Elevating Your Professional Style with Sustainable Fashion

posted on Wednesday, April 24, 2024 in Grow Cedar Valley

As a professional and business owner who values style, sustainability, and innovation, sustainable fashion has become my passion. In honor of Earth Week, let's focus on sharing ways to elevate your professional style while contributing to the health of our planet's ecosystems.

With over 20 years of experience in fashion, brand development, and creative business consulting in New York City, collaborating with renowned brands such as Neiman Marcus, Macy's, Champion, Forever 21, and the NBA. Also, I am the founder of Design+Her+Life (DHL), a personal and professional development business focused on helping professionals build their Identity and how they SHOW UP as a leader…Yes that includes a STYLE component. So, I can safely say, I bring a unique perspective on both the business and consumer sides of fashion.

Did you know...

According to Business Insider:

  • It takes about 700 gallons of water to produce one cotton shirt, equivalent to one person's drinking water needs for three-and-a-half years.
  • The fashion industry is the second-largest consumer of water worldwide and responsible for 10% of humanity's carbon emissions.
  • Microplastics from synthetic textiles like polyester contribute to 35% of all microplastics in the ocean.
  • Washing clothes releases 500,000 tons of microfibers into the ocean annually — the equivalent of 50 billion plastic bottles.
  • 85% of all textiles go to the dump each year. The equivalent of one garbage truck full of clothes is burned or dumped in a landfill every second.

Do these facts make you wonder how to maintain style while minimizing environmental impact? Personally, I've been an avid secondhand shopper since childhood, learning garment construction as a kid from thrifted pieces provided by my grandmother. Embracing sustainable fashion practices has been instrumental in my journey things like upcycling, and hosting fashion swap events and helping clients be more informed about the psychology of style to make better choices.

Strategies to integrate sustainability into your professional style:

Buy Fewer, Better Clothes: Prioritize quality over quantity, investing in timeless pieces that reflect your professional image. Choose versatile items for a cohesive wardrobe that aligns with your identity and values.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Instead of discarding clothes, repair or repurpose them. Donate to charity, sell online, or participate in clothes swaps to extend their lifecycle.

Explore Secondhand, Swap, and Rent: Embrace alternative shopping methods like secondhand stores, clothing swaps, and rental services to reduce consumption and promote circular fashion. Send me an email if you would like my list of Pro Tips for Shopping Secondhand. 

Shop Locally: Support local businesses and artisans, reducing your carbon footprint and fostering community engagement.

Embrace Upcycling: Transform old garments into new, unique pieces that reflect your personal style and commitment to sustainability. We have local designers or tailors in the Cedar Valley that can help you creatively restore great quality items. 

Mindful Washing: Reduce water and energy consumption by washing clothes less frequently and using eco-friendly detergents.

Even small steps like integrating one or two of these sustainability ideas into our personal and professional lives can help preserve our natural resources. Let's redefine professional style standards, making sustainability an integral part of our wardrobes and businesses to contribute to the health of our planet's ecosystems.

Nicole Sallis - CDMP

Director of Marketing & Communication