Sustainability in Fashion: Interview with Erin Wetzel of Orleans & Winder

fashion sustainability Jul 18, 2019

As a Health Coach, sustainability is a topic I am constantly exploring and one that is relevant in any area of our life. From a habits perspective and practicing negative habits that aren’t sustainable for vibrant health to negative self-talk that leads us into a black hole to our food systems and sustainable farming practices. 

When I first started studying to be a coach in college, it was hard for my mind not to spin out about how commonplace toxic chemicals are in our food, products, and environment. This captured my focus for a few years until I moved to San Diego and had two roommates who introduced me to the concept of slow fashion vs fast fashion. 

When I lived in Georgia I had interviewed farmers and was enthralled with the slow movement of food, but hadn’t yet considered how it also showed up in the fashion industry.

WHAT EXACTLY IS SLOW FASHION?

Slow Fashion is the movement of designing, creating, and buying garments for quality and longevity. It encourages slower production schedules, fair wages, lower carbon footprints, and (ideally) zero waste.

If the fashion industry continues at its current pace, “The fashion industry’s CO2 emissions are projected to increase to nearly 2.8 billion tons per year by 2030— equivalent to the emissions of 230 million passenger vehicles driven for a year.” (Global Fashion Agenda 2017)

Our environment needs us to make big changes and fast, but what if those changes began with each of us taking responsibility for our own consumerism? Every time you shop you have the ability to vote for the type of products you would like to see more of. 

A great example of this with food is the number of conventional grocery stores who carry more and more organic, gluten-free, or dairy-free food options and the increase in farmer’s markets or CSA (community-supported agriculture) options. If the demand is there, businesses will begin to pivot.

When I left the midwest 8 years ago, healthy and preventative living was not a conversation I could have easily with many people. I just moved back to Detroit last year, so it was so wonderful getting to meet Erin from Orleans & Winder and geek out on so many shared interests! Let’s dive in to hear her perspective about wellness and what sparked her interest in being part of the slow fashion movement.

Click here to read Erin's full interview!

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