by Morgan Wagstaff
How might living with less actually be better for the planet and its people?
Living with less is so much more than just not buying things. It’s about living with intentionality, building habits that make daily life less hectic and purchasing only the things that bring us joy or serve a purpose. We all have to purchase things to live. We all need shelter, food, clothing, transportation, etc. But are there ways we can be more mindful about those purchases? Since we cannot live without these few things, how can we shift the way we purchase these things to help us live with less?
We all wake up every morning and get dressed. It’s something we can’t live without. That being said, it is so important to learn about what we’re putting on, it’s effect on our plant and why having less is actually more. Living intentionally is about being conscious of our decisions and that goes for the clothes we purchase and wear.
Within the last decade there has been a lot of talk about our clothes and the impact they are having on our lives, on our planet, and the well-being of those designing and making our garments. For starters, the apparel industry is the second largest polluter in the world, second only to oil. The production process is a complicated one involving long and varied supply chains, raw materials, textile manufacturing, clothing construction, shipping, retail, use and the inevitable disposal of the garment. The pesticides used in cotton farming, the toxic dyes used in manufacturing, the great amount of waste discarded clothing creates, the extravagant amount of natural resources used in extraction, farming, harvesting, processing, manufacturing and shipping is only a few of the ways the shirt on our backs are harming our planet.
Synthetic fibers, such as Polyester, take hundreds of years to breakdown as compared to natural fibers, such as linen, which take as little as two weeks. Synthetic, man-made fibers result in pollution and harmful chemical run-off. And across all textiles, the manufacturing and dyeing of fabrics is chemically intensive.
More than 60 percent of our clothing is manufactured in developing countries such as Bangladesh, India, Vietnam, and Pakistan. There is little transparency as to the conditions of the factories these items are being made in. Because retailers are demanding lower and lower prices from these manufacturers, the factories are forced to squeeze their costs, hamper their workers and are cutting corners and disregarding safety measures.
It has become an out of sight, out of mind mentality for retailers, and they have turned a blind eye to the lives of the workers in these factories. The conditions of these facilities have fallen to such a level that they have become detrimental to the health and wellness of these workers. More than just the conditions, the owners are being forced to pay their employees unfair wages to keep up with the demand of reducing costs.
After learning about the impact the apparel industry was having on our planet and its people, I knew I wanted to help change the way we think about, purchase and manufacture our clothing. Two Fold was born out of dislike for excess and to give women an eco-friendly, sustainable option while remaining feminine and simple. Getting dressed is a necessity and it shouldn’t be another difficult choice each morning. The first collection is made of 7 versatile pieces that fit perfectly into any wardrobe. Each piece is made from only organic, sustainable, and naturally reoccurring fibers and plan to keep it that way.
Two Fold definitely hasn’t done things the typical way. By engaging with like-minded folks and reaching out to inform others of ways they, too, can make an impact with their clothing purchases, I have pushed the launch of the first collection. Learning what women want to wear rather than designing pieces for trend is the moto behind Two Fold. I decided to launch through a Kickstarter campaign. “Kickstarter helps artists, musicians, filmmakers, designers, and other creators find the resources and support they need to make their ideas a reality” per their description on the ‘About’ page on their website. It is a crowdsourcing platform that innovative ideas can be pitched and, hopefully, funded. They have a rigorous application process, and do not let just anyone start a project. You must submit essays, business models, and even a video about your campaign.
The first collection from Two Fold is now available on Kickstarter and aims to change the way we think about, purchase and manufacture our clothing. These minimalist styles with simple silhouettes are meant for simple living and intentional purchasing. Living with less helps to take a stand on the demand we’re necessitating from the factories and workers in the apparel industry. We are connected! What we buy and where our money goes absolutely matters – to the people around the world and to the environment. Where we spend our money communicates our values in the marketplace. We get to choose what type of marketplace and world we want to support: opportunity and freedom, or the opposite.
Morgan Wagstaff is the owner and designer behind Two Fold, an environmentally and socially conscious womenswear brand aiming to change the way we think about, purchase, and manufacture our clothing. Two Fold’s first collection has launched through Kickstarter and aims to make getting dressed each morning easier with timeless, minimalist styles that fit perfectly into any wardrobe. Morgan is passionate about helping women see their true beauty and feeling confident in what they wear.
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