We sat down for a Q&A with Fashion Revolution’s Stylianee Parascha to bring you the eco-friendly fashion tips you have been looking for!
Q1- Where are you from and when did you come to Luxembourg?
Ι’m originally from Greece, and I arrived in Luxembourg in 2010 as a youth volunteer to work with Service National de la Jeunesse. With my studies in theatre, cinema and cultural management I worked with young people and local educational and cultural projects for local non-profits. As a culture journalist, I kept working on projects related to content and communications as well, something that helped me enormously later on when I needed to design the communications campaigns for Fashion Revolution Luxembourg.
Q2- When did you start to think about eco-friendly fashion?
Eco-friendly or sustainable or even conscious fashion as I now call it, came into my life in 2009, when I started working at a fashion brand. I didn’t know about exploitation and child labour in the production and supply chain of the fashion industry at the time, but what I did know was that natural materials have distinct advantages (mainly for our skin).
I was not aware of many things, but my knowledge has evolved through an EU funded program, which was very innovative for its time. It was guiding the participants through the ways that we can do more “ethical” fashion. The program proposed upcycling, which is what we proposed as a team coming from Greece; it also proposed going back to the roots and integrating traditional craftsmanship and techniques. Using linen as an old and environmentally-friendly material cuts textile waste – many facets were explored during that educational program from the participating teams.
I forgot about fashion for a while, only because the job market in Luxembourg seemed rather unfriendly, then suddenly I felt a strong urge to be immersed in the creativity and beauty fashion was offering. I was also doing a lot of research, and I was feeling the need to engage with the topic of overconsumption (textile waste) and act on it somehow.
It was around 2014 that I started collaborating with Caritas. We were holding upcycling workshops for a couple of years, and a bit later I started my sustainable fashion brand What.Eve.Wears. I also got involved with the movement of Fashion Revolution, which was a powerful way to engage consumers in the process of change that we all wanted to bring in the industry.
I am now leading the Fashion Revolution chapter in Luxembourg, and I’ve also earned a Masters on Sustainability in the meantime, to make sure I am officially equipped to dedicate myself to this topic!
Q3- How would you explain the concept of Fashion Revolution Luxembourg?
Fashion Revolution is a movement that started back in 2013, after the Rana Plaza incident in Bangladesh. Rana Plaza was a big complex of textile factories, where major fashion brands were producing their clothes.
A big part of the building collapsed without being evacuated first, so thousands of workers were trapped inside. Over 1,100 workers died and approximately 2,500 more people were injured.
We are a registered non-profit in Luxembourg, and we are working to get considerable funding to increase our activities and scale our impact in 2020. Our team here consists of the five founding members: myself included as President, an extended team (very active during our events) and many enthusiastic volunteers who make the Fashion Revolution events possible!
Q4- Can you give us some everyday tips on how to be more sustainable with our fashion choices?
The most sustainable garment is the one already in your wardrobe, Orsola de Castro, founder of FR said, and it’s so true! So my first tip is to love your clothes and keep them as long as they fit you. Then, taking care of your clothes properly is essential. The best thing is to wash them in a delicate cycle, and at 30 degrees Celsius with an Organic Detergent or Marseille Soap, and hang them to air dry instead of tumble-drying. This way they will be in great shape for longer!
Learning how to mend small holes and to sew buttons is another small tip. And, let me tell you, it’s also a great activity to calm you down after a busy day at work. You can also experiment with better ways of acquiring clothes. Instead of buying you can swap with your friends, shop from your mum’s/grandma’s closet and buy vintage and preloved fashion – luxury resale is a big thing lately!
You can also try renting clothes for special occasions. If you really need to buy, then do it, but consciously. Choose natural organic fibers, check the labels and ask yourself and the fashion brands #WhoMadeMyClothes and #WhatsInMyClothes before you buy!