ELLE’s Sustainability Issue: My Thoughts

The True Impact of ELLE's Sustainability Issue | Curiously Conscious

I’ll be honest with you, I’m a bit late to the table when it comes to ELLE UK‘s Sustainability Issue. I never quite understood why the September issue comes out in August, and so on and so forth. But as London Fashion Week kicks off this week, I wanted to write a few posts about ethical fashion, and fashion media plays a massive part in that.

The Sustainability Issue

I’ll be honest, I still feel a lot like Anne Hathaway at the start of The Devil Wears Prada when it comes to fashion. I’m intrigued by it all, but I’m still working on my own style, and there’s a lot I don’t quite get… like, how do you dress for LFW?

One thing I do know is that the September Issue is the most purchased magazine for any fashion monthly, so it means a lot for ELLE to use their platform to highlight sustainable fashion.

Shining a Positive Light

I was so stoked to read Anne-Marie Curtis‘ Editor’s Letter and hear the ELLE team were taking a positive stance on sustainable fashion. I think real change can only come from spreading love and positivity, rather than pointing the finger at terrible practices.

And from cover to cover, they did just that; highlighting the best ethical luxury fashion houses; trying out natural beauty products; and most importantly, giving their coveted platform to change-makers like CSF Director Dilys Williams, the trio behind Fashion Revolution, and Naomi Klein.

The Eco A-Z

One of my favourite articles in the issue was their Eco A-Z, which has since been republished online. If you need an introduction – or refresher – to sustainable fashion and its importance, this list will point you in the right direction.

I’ve also taken to using the magazine as a resource for finding brands, people, and ways to improve my own sustainable fashion knowledge. It’s become my new little fashion bible!

Are Fashion Influencers Sustainable?

Another key piece in the magazine was Pandora Sykes‘ editorial on being a fashion influencer. As one of my favourite fashion journalists, I’ve followed her writing and podcast for a good while now. In just one page, she succinctly dissected the difference between material wealth and actual wealth from work (which is often very different, with fashion brands happy to pay influencers in free product rather than in cash).

She also explained how her following has made her into an influencer, and with that power comes responsibility. I like that she pits herself against the average haul-obsessed YouTuber, and that we “re-wearers” shouldn’t buy to satisfy our audience, but instead our own wardrobes.

It’s partly the reason why I started Ethical Influencers, too. If we as writers, creatives, Instagrammers, and more have the power to change peoples’ shopping habits, why not recommend ethical brands who truly are making a difference?

Making a Real Commitment

The final string in ELLE’s bow comes from their own commitment to be more sustainable. It’s all well and good to shout about sustainability, but are you actually sustainable? I was genuinely impressed by their change to recycled paper stock, and better working practices as advised by eco consultancy Akerbrant.

While I may be a tiny guppy in the ethical media pond, I do feel good for having similarly changed to a wind-powered hosting provider in 2017 and tried hard to be as zero-waste as possible!


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