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Soulstainable Fashion - How Fashion is linked to Climate Justice

We invited Jackie Rodríguez to share her tips and insight on sustainable fashion! Jackie was a guest for our Soultry Hangout on SOULstainable Fashion last fall. We discussed what inspired her to start thinking sustainably about fashion & her fav tips to shopping sustainably. There are many conversations and trends happening now around sustainable fashion and we wanted to get the susty scoop on how to create sustainable change in the fashion industry. Below Jackie breaks down how fashion is linked to climate justice and what living vibrant and shining bright means to her!


Guest blog by Jackie Rodríguez

What does sustainability mean to you?

Today, sustainability to me equates to climate action. So, that means considering how my actions can possibly contribute to climate change and either avoiding or reducing those habits. For example, by shopping online less, I reduce the transportation of deliveries contributing to carbon emissions, which are the main cause of climate change. Also, something important to consider as we step into the holiday season.


Why is sustainable fashion important?

Because switching to sustainable fashion

also supports climate, racial & economic justice!


How is fashion linked to climate justice?

When we think about fast fashion we often think about landfill waste or garment workers who are severely underpaid—both critical labor and environmental issues. But I invite us to also consider how our fashion choices stand in the way of phasing out fossil fuels and in turn delay climate action.

Today, about 60 percent of our clothing is made from cheap synthetic materials such as polyester, nylon and acrylic. These are all petroleum based materials that are produced from crude oil, gas, and coal. The production and purchase of fossil fashion not only enables low-quality, throwaway fashion, but it also intensifies fossil fuel pollution that communities of color and poor people are disproportionately exposed to, and enables the fashion to continue its reliance on fossil-fuel extraction.

How can we move away from fossil fashion?

1. Buy less

2. Care for & repair your clothes

3. Buy secondhand, bio-based or plant-based clothing

4. Ask your favorite brands what their plans are for phasing out synthetic materials based on fossil feedstocks.

Or, ask how they are incorporating sustainable materials into their supply chain that don’t contribute to climate change or environmental waste (you don’t know how many times I have written this in response to paid partnership emails and get no response….crickets)

5. Support legislation that requires companies to identify, track, and report on measures to phase out fossil-fuel materials, switch to more sustainable materials, and account for worker rights and environmental impact

What are some relevant policies around fashion and climate justice? How can we get involved or support these policies?

Unfortunately, in the U.S. we don’t currently have legislation or policy proposals that require companies to phase out fossil fuel-based materials and/or report on the use of sustainable materials. So this is an opportunity for us to make this happen! We can raise awareness, organize, and urge our local or federal policy makers to do something.

What are your tips for cultivating a sustainable style?

Things that have helped me:

- Identifying colors I like and wear often and creating a “color story” to help guide my shopping

- Making a “wish” vs. “need” shopping list and being honest and rigorous about what I add

- Asking myself is this the best choice in the market for me? That pushes me to pause on an impulse decision (you know like buying all the cute little products while in line at Sephora), force you to do some research, buy what you love, and avoid waste to your wallet and the planet. Over time, this will become a habit and you’ll see yourself making better, more fulfilling choices.

Our mantra is "Live Vibrant & Shine Bright." What does it look like for you to live vibrant and shine bright?

Securing the bag! By thinking of my sustainability as taking care of my finances, it has helped me live a financially healthy, vibrant, fulfilling life while making a positive impact on the environment.


Watch our Soultry Hangout interview on SOULstainable Fashion with Jackie!


Learn more about Jackie!

Jackie Rodríguez is a Salvi-Angeleno based in Washington, DC. She works as strategic communications consultant for energy and sustainability clients in DC. In her free time, she grams about sustainability, consumption, and climate change from a community and wealth-building perspective. She credits her Salvadorian parents for teaching her to conserve, save, and put community first.

Stay connect with Jackie on social media @jacquitabanana

Learn more about where to donate clothes here!

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