We interviewed Natalia Elenkina to get her to take on the fast fashions that are killing the environment.
Natalia Elenkina, model, actress, and full-time star, joined us in the studio last week to discuss fast fashion in the industry and how it affects models just like her.
What is Fast Fashion?
Fast Fashion is the umbrella term we use to describe fashions that work ‘by the season’. By introducing a new trend that is a little outrageous, mass-producing millions of the same clothing, and then ditching it all in the new season for hotter trends, we are doing massive damage to the environment.
The fashion industry has a lot to answer for. It stands responsible for some 2.1 billion metric tonnes of greenhouse gasses every year. That’s about 4% of all the ozone layer damage we are currently causing. Fast fashion is responsible for much of this damage. We need to change our ways to sustainably sourced fabrics and materials that are longer lasting.
Natalia Elenkina, model, actress, and occasional starlet, has always been vocal on the sustainability of the industry she works in. For her, she says, it’s as much about the environment as it is about protecting her future. If the fashion industry doesn’t change its ways, it is models like her that may find themselves out of work.
The Fast Fashion Interview
If you have been keeping an eye on the news lately, you will notice the impact that the fashion industry has been having on global carbon emissions. As more and more of us become aware of this fact, it seems that every other designer has started to produce sustainable clothing.
This change cannot come soon enough. With the worsening air quality and the clogging of our waterways with filth, it is only a matter of time before we are living in a world that the air isn’t fit to breathe in.
We caught up with one of the models that wear these sustainable clothes to gather their thoughts on avoiding fast fashion.
Q: Hi Natalia! It’s great to have you with us today. We imagine you must be extremely busy.
A: Yes, I am swamped, but I do always have time for an interview.
Q: That’s sweet of you. So, may we ask what you are doing in Hollywood, or is it hush-hush?
A: I… am not allowed to talk about it yet. We are working on some film stuff, but… it’s a bit of a secret for now. I hope I can tell you about it soon though. You will have to keep an eye on my Instagram page, where I make most of my announcements.
Q: That’s a shame… Am I sure your 56 thousand Instagram followers would like to know…no? Ah well, you can’t blame us for trying. What we wanted to know – what we brought you here for – was your opinions on the fast fashion industry?
A: Ah yes. I hear this more and more. People want to know about the materials and the people that make the clothes. It’s a good thing, I think. There are fewer sweatshops because of it. On the other end of the scale… If you take a sound designer, someone high-end like Gucci or Armani, their clothes are made to be high quality. They are made to last longer, and they cost more because of it. In a way, they are already doing their part because their clothes aren’t these disposable ones that you get churned out on the high street.
Q: Yes, we agree, but the prominent designers aren’t bringing in the fast fashions. They are designed for supermarkets and high street stores.
A: Yes, yes, yes. And they make millions of one item then throw it away when the season changes… I say it’s not good enough, is it? Cotton clothing takes five months to degrade but takes something like 3,000 liters of water to create—denim jeans. Then it takes forty years for them to degrade back to their natural components. Plain cotton t-shirts take another few thousand liters of water to make. I found out recently that about 4% of all the water loss in the world is due to the fashion industry… That’s too much! There are people who don’t have anything to drink. It doesn’t make sense, when you think it through.
Q: And that’s not coming from the prominent designers?
A: I don’t think it is… but they still have to set an example, you know? To lead the way. Fashion starts with the catwalks and filters down to the mass producing clothes sellers.
Q: So what would be your thoughts on how we can prevent fast fashion in future?
A: We all need to do our part to prevent clothing from ending up in landfill. I think it starts with demand. It might be cheaper for us to rush to the discount store to pick up three pairs of the same leggings. We know those leggings are only going to last a week or two, maybe three washes, and then they will lose their shape. Once there is no structure or strength in the clothing, we stop using them. We throw them away.
We need to be conscientious about our spending habits, when it comes to what we wear. We should invest in clothing that lasts a long time, rather than spending on what is cheap. Of course, I know this comes from a place of privilege, so there are other ways you can help. Go shopping in thrift stores to make clothes last their entire shelf life, or donate clothes that don’t fit you any more.
Another thing we can all do is to try to avoid denim. One pair of good jeans is enough, we don’t need ten pairs of denims. It costs the most to produce in both carbon and water, so if we can stop using it, that’s better for everyone.
Absolutely. In the meantime, if we spread awareness, things will get better. Thanks for joining us, Natalia. It’s been a pleasure. Those at home, you can catch up with Natalia on her Instagram page, her TikTok feed, or via her YouTube channel.