Find Your Equillibrium in the Clothes You Wearby Shruthi Venkatesh May 17 2018, 4:53 pm Estimated Reading Time: 3 mins, 36 secs
The fashion industry is contributing in today’s sustainability challenge in a number of ways. Just like sustainable agriculture, energy and tourism; sustainable fashion is beginning to disrupt the wasteful mainstream of fashion industry. They aim in mass production where garments are designed in just a few weeks where they use natural resources to produce ‘fast fashion’ garments. After oil, the textile apparel industry is the second biggest industrial polluter on the planet.
The well-known owner of the rocker-chic brand Equillibrium, Deb Henriksen aims to take the fashion industry’s power a step ahead. Her mission is to educate others about their own consumerism where she tends to introduce her own style with responsibly sourced textiles and materials. She further tries to introduce the so called ‘slow fashion’ which are economically and ethically conscious rather than the trend given. The garments are to be durable and lend themselves to repairs, not disposal.
Source : Equillibrium - Boulder Weekly
Henriksen hails from Naperville, one of the suburbs of Chicago and lived in Colorado since 1990. After graduating college, she moved to Breckenridge in 1995 and then to Denver in 1997 where she found great opportunities for skateboarding and environmental work. Her passions for fashion, environment, art and lifestyle led her to create the brand Equillibrium in 1998. In the early 2000’s it became a wholesale brand that was carried in skate and snowboard shops around Denver and Breckenridge. Henriksen’s first fashion store was opened in the year 2004 and hasn’t stopped since. She studied toxicology during school where she learnt how humans are adversely affected by the environment. It had a profound influence on her brand. “I feel fashion is something that has something grabbed me since childhood. I always got emotion from clothes and had a desire to make my own”, she says.
Manufacturing clothes has been a high impact all over the world. According to 350.org, a nonprofit climate justice website that’s dedicated to using renewable energy, before industrialization began in the 18th century, the Earth’s atmosphere contained 280 ppm (parts per million) of carbon dioxide. Scientists have said that the atmosphere would reach its threshold at 350 ppm. However, carbon dioxide levels crossed that limit in 2013 and are now over 400 ppm. Henriksen feels that it is irreversible. We either speed up the process or slow it down. She further feels that it is the choice of the consumers to purchase something which would benefit the world’s overall environmental health. “A dollar is a vote for the type of world we want to be in,” Henriksen says. She urges others to take a look at their belongings and ask themselves: What are you buying? She wants the consumers to do a research on how the clothes are sourced. The so-called ‘fast fashion’ movement had caused the consumers to buy more rapidly and be unaware of it environmental impacts.
A study published in the New York City Fashion School says millennials are in favor of sustainability and social change. But the impact was low when it came to buying eco-friendly clothing. Only a 34% out of a sample of 685 students agreed that they would buy a product if only it was sustainably produced and eco-friendly, compared to the 95 percent who would buy for ease of purchase and value and 92 percent for uniqueness. However, 90 percent said that they would “help create more sustainably produced products by convincing businesses and government to alter existing practices” and “abandon a product or brand for eco-unfriendliness.” There are various hurdles when it comes to sustainable clothes such as the lack of options and intimidating prices. Henriksen’s mantra- ‘Quality over Quantity’ is something which is to be kept in mind. Even though her garments are sold at a higher price, Henriksen says they are worth the price paid.
Ever since the ‘Equillibrium’ was introduced, Henriksen slowly found slow fashion process among celebrities and media. “Even though there is more exposure on the issue, there is still a lot of work left to do” she says. The idea of Henriksen’s movement has a good scope for the future endeavors which can also be ‘Out of the blue’!