Fashionability: A Platform to Shop Sustainably
By: Guenevere Dunstan
Fashionability, an Instagram account that educates its followers on sustainable brands, is pushing consumers to create their own unique style within the limitations of shopping sustainably.
In conversation with Valeria Santo, the founder of Fashionability, she shared her take on how the fashion industry has been transitioning down a more sustainable path. Valeria is a senior at Emerson College, majoring in Communications and double minoring in Art History and Photography. She graduates this December and hopes to expand the scope of Fashionability into a content creation agency after graduation. She also looks to broaden Fashionability’s media reach into a website that brands and consumers can use as a resource for sustainable photo shoots and shopping.
Photos shot by and courtesy of Valeria Sarto
According to Valeria, since the 2013 collapse of the Rana Plaza factory in Bangladesh, which killed 1,127 people, the fashion industry has been transitioning down a more sustainable path. The Rana Plaza collapse was a turning point, as it opened consumers’ eyes to what they are actually funding when they shop at fast fashion brands.
Current pioneers in the sustainable fashion industry include Stella McCartney, who has been praised for her vegan leathers, Mara Hoffman, who uses bright upcycled fabrics, and Collina Strada, who included a paper under each seat during her 2019 New York Fashion Week show about how to be more sustainable.
Fashionability aims to bring awareness and traction to brands like the ones priorly mentioned. On its Instagram, each brand has its own row, with information about the brand as well as price points featured in the caption. This layout is meant to make Fashionability more accessible for its viewers, where one can scroll through the feed and find alternatives to fast fashion.
Valeria is hoping to expand her reach from the original target audience of millennials to marketing towards anyone who is interested in a “vintage and eco-friendly lifestyle.” People often used to ask her where and how to shop sustainably, and now she is able to organize her favorite sustainable brands in one central location for all her followers.
When asked how one can shop sustainably, Valeria listed many options, including thrifting, borrowing clothing from friends, renting clothing, and to stop shopping at fast fashion brands in general. Shopping sustainably not only saves the environment, but it also encourages people to think outside of the box and creatively use their closet in new ways.
Valeria hopes that in ten years, the fashion industry will be moving down a much more sustainable path. She believes that “what has to happen is that the fashion industry needs to change more than the consumer completely.”
There will always be the problem of cost, and it is important that consumers are able to find sustainable options that are not overly expensive. The time to stop shopping fast fashion is now, and Fashionability is here to help. Next time you consider walking into a Zara or H&M, scroll through Fashionability’s feed, because there might just be a sustainable alternative to what you are looking for.