April 13, 2020 4 min read

Sustainable fashion in the time of COVID-19 

What is the definition of sustainable?

According to the Cambridge Dictionary or Dictionary.com, sustainable means the ability to be sustained, supported, upheld, or confirmed. In the environmental science world it refers to the quality of not being harmful to the environment, causing little or no damage or depleting natural resources, thereby supporting long-term ecological balance.

If we take the definition literally sustainable, in the world of COVID-19, means sustaining and supporting each other; upholding our values and beliefs while doing the same for others. With quarantining and self-isolation, we are no longer being as harmful to the environment, causing far less damage to Mother Earth and reducing our use of her natural resources. We are slowly balancing, humanly and ecologically. Blue skies surround us.


What is sustainable fashion? 

It’s a movement. It’s a process. It’s a change. It’s an approach that considers waste, the environment and the socio-economic impact. It’s the consideration and awareness of present and future dwellers on this planet. Sustainable fashion is one aspect of the green movement that pays respect to Mother Earth, her natural resources, and all her creatures.


What’s changing?

In the 21st century we are a “just in time”, instant gratification, throwaway society. Cheap and cheerful is our mantra. We revise or update our wardrobes each season....we discard this year’s summer wear for next year’s trends. With consumerism at its all time highest along with the plethora of stores and online shopping, we don’t think twice about making more room in our closets for more....of anything.

We have become a disposable world and clothing has become as incidental as the water bottle you just discarded. Landfills are overflowing, second-hand shops are overwhelmed and closets, attics and basements are jam-packed with “stuff” that hasn’t seen the light of day since....well....it feels like forever. So how can we stop all this?

The current world pandemic is giving us all pause to think about our wanton wastefulness. It’s making us sharply aware of what matters, forcing us to look at what we need as opposed to what we want. Trolling the stores has ground to a halt, jobs have disappeared and incomes have dropped in response....food is now priority number one. Virtually trapped in our homes, we’re all rummaging through our closets and those boxes crammed under our beds on a voyage of discovery. Forgotten garments are becoming fresh and new again.


How can we help?


Four words. Reduce. Reuse. Repair. Reimagine.



The changing seasons always provide an excuse to explore our wardrobes and minimize our clothing collections. Swapping, yard sales, consignment shops OR simply think about why you so desperately need that top in five different colours. Conscious buying....the latest buzzword (no, we just made it up), but really, think about your purchasing habits and the reasons behind that storage room full of jeans.


Upcycling is popular in the arts and crafting worlds. It’s also becoming more important in the fashion world. Remember growing up with multiple siblings meant hand-me-downs? What big sis or brother wore eventually made its way down the clothing chain. Nothing went to waste.

Today new garments are created out of the old. Pants become shorts; scarves are stitched together to form tops, capes, cover-ups; dresses become skirts or new tops; your wedding dress just became your daughter’s prom dress. There are a plethora of creative ways to reuse and reconfigure without compromising the value and quality of the used garment or material. Mom always did know best.


Clothing was not meant to be disposable. Don’t toss that pair of jeans or favourite shirt. Fix them. Extend their life....cover that ripped knee with a playful patch, replace the buttons, mend the hem or stitch up those small rips and tears. It seems even much of today’s clothing is made with “planned obsolescence” in mind. A little love and a needle and thread will keep your clothes “healthy” and it’s much easier on the wallet.


Reimagine (or reinvent)

Now, vintage is “in”. From your mom’s poodle skirts to your dad’s vest collection, reimagining clothing from the past and mixing with today’s looks breathes new life into them. Mix and match fabrics, patterns and styles. Your “look” can become as individual as you are.

Reimagine one article of clothing in different ways. How about that much-loved shirt? Now....tuck it in; wear loose and belt it; tie the ends of the shirt together for a casual, summer look and wear it with shorts; maybe loose and flowing with your skinny jeans or add a scarf and blazer for a more business casual look.


Poppy Field the label....part of the change


Poppy Fields is about sustainable fashion. Focused on local production, natural fabrics, ecological integrity, quality and a simple love of fashion, our team produces beautifully handcrafted garments that will fit seamlessly into any fashionable closet.

Environmentally friendly, we keep our collection limited to 34 pieces so there is no waste. Poppy Fields clothes are meant to be worn for years to come. Working closely with the local economy, we use only “sustainable” quality materials such as silk, rayon and batik.

The current world situation is giving us all time to think about how we move forward and the changes that are certain to come. Poppy Fields is part of that change.


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