Meet Elise Ramirez, Our Sustainability Consultant: Intro, Insights & Inspo
"You might have heard by now that the fashion industry is increasingly becoming more and more detrimental to our environment. In 2018, McKinsey research found that the sector was responsible for 2.1 billion metric tons of greenhouse-gas emissions. The fast fashion cycle has created major issues - it exhausts the Earth’s natural resources at outstanding rates, severely exploits workers around the world, and results in hoards of waste. We know none of this is good, but it can almost seem like an impossible task to avoid brands that promote the fast fashion cycle. The good news, however, is that sustainable brands are emerging and providing an alternative solution to fast fashion. There are ample amounts of ways you can elongate the lives of clothing to slow down consumption and help keep textiles out of landfills longer.
SPLIT SHIRT is an existing testament to this.
My name is Elise Ramirez, and I currently attend the University of San Diego. I am majoring in Environmental and Ocean Sciences with a concentration in Environmental Studies. I am passionate about sustainability education and hope to share with you all simple swaps you can make to become a more conscious consumer. I am very excited to be working with a company like SPLIT whose main goal is to create clothing that results in zero materials wasted while inspiring people to consume responsibly.
I want to first speak on what SPLIT is doing right: they reduce the number of textiles in landfills, minimize the use of natural resources, and produce ethically made clothing. This is what you want to look for when you want to support sustainable fashion brands. It is a good idea to avoid brands that have new styles every week because this results in a skyrocketing supply of textile production. Primarily, fast fashion is a movement that encourages the “more is better” mentality by expecting its consumers to remain fashion-forward, in turn exploiting the environment, laborers - and you. In 2014, people on average owned 60% more clothing than people in 2000, but only retained these clothes for half of the time. Retailers like Forever21 and Zara mass-produce clothes at extraordinarily low costs that will most likely go out of style (or fall apart) within the next year. The average person throws away about 70 pounds of clothing each year, and only about 15% of this gets recycled. Fast fashion results in disposal because the clothes being thrown away are either “out of style” or unwearable because of the cheap makeup. And so, the cycle begins again.
With the power of the knowledgeable consumer and the introduction of more companies setting admirable examples, the fashion industry can support individuality and expression rather than wasteful consumption."
To get you started, here are five sustainable companies that Elise personally thinks are worth looking into:
3. Package Free
Elise Ramirez, SPLIT Sustainability Consultant