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Art of the pose.

Featured Article

What’s in style this fall? SUSTAINABILITY!

Using our consumer power to help change the environment.

Article by Caroline C. Barney

Photography by Jerri Graham

Originally published in Westport Lifestyle

I’m a terrible shopper. I’ve no idea what I’m doing. I rely on friends and my daughters (and their friends) to get through. Why? Every time I try to go it alone, I end up returning what I bought after my teenagers scoff at me (and yes – I do mean scoff).

Full confession, because why not? We’re all neighbors here. Not too long ago a friend came over and made me take maternity pants out of my closet (my youngest is 16). I also had an abnormal number of sweater twin sets from the 90s. I think I’ve said enough.

So… the idea of talking fashion and shopping with you, well, that’s a situation! My solution? Do what I always do: ask friends!

Enter Professor Jaclyn Lindsey-Noble, materials and supply chain expert who focuses on sustainable sourcing for the fashion industry, a professor at FIT and Fairfield University’s School of Business, and lucky us, a Westport resident.

Why Jaclyn? Well, first, her bio is insane with 30+ years in the apparel industry. Second, she’s fun. Third, she sees fashion through a lens of sustainability that really speaks to me. I can shop in a way that’s better for the earth? I’m intrigued. Sounds like a perfect reason to guilt-free run the credit card (n’est-ce pas?).

Jaclyn introduced me to a whole new way of seeing fashion, shopping, and my role in being gentler on our environment. “Consumers can play a huge part in helping the fashion industry when it comes to sustainability,” says Jaclyn. “By requiring brands to adopt new strategies that prioritize reducing, reusing and recycling garments and textile waste, consumers have the power to make change happen. We all have choices about where and what we buy and use. It’s up to us to use those choices wisely.”

These choices matter, as the issues facing the fashion industry are daunting: an estimated 100,000 billion garments produced globally every year and forecasted to triple by 2050.

With less than 1% of clothing currently recycled, an estimated 90 million tons of textile waste ends up in landfills each year, most of which impacts developing countries. Microplastic pollution, caused by fibers shed from synthetic materials during laundry, also poses additional risks to our health and ecosystems.

Simultaneously, sustainable solutions must include improving labor conditions and ensuring fair wages for millions of individuals working within the industry and impacted by the rise of fast, cheap fashion.

It turns out that we are buying 60% more than we did in 2000 and it's estimated that 20% of the clothing in our wardrobe is never worn (are sweater sets back yet?). It’s time to do things differently and it turns out that we have some great options here in Westport.

“Start with your own closet,” Jaclyn tells me. “What can you donate, upcycle (think repair), and recycle before you add more?”

This one was easy for me because, as I previously confessed, an intervention had already been staged in my closet. Unused, ill-fitting clothes had been donated or recycled. Am I killing it at sustainability yet?

“Next, embrace resale and reuse,” Jaclyn says.

Let the shopping begin!

It would be no lie to say that I have bought donuts from Coffee An’ at least 8 billion times (if you haven’t eaten these donuts you’re crazy), yet on all of those visits, I never stopped at Cloud Nine Designer Consignments next door. I was missing out! Wanting to nail this fashion-focused situation and keep clothes out of landfills, I jumped on the chance to have Jaclyn show me how it’s done by visiting this fabulous store.

Here’s where I dragged along the younger humans. They just make everything more fun and, let’s face it, with modeling clothes on the agenda, if social media has taught them nothing else, it’s how to strike a pose.

The store’s owner, Cindy Burdo, welcomed our eclectic crew, helped style us, and before I knew it, the girls looked so fabulous they could be on the cover of Rolling Stones magazine (I know…I’m biased here). And Jaclyn was ready with outfits for a stroll down Main Street, a meeting at work, or a night out.

The punchline – we love our new clothes, shopped locally, had a blast, and now understand our roles as consumers a little bit differently. And if consignment stores don’t have what I’m looking for, I’m going to take Jaclyn’s advice and use my spending dollars to influence the change I want to see by purchasing from sustainable brands.

Many retail stores in Westport fit this bill (pun intended). They support sustainability efforts through a combination of responsible design, reuse, recycle, repurpose and rental options.

“I’ve witnessed the relentless pace of fast fashion and how textiles have become one of the largest polluters in the world,” says Jaclyn. I’m using my experience and voice to be part of change in this industry. A change that we all can be part of as customers. When we ‘buy better’ we support those in the sector who are responsibly caring for our world and that is how lasting change is made, one person at a time.”

Thank you, Jaclyn, Cindy and the sustainable brands in town for taking steps to love this beautiful world with the choices you make. I’m now on this bandwagon with you too. Anyone else want to join us?   

  • Patagonia is a world leader in sustainable apparel, recycled materials, return and repair services and lifetime guarantees.
  • Eileen Fisher is committed to using sustainable materials and paying workers a living wage.
  • Unsubscribe offers repurposed, reused, and sustainable clothing.
  • Theory has the consciously designed Good Collection
  • Splendid is introducing recycled cashmere for Fall 2023.
  • Vince has a subscription-based rent-return-repeat service (Unfold).
  • Madewell will take your preloved jeans (any brand) for recycling and home insulation and give you $20 off a new pair of jeans.
  • Lululemon accepts gently used Lululemon items in exchange for an e-gift.
  • Urban Outfitters offers Urban Renewal products that focus on repurposed, remade and one-of-a-kind vintage.
  • Athleta is B-corp certified with a commitment to positive environmental impact to both products and people.
  • Barbour has waterproof products sourced without hazardous substances.
  • Brouchu Walker uses certified Responsible Wool for their cashmere and supports water restoration initiatives in communities throughout the USA.
  • Marine Layers has eco-friendly tees with up to a $5 credit per t-shirt. Their goal is to divert 900,000 tees from landfill by 2025.
  • Vuori has a climate neutral pledge that is worth the read.
  • Materials and Supply Chain expert, Professor Jaclyn Lindsey-Noble.
  •  Shopping at Cloud Nine Designer Consignments.
  • Ready to stroll down Main Street.
  • Evening perfect.
  • Rolling Stones cover shot?
  • Art of the pose.
  • Shopping so good it’s worth fighting over.
  • You can see why I brought the younger humans right?
  • Caroline with Cindy, ownder of Cloud Nine Designer Consignment.