The Marie Claire Fashion Special

Dive into the world of sustainable fashion & embrace your connection to fashion

Dear Readers,

With great pleasure, I step into the role of guest editor for this special edition, dedicated to the visionary world of sustainable fashion. Considering that what we wear and how we wear it are daily human decisions, this might be the one topic in which we all have a stake.

Throughout this issue, we will explore the many ways we can commit to sustainability, whether as producers or consumers, and shed light on the transformative power of fashion when it embraces sustainability.

As an individual, my first awareness of the need for sustainability emerged during a geography class on climate change many years ago. My geography teacher mentioned that the world as we know it may cease to exist in 100 years due to global warming, and for some reason, that statement sent chills down my spine. After that class, I had a solemn day and remained quiet throughout the week. Eventually, sustainability became a significant part of my thought process. I began seeking ways to reuse everything, which led to me wearing the same clothes for most of my young adult life.

When I decided to enter the world of fashion, I knew that my passion for sustainability and education must take center stage in my business. This led us to establish a sustainable fashion brand that supports adult education with a percentage of its profit. Our commitment to sustainability is evident in our practices, from crafting outfits using 100 percent upcycled materials, using only biodegradable packaging to embracing a “made to order” approach. This ensures a delicate balance that avoids overproduction and excess inventory. Through these efforts, we have created a beautiful and cherished brand that people have come to love. We consistently encourage consumers to be patient and appreciate the beauty of slow fashion; this is one of the many ways you can promote and embrace sustainability.

Africa plays a significant role in the sustainability conversation, as a high percentage of dead stock fabric and excess inventory are shipped here for a chance at a new life. However, Africa alone cannot upcycle itself out of global warming.

The global fashion scene must produce less and consume ethically and consciously, buying items that last, taking proper care of the items we love, and reusing them for as long as possible.

As individuals, the first step towards making sustainable decisions is the desire to do so. I do not recommend overwhelming yourself with a massive sustainability project but rather making a conscious decision to introduce the smallest sustainable practices into your lifestyle.

I firmly believe that individual actions, no matter how seemingly small, have the power to spark monumental transformations. The initial step towards sustainable living begins with the desire to make a meaningful difference. In the realm of fashion, whether you’re a creator or a consumer, aligning with sustainability is no longer optional—it’s an ethical imperative. Our beloved industry, a major contributor to global waste, demands our collective responsibility to protect and preserve the Earth that has cradled and nurtured us. Remember, these seemingly small ripples of change, when united, can manifest into a powerful tidal wave of impact.

In unwavering commitment to a sustainable future,

Florentina Agu

Founder, Hertunba