about her ability to make sustainable style look incredibly chic? It doesn’t hurt that AG’s spring collection is chock-full of quality pieces that will live in your wardrobe for more than just one (or two, or 20) wears. A denim-on-denim outfit or a classic T-shirt and white slim-leg pants are the perfect way to get started on slow shopping. On that note, keep scrolling for Orion’s favorite sustainable pieces from AG…