TOP’s Most Inspiring Women Fighting Fast Fashion

By: Annie Shea
Did you know that the fashion industry is the second largest polluting industry in the world, amassing over 100 million tons in landfills every year? If that’s not bad enough, the industry is also responsible for 10% of global CO2 emissions, causing our planet to warm more and more every day. You might be surprised to learn that your shopping spree at Forever 21 last weekend actually did have a direct impact on the polar bears in the Arctic.
We’re not saying to get rid of fashion altogether. We’re always looking for solutions. Sustainable, ethical, charitable fashion is possible and these young women are showing us how while inspiring us along the way.

1. Emma Slade Edmonson

London-based writer, TEDx speaker, and sustainable fashion enthusiast, Emma Slade Edmonson is best known for her charity work. Having founded Charity Fashion Live, an organization that changed the fashion industry by recreating London Fashion Week looks using only materials found in a single charity shop, Emma is redefining the world of fashion. She also co-produced the #LoveNotLandfill pop-up and campaign, a movement that fights against fast fashion, urging consumers to put their clothes in a bank, give them to charity, and purchase secondhand.

2. Aja Barber

Aja Barber grew up in the States but now resides in London where she is making a name for herself in the world of slow fashion. Aja uses her Instagram account, which has almost 60,000 followers, to call out fast fashion companies on their manipulative greenwashing tactics. Her profile features thought-provoking questions creating a conversation around the effects of fashion on our planet—a conversation we’d personally love to be a part of.

3. Celine Semaan

Celine Semaan is a designer, writer, advocate, and founder of The Slow Factory, a public service organization working at the intersection of climate & culture. The Slow Factory explores the environmental and social impacts of fast-fashion while taking action on new sustainable solutions and educating others. Celine’s work has been featured in The New York Times, Scientific American, and CNN, among others, as she uses her company to not only promote sustainability practices but to use fashion as a medium to raise awareness on human rights.

4. Corinna

Based in Germany, Corinna has been encouraging others to go green with fashion and interior design since 2015. Her sustainability journey began a bit earlier, though, when she decided to stick to a vegan diet when she was only 12 years old. “Despite everything, I want to stay as undogmatic as possible. Live and let live. Every little step in the right direction counts.” Read this blog post to learn more about what inspired Corinna to fight against the world of fast fashion.

5. Carmen Jenny

Carmen Jenny is a self-proclaimed “sustainability enthusiast” using fashion as a voice for our planet. She aims to be as transparent as possible when it comes to the negative effects of fast fashion while sharing her favorite eco-friendly brands and encouraging others to keep tabs on where their clothing is sourced. Check out her blogazine, Carmitive, for all your eco-friendly fashion and vegan, cruelty-free beauty needs.

6. Venetia La Manna

Self-identified as a slow fashion advocate, Venetia La Manna is doing more than her part in the fight for our planet. An active campaigner, you’ll likely find her on the front lines at rallies calling on companies to change their policies and the way their clothing is made, not to mention the amount. She created the #OOOTD (old outfit of the day) hashtag to inspire you to showcase the most sustainable clothes in your closet—the ones you already own!

7. Aditi Mayer

According to her Instagram bio, Aditi Mayer is decolonizing fashion and sustainability. She is the creative behind ADIMAY, a sustainable fashion blog exploring the ties between style, travel, and living with social and environmental justice. Follow along as Aditi travels the world as a speaker on conscious living and shares her favorite sustainable fashion pieces with beautifully captured photos on her Instagram.

8. Marina Testino

As the niece of famous photographer Mario Testino, Marina is the perfect example of someone using their voice to send a powerful message. She started her #OneDressToImpress campaign to raise awareness around conscious consumerism and the many problems caused by fast fashion. She also happens to be the founder of Point Off View, a mission-driven micro agency focused on digital communication and sustainable transformation.

9. Louise Descamps

Young osteopath and mostly-vegan eco-fashionista Louise Descamps is, in her words, “on a mission to prove that sustainable can be fashionable.” Her Instagram is proof of that, featuring beautifully warm photography and her casually vintage style. On her blog, she interviews French designers of upcycled fashion, discusses the importance of choosing cruelty-free and sustainable material, and highlights loads of eco-responsible brands and products.

Eco-Warriors Around the World