Driving a sustainable future beginning with basics: Stephanie Devine (Part 2)
26 April 2019
Stephanie Devine is a pioneer in sustainable fashion, single handedly creating the world’s first zero post-consumer waste bra. In a two-part series, we learn about her journey towards success and vision for the future of sustainability in the fashion industry. In Part 1, Devine outlines the challenges associated with creating a zero-waste bra, and her observations on the fashion industry today. In Part 2, she offers her greatest tips to become more sustainably minded, and ease the confusion consumers may face when tasked with purchasing more environmentally friendly products. She also offers us a glimpse into the future of her brand, and outlines her mantra for staying sustainable.
Brands are now starting to catch up to changes in consumer preferences, but a large misconception remains with many customers still confused about exactly how their purchasing practices are affecting the environment. As an important innovator in the sustainable fashion industry, Devine offers some guidance to anybody wishing to become a little more sustainably minded.
She reminds us all to check for natural and sustainable fibers when purchasing garments, and to steer clear of environmentally harmful products such as nylon and polyester. Buying products made with botanical fibers is also useful, however Devine warns that some may not be sourced sustainably and processed cleanly. To make sustainable purchases simpler she says, “Try to buy from brands you know source ethically and responsibility – ask questions.”
Above all else however, keeping clothing in the fashion loop for longer is paramount for Devine. She already sees great potential for resale fashion. “It is expected that the market for pre-owned clothes will grow by 500% in the next 10 years, that’s a great thing!” Subscribing to the circular economy, and keeping clothes away from trash for as long as possible is key. “Where you can, buy something preloved…it will last longer and then you too can re-circulate it into someone else’s wardrobe.”
Devine acknowledges the difficulties many consumers still face when aiming for a sustainable lifestyle.
“There’s a lot of pressure to be perfect, and it’s an imperfect world,” she says. Owning a 100% sustainable wardrobe for Devine is a great goal, but is not the be all end all. “No one has to wear zero-waste all the time, but if we can shift as much of our consumption to this place as we can, the world will be better for it.”
Despite these challenges, Devine is excited about the future of her brand and the wider industry. “I’d love to do more menswear!” she exclaims. She continues to see new developments on the horizon such as Roica fabric, a much cleaner alternative to spandex, which, as the fabric gains popularity with her key suppliers, may just find its way into her first menswear offering. “There’s a lovely market out there for basics that are clean and pure, because these are the clothes that we wear closest to our bodies.”
Devine’s message in a nutshell? “Buy less, buy better.” We can all play our part in making a difference. It is never about being perfect, just a little more mindful. If each of us shifts our habits and empowers ourselves with knowledge about our own sustainable practices, we can speed up this paradigm shift, and compel those final holdouts to make changes too.
This is Part 2 in a dual-part series about Stephanie Devine and her take on the sustainable fashion industry. To find out more about her journey click here, and shop The Very Good Bra here. To read Part 1 of the series, please click here