This past weekend I spoke on a sustainable fashion panel at the Los Angeles Green Festival. We (the panelists) were asked to wear our favorite sustainable brands and be prepared to share the ways our chosen brands are making a difference. At first this felt daunting, but YSTR made the choice easy for me.
Deemed “the next Reformation” by Refinery 29, YSTR is redefining modern fashion through their disruptive, eco-friendly business model.
Every piece they sell is cut-to-order, manufactured by fairly paid staff in Los Angeles, and constructed to last.
Why is this important? The U.S. alone creates over 11 million tons of fashion waste each year, and this figure continues to grow. Many fast fashion brands sew clothing with cheap thread and other low quality components that are made to rip and fall apart, so you’ll need to purchase a replacement item. (Ever wonder why that $10 blouse unraveled in your washing machine the first time you washed it?) This strategy — “planned obsolescence” as they call it in the business world — is great if you’re looking to unethically profit at your customer’s expense, but it’s not so great for the environment. In fact, it’s creating a crisis thanks to all the discarded clothes that end up in landfills.
On top of this, fast fashion pieces are often extremely trendy…so trendy that chances are, within a month or two after purchasing that pleated pleather skirt from H&M (yes, I once bought one) you may not be willing to leave the house wearing it. During my wannabe punk phase in high school I begged my mom to buy me denim flares from Mervyn’s (RIP) that had safety pins down the front in place of the zipper. She got sick of arguing about it and gave in, but the first day I wore them to school a cute boy pointed out that I was wearing diaper pins, not safety pins, and the jeans immediately got retired. Another garment bites the dust.
Both of these tragic scenarios occur post purchase, but what about all the items a brand manufactures that don’t get sold? Sometimes unsold clothing is donated or bought by off-price retailers like T.J. Maxx, but a large portion of unsold clothing ends up in, you guessed it, landfills. This brings me back to why I am such a huge fan of YSTR.
By using cut-to-order production YSTR drastically reduces their waste; they have no unsold inventory to discard.
This is a big deal! When is the last time you bought a dress specifically sewn for you? I thought that only happened in Nancy Drew novels (anybody?), but I predict what was once the norm for many in the 1950s will make a comeback thanks to YSTR setting the bar high. They design with longevity in mind because they want to make sure their customers hang on to their much loved pieces. This results in stunning, well constructed clothing that is wearable season after season.
I finally settled on their Anaelle Top paired with the Remi Pant for the Green Festival, and I was honored to represent them. Check out the full look below. They gave me a coupon to share, so if you’re interested in purchasing a sustainable, high quality, high fashion piece from YSTR’s latest collection, click here, and use the code “Michelleforgood” to take $20 off your next order of $50 or more. Enjoy your new favorite blouse, again and again and again!
Photos courtesy Djae Outlaw