Lenaya-Aiden Gonzales

Lenaya-Aiden Gonzales
President of the Sustainable Fashion Club, California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo

“Sustainable fashion sits at the intersection of two areas that I deeply care about: environmentalism and art. I am a student well versed in environmental protection and restoration ecology practices as well as a lover of art and all things creative. Sustainable fashion is a space that I feel I can make a difference in– for myself, my loved ones, our planet and her gifts.”

What do you think about fast fashion?

“Fast fashion is an unfortunate product of the hyper-capitalistic society we live in. Especially in America, we’ve adapted to transforming every facet of human existence into a profit-making venture, often enriching the wealthiest while overlooking the far-reaching consequences. With a heightened focus on mass-producing garments to meet rapid trend cycles, we’ve inadvertently fueled an insatiable industry amidst a pressing global climate crisis.

Not only does this industry, its inputs, and the massive waste byproducts cause irreversible damage to our planet, but it perpetuates systematic inequality across the globe. By outsourcing material and labor from outside of the US, companies are able to utilize legal loopholes which allow for hazardous working conditions for their workers and dumping of clothing waste into other countries. The disproportionate effect on communities compared to the groups and individuals who profit from the fast fashion industry presents a clear case of environmental injustice and racism.”

How do you hope to see the fashion industry change?

“I hope to see the fashion industry slow down, metaphorically and physically. By creating spaces which honor clothing for the blessing it is and by fostering an ethos of appreciation for garments rather than perpetuating the relentless pursuit of ever-changing fashion cycles, we can potentially see a significant disinvestment from fast fashion producers. I hope that quality, comfort, ethical practices, and unique personal style becomes the norm and we stop equating people’s (especially young adults) value with their perceived net worth based on what they wear.”

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