What does Ethical Fashion mean? Meet Leena

I hope you enjoyed reading Rosa‘s, Amma‘s and Oorja‘s interview. I really did! I loved comparing their definions of ethical fashion and put their ideas together to precise what is mine.

To go even further and gather even more information about what ethical fashion could and does mean, I interviewed a fourth ethical blogger. Let me introduce you to Leena! I appreciated a lot that she actually raises capitalism issues. I find it important to remind that ethical fashion is not another fashion trend but also a brand new fashion consumption model. Keep reading to find out more!

1) Introduce yourself in a few words.

My name’s Leena and, for the longest time, I thought my life had to be this linear path where every step is strategically planned. When I realised that I shouldn’t be afraid of this sense of drifting, I discovered many things to be passionate about; including sustainable fashion. And this is how driftedanew.com was born.

2) What does ethical/sustainable fashion means to you?

By definition ‘to sustain’ means to make something last longer and for me, that lies at the very core of what sustainable fashion is trying to achieve. Sustainable fashion is not about buying linen trousers with a crazy price tag on it. It’s about changing our relationship with fashion itself and every single item that lies in our wardrobe. Once we understand our personal style, what works for our bodies, how to take care of our clothes, we’ll start being more sustainable about fashion.

It’s also about changing our relationship with Capitalism – understanding our impulses to buy and changing our perception of how a brand adds value to our lives. It’s about being aware of the impact that our fashion decisions have on the planet, and the people and animals who live on it.

3) According to you, what is the main aspect of that movement and what should we fight for as a priority?

I think our priority should be on education. The more people can join this movement the better. It’s going to sound cliché but that doesn’t make it any less true: Thousands of us doing this imperfectly is better than a handful of us striving to achieve ‘sustainable perfection’.

Films like The True Cost have changed the game for the ethical fashion industry and so have documentaries like the Blue Planet. And the reason for that is that they educate people and change people’s lives on a large scale.

So the more we talk about it, the more we encourage each other to engage with ethical fashion in whatever way we can; the closer we are to a more sustainable world.

4) When did you start changing your shopping habits?

I was always into vintage and thrift shopping, but, funny enough, conscious shopping for me was triggered by the Youtube algorithm. Youtube kept suggesting this video on my feed and if there’s one way for me to describe this video is that it looked liked clickbait. It was called “The richest criminal in the world” and had the most random image on it.

Finally, I gave in and watched the video in the hope that YouTube would just stop plastering this video all over my feed. The video was enlightening but I was also in disbelief. I refused to believe that that’s what our world was like.

So, I wasn’t completely sold yet.

A few weeks later I watched The True Cost. I cried my eyeballs out and, right there and then, my sustainable fashion journey started.  

5) How is your closet at the moment?

My closet is a mish-mash of old fast fashion clothes I’ve had for years, a number of thrifted items and clothes from brands like People Tree, Komodo and Organic Basics.

Brands who adopt fair trade, eco-friendly fashion and who strive to be transparent with their customers are always my go-to. I love them because they’re affordable and still tick all my boxes in terms of ethics.

If I want to splash out on something special, such as a beautiful sundress I would probably turn towards The Reformation or Mother of Pearl; but a lot of my wardrobe is thrifted because wearing second hand is the next best thing to being naked. Mother Earth will love you for it.  

I am in the middle of building a colourful capsule wardrobe. I used to think capsule wardrobes were not meant for me because of how neutral-coloured everything tends to be, and I’m the kind of person who’s not happy unless they dress like the pride flag (I am definitely exaggerating), but I’m finally applying my knowledge of colour theory to build the perfect colourful capsule wardrobe. I’m loving it so far.

6) If you had to give an advice to someone who wants to start changing its shopping habit what would it be?

Avoid going to the shops for a little while. Let fast fashion get out of your system. It’s hard at the beginning and the likelihood of you caving in is high. If you do cave in, it’s fine. We all do and I certainly did.

Second, stop trying to do it all at once. Rome was not built in a day. It starts with something as simple as trying to reduce your fast fashion consumption. Learn from other people’s experiences and mistakes, it will help you to know what to expect and help you discover more ethical brands. At the moment, our market is saturated with fast fashion brands, so it’s important that we give exposure to more conscious brands and celebrate them!