‘Every time you spend money, you’re casting a vote for the kind of world that you want.’ - Anna Lappe
Believe it or not, but we all hold an important political power by consciously choosing where we spend our money. Cheap fashion, commonly known as fast fashion, is really far from that. It may be cheap in terms of financial cost, but expensive when it comes to environmental impact, durability of the garment and cost on humanity. The alternative? Buy less, choose well and make it last. It’s actually that simple. And I assure you - you can actively participate in the sustainable future of fashion, whilst looking fabulous.
As we have this conversation, I would like to acknowledge that it is simply not financially feasible for everyone to make the more expensive and sustainable choice. Our discussion is directed to the demographic involved with over consuming material items willy nilly without consideration for the long term effects.
It’s not groundbreaking news that the term 'sustainability' gets thrown around carelessly these days. It’s become one of the buzziest words around, which in turn has damaging consequences by disrupting the sincerity and potency of the movement itself. We hear it take many expressions - sustainable, ethical, socially conscious, eco-friendly, fair trade, slow fashion, eco fabrics. Ultimately, these are all alternatives to the same movement: to produce garments in a manner which is less harmful to the environment. However, when fast fashion businesses (think: Cotton On, Supre, Glassons, Big W, Kmart, etc) produce swimwear lines using a more sustainable fabric but without changing their business model (to sell as much cheap swimwear as humanly possible), then what is the point of using a different fabric if their business model itself is dramatically opposed to the movement? What happens to the masses of swimwear which don’t get sold or which don’t last a second swim season? What about the landfill repercussions of this type of production?
Next time you're shopping, be aware that a swing tag using the word “sustainable” does not mean the retailer is necessarily using better processes to develop that garment. Sustainable initiatives give brands a do-good, feel-good purpose that goes beyond simply selling products and making a profit. As a consumer, it’s important to take an interest in researching your purchases, because intention is a very powerful thing.
Our belief at MARVELL LANE is that being sustainable is not a trend, but rather a pledge to continue to develop and explore new ways to meet the demands of the present without compromising the livelihood of future generations and our environment. It is a legitimate consideration and acknowledgement that there is a person behind every garment and a planet we need to take care of.
But why does a sustainable approach to the production of swimwear specifically matter? Because frankly, conventional swimwear fabric isn’t kind to our environment. Made using virgin synthetics derived from plastic, traditional swimwear is not built to biodegrade. Not only do these pieces take decades to break down in nature, but the fabric production process also has a significant impact. And let’s not forget the huge social impact. Cheap clothing means someone, somewhere down the line isn’t being valued as a human being. So yes, swimwear that is both ethical and sustainable matters. But I promise, it isn’t all doom and gloom! It is actually an opportunity to evolve and to smell sweeter air! So let’s talk fashion, innovation and sustainability because this stuff is actually really exciting!
We believe there are three key things to consider when looking at sustainability through a fashion lens - design, production and consideration for the lifespan of a garment in its entirety, from concept to disposal. We’re seeing designers being savvier than ever, they’re not only paying attention to the quality of their garments, but the entire supply chain, production processes, and product after-life.
MARVELL LANE is a swimwear brand producing in a world where fashion production and consumption have left a devastating impact on individual lives, collective communities and global existence. We are not naive to this reality. That being said, we aren’t “just another swimwear label”. We produce swimwear for a niche size range, servicing women who would otherwise not have any or many swimwear choices - so we believe our business should exist. We are however, constantly evolving our sustainability practises, and moving towards the goal of 100% sustainably sourced materials for fabrication and packaging. At present the external fabric of our swimwear is made in Italy from post-consumer waste, none of our garments are individually wrapped in plastic, our tissue paper and packaging is fully recyclable and our poly mail bags are sourced from the Better Packaging Co. For our Spring/Summer 21/22 collection, we’re aiming to not only have our packaging fully recyclable but also made from 100% post consumer waste.
We are a small business and we have made the decision to only produce what we anticipate on selling. Sometimes this means we run out product to sell and could produce more, however as we could not sell all (or most of it) we chose not to do another production run and forgo making more money. We keep our production to an absolute minimum and focus on quality. MARVELL LANE does not and will not partake in fast fashion. We create from a place of consideration for the environment and humanity.
Anne Kien famously said ‘Clothes aren’t going to change the world. The women who wear them will.’ Choose to be the woman that makes change, take the opportunity to choose the future of the world that you live in. As women, and as consumers of MARVELL LANE, you are choosing a brighter and more sustainable future.
Excellent and thought provoking post! Thanks for being at the helm of making the change MARVELL LANE.