Sustainable Fashion with Bianca Foley x CD Studio
We talk to the lovely Bianca Foley the Sustainability Consultant & Podcaster, about her approach to ethical fashion and wardrobe essentials. Wearing our collaboration with CD Studio, she talks about how she went from fast fashion to finding her own way in the sustainability space. We hope she inspires you as much as she does us!
“I think sustainability as it is nowadays is so far removed from the traditional sense of the word, so for me I think sustainability is all about being mindful and more conscious about every decision you make.”
First of all, could you please introduce yourself and tell us a bit about what you do?
I’m Bianca Foley, sustainability content creator, podcaster and consultant. I co-host the podcast Sustainably Influenced and we are about to launch Season 6 in the autumn!
You are a FORMER fast fashion addict – what do you think the pull is for so many of us to shop this way?
I don’t shop fast fashion anymore and haven’t for quite some time now! But I can definitely see why people shop fast fashion and ultra fast fashion, when every magazine and publication is telling you that you need to buy this NOW. It’s hard to not get distracted because fashion in its purest form, is truly beautiful. It is just the mass over-consumption that has caused problems.
And where did your desire to do things more sustainably begin?
About 8 years ago, I started looking into capsule wardrobes. What it means and why they can be a revolutionary way to remove the confusion out of getting dressed in the morning. I started my own business 7 years ago called GLDN which was focussed on selling a minimal amount of pieces, classic styles that would be available all year round. From there, my interest in sustainability grew.
How difficult has the journey been for you to learn to shop in a totally different way?
I can’t lie, there are times where I’ll see something in a shop window and fall in love, but I have to remember that I don’t want to partake in mindless impulse buying anymore. Anything I do buy now is considered, I try not to buy things I know I won’t love in 5 or more years time. That’s always my biggest tip, try to think, do you really need an item before you buy it!
How have you gone about curating a capsule wardrobe for yourself and what are your top tips for anyone to do the same?
I wouldn’t say I have a capsule wardrobe at the moment but I do have is an everyday wardrobe of classic, easy to wear items that I can wear day after day. My top tip for creating a capsule wardrobe is to completely empty your wardrobe and only put back the pieces you wear all the time. Whatever is left behind, try it on and whatever you don’t like or doesn’t fit, give away or sell. More seasonal items, can be stored away in vacuum sealed bags or a suitcase; and make sure to get things mended when they are broken, that way you will get the most use out of your clothes!
What do you think we need to see more of in the sustainable fashion space in order to make it a more inclusive and dynamic place?
Size inclusivity would be amazing as well as true education on what it means to a conscious brand. I find that there is a lot of mixed messaging or greenwashing, especially on the high street. I will always champion a brand that may not be perfect, but is actively working towards change, however when a brand is quite obviously greenwashing, it confuses consumers.
“My top tip for creating a capsule wardrobe is to completely empty your wardrobe and only put back the pieces you wear all the time. Whatever is left behind, try it on and whatever you don’t like or doesn’t fit, give away or sell.”
How do you consider after care of garments in terms of sustainability?
The concept of sustainability is all about reusing, reducing and recycling to lower our impact on the environment. The traditional model for the fashion industry is based on “take, make, dispose”, something that brands are slowly trying to move away from! Garment care is a huge factor in this – if you are properly washing your clothes, you are helping to extending the lifecycle of the garment. The same goes for repair, by mending your clothes where needed, you can prolong the life of your garments meaning you keep them for a much longer time.
What are you most excited about within the space and where it’s going at the moment?
I think changes in textile production are the most exciting innovations are the most incredible things going on in the space at the moment. It’s fantastic that things like mushroom leather (mycelium) as well as fibres made from everyday household products like coffee and banana are going to mean big changes in the way our garments are made and help us to reduce waste!
Finally, what does sustainability mean to you?
It means a lot of things but generally speaking, I think sustainability as it is nowadays is so far removed from the traditional sense of the word, so for me I think sustainability is all about being mindful and more conscious about every decision you make. Every time you choose to buy a product, you make a choice, so where and how you spend matters.
Words from Bianca Foley @biancaffoley