“Sustainable living” is a concept that more and more people are becoming familiar with and more consumers are becoming aware of the environmental impact of “fast fashion”. After starting my social enterprise, The Fabric Swatch, a platform that redistributes unused fabric scraps to learning spaces in South and East London, I began questioning where the black and brown voices were in sustainable fashion, especially in the UK.
Being sustainable is more than buying an expensive non-fur coat and dabbling in veganism, and black women once again need to have a voice in this niche. The love for nature and the art in managing resources has been part of our cultures from the beginning of time, yet we’re a tiny whisper in the sea of shouting activists. I decided to ask two black women from London their thoughts on eco-friendly fashion. It was refreshing to speak to Junia Adenike, 26, who has made the conscious choice to live sustainably. I also reached out to my creative writing teacher from years back, Sandra Agard, and she took me back to life in 1950s Britain – a reminder that sustainable living has always had a seat in our culture. Based on these conversations, here are three reasons we need to question our relationship with the fashion industry.