I am Jasmin Ella, brought up in Lower Sunbury on one of the Islands where my family has lived for 18 years. I now live in Sweden, a country with a great record in recycling and sustainability. About a year ago I decided to make a change in my everyday life to be more environmentally conscious, reduce my consumption of harmful products and share my sustainable journey in the hope that this will inspire others. I started a blog.
Fashion is my biggest passion and I have learnt from my mother that nothing has to go to waste as you can always create something else! Before you read the word sustainable fashion and think plain, unflattering hemp made clothing and stop reading, I just want to point out that sustainable clothing can be beautiful and completely and utterly you.
I should also mention that the fashion industry is the second most polluting industry in the world. 2,700 litres of water are used to make the cotton for just one t-shirt*. That’s around 3 years of drinking water, crazy right? Manufacturing pollutes the water, creates landfills and emits ridiculous amounts of toxins and Co2. But in our disposable society we think nothing of buying cheap and discarding quickly.
I have made an oath that I will only buy sustainable clothing, not contribute to the fast fashion mentality and show others how sustainability can be fashionable. Last week my mum and I raided the charity shops in Shepperton with the intent to upcycle. This is the idea of taking an item and reusing it, making it of higher quality or value than the original. The first thing to do before you set off on this adventure is take a look in your wardrobe, see what essentials you are missing and what looks you want to create. Have a good look through everything in the stores, make your way through the racks and be patient. The special finds will always be the last thing you pick up just before you decide to leave! The whole point of upcycling is to not give up on the perfect skirt or pretty dress because it’s a size too large or slightly too long, the best items I got from my second-hand haul was a dowdy dress which I made into a top and separate skirt, giving it a very modern and stylish look, and the jumper in this picture.
I altered the neck line and managed to create a little jacket for my dog out of the left-over material. Keep practising your stitching and you’ll be able to create amazing items.
This is the easiest and absolutely the cheapest way to be more environmentally conscious when it comes to fashion and to give your wardrobe that pick me up that it deserves. It allows you to express your creativity, create one of a kind items and reduce your carbon footprint along the way.
Climate change is real, landfills are over spilling and toxins are poisoning our waters so NOW is the time to change. Sustainability doesn’t have to be boring. It can be a part of your everyday life and you can look and feel good doing it!
Happy shopping and good luck, every little action will help our future generations live in a green, healthy and happy world.
Art featured is by Sunbury artist Sue Munson (www.suemunson.com)