The Journey to a Sustainable Fashion brand
The Journey to a Sustainable Fashion BrandIn this episode of Hometown: Earth we discuss how Jazz’s vintage sustainable streetwear brand, SUMBAE, came to life, and how it is working on giving back to the planet and local communities through its sustainability pact. We also talk about streetwear style, the harm of fast fashion, and Jazz gives her tips for vintage and secondhand shopping to create a unique style that works for you.
SUMBAE ClothingYou’ve heard it a million times, “One person’s trash, is another person’s treasure” well in Jazz Jackson’s case, “One person’s trash, is another person’s beautifully curated vintage streetwear collection.” Jazz is a content creator, influencer, and the founder of SUMBAE a vintage Clothing and streetwear brand featuring 90s street style clothing. She’s my go-to when it comes to finding stylish, sustainable fashion!
How Sustainable is Fashion?But first, did you know that over 100 billion items of clothing are produced each year with as much as 20% going unsold, and Americans alone send 10.5 million tons of clothes to a landfill each year. The fashion industry is one of the top polluting industries in the world due to carbon emissions, water use, and chemical usage. This industry is responsible for 10% of annual global carbon emissions, more than all international flights and ocean shipping combined. By extending the wear on one item of your clothing for 9 months longer you can actually reduce your carbon footprint by 30 percent! The fashion industry also takes up vast amounts of water to produce even one cotton t-shirt. And, most of our clothes are made from polyester, nylon, and acrylic which is just straight-up – plastic, soaked in a dye that pollutes our water. So when you’re buying sustainable fashion you’re actually allowing for less clothing to be in landfills, fewer resources wasted, and less pollution from pesticides, dyes, and plastics. One of the ways to be sustainable is shopping second-hand.
Jazz’s storyJazz started her story as a child, learning how to be more sustainable from her family out of necessity. As she grew older, she built on her skills and developed a deeper connection with being sustainable and practicing it in everyday life.
She developed her style from her growing up as a tomboy around her two brothers and wanting to wear what they wore, as well as thrifting clothes, wearing her granddad’s flannels and sweatshirts, and pulling inspiration from the 90s streetwear culture. If you’re asking yourself what streetwear is, Jazz describes it as a worn-in, oversized, really cozy baggy look. Essential pieces are graphic tees, oversized sweaters, joggers, and sneakers.
“The more I learned about being really conscious about my own personal choices and consumption patterns and the larger negative impact that it has on our planet and on people, it really got to me. I know I can’t change the world, but what can do and what I’m in control of is myself.”
SUMBAEJazz tells us that she thought about starting the brand since college when she was working in consignment and thrift stores, sourcing and pricing merchandise as well as styling. When the pandemic hit, she dove into something she was always passionate about and invested in her dreams – creating a brand that’s good for the planet and people. Vintage can include every decade and style, but she was able to curate a very specific audience that can make a positive impact through streetwear.
Sustainability pactSUMBAE values honesty and transparency in everything they do. Jazz says,
SUMBAE is sustainably sourced, has sustainable packaging, offsets their emissions, and partners with One Tree Planted to plant trees for every order.
“When it came to SUMBAE I had this thought this entire time – it’s not about me. What I’m doing, the brand – isn’t about me. It’s about people: my community, my network of like-minded people who hold really hold sustainability and wanting to be more eco-conscious in high regard.”
“I feel like I’ve really grounded in the fact that I’ve always the brand to be bigger than me. My intention is to go levels deeper and to really make a positive impact in the communities that I’m a part of.”
Tips for Sustainable clothingFast fashion is rapid, mass production of super cheap clothing, but the environmental costs are extremely high. As a creative and influencer herself, Jazz used to shop from big box stores but realized that she wasn’t wearing the pieces she bought and decided to lean into her strong moral grounds of protecting the planet and people over fast fashion. “It’s beyond fast fashion, its consumerism and capitalism at its core – we care about profits over people and it hurts me” She says that people who are willing to start the conversations around these topics are the ones who are going to make a difference.
Jazz’s tips for sustainable fashion:
- Take an inventory of what you already have! Jazz wears a piece of clothing turns it the other way in her closet so that every quarter she can take inventory of the types of items she’s really wearing, and what she isn’t so she can be more intentional about what she should buy moving forward.
- Donating and reselling what you don’t wear.
- Realize what clothing you’re gravitating towards to help build your style. For instance, she favors layered items and windbreakers, so she knows if she finds a secondhand piece that fits that she’s likely to wear it.
- Have an outfit in mind for what you are buying.
- Make a list of what you need to help reduce impulse buys, and so that you can intentionally search for the right piece to fit your wardrobe.
Something to Grow OnOn this week’s segment of Something to Grow On I wanted to share with you a quote from Mahatma Gandi – which says “There is no beauty in the finest clothes if it makes hunger and unhappiness.” Isn’t there so much power in that? There are so many ways other than buying fast fashion to look great AND feel great about it. That is why I have grown to love secondhand items. When you’re buying secondhand, youre reducing your environmental impact, youre not promoting the exploitation of workers, it typically saves you money, and you’re able to create a unique style authentic to you. This week, search local businesses that sell secondhand and check them out, and here you can find some of the best online vintage and thrifted shopping resources so you can start curating your wardrobe that speaks kindly to you, and the planet.
Jazz is a content creator and influencer focusing on thrifted fashion and eco-conscious living, and the founder of SUMBAE – a vintage Clothing and streetwear brand featuring 90s street style clothing.
Find her on Instagram: @allthatjazzxx_
Find her on YouTube: All That Jazz
SUMBAE Instagram: @sumbaeclothing
SUMBAE Website: https://sumbae.com
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