As you are all aware the cornerstone of Harlow & Summer is sustainability and as a brand we try our best to ensure that from product through to how we run our business we keep Mother Earth at the forefront of all our decisions and partner with people and suppliers who share the same vision.

In our latest SUMMER 2023 campaign I chose two beautiful woman (inside and out) who are passionate about sustainability and share my love for protecting it and especially our ocean. Being commercial and free divers these phenomenal woman prefer to be exploring the ocean from below the surface and are true ocean warriors.

I asked Jenna and Tanya to share some insight into what they each believe sustainability is and how we can do our part in preserving our natural resources.


1. Why is saving the planet so important to our generation?

Looking after our planet and all its natural resources are incredibly important as we have realized what an unhappy and unhealthy planet could mean for the generations that come after us, our children and their children's children... I think it is our generation that finally heeded the warnings of scientists because we are the ones who started seeing tangible climatic changes due to climate change and the effects of deforestation and overfishing. I think our concerns are made easier due to social media. True facts, stats and data are presented to us daily no matter which social media platform we might be scrolling on. This makes it difficult for us to ignore and even harder not to care. (Jenna)

Because saving our planet is saving ourselves, if there is no planet there is no us we are integrally connected. Every generation is dealing with new problems, we have to keep adapting. (Tanya)


2. Your personal passion is for our ocean. How do you feel we can all  contribute in ensuring our oceans and waterways stay clean?
My absolute passion is for our oceans and for all those who call it home. Our oceans and all marine life are getting the brunt of our negligence and greed here on land but what we don't realize is just how important healthy oceans are for a healthy planet over all. The marine environment is an essential component of the global life-support system. Covering 71% of the earth's surface, our oceans hold some of the highest biodiversity on the planet and they provide humans with a source of food, oxygen and habitat. This is why it is imperative that we do what we can to look after our blue planet. Here are a few simple ways we can contribute at an individualist level to looking after our oceans and waterways: 
  • Say no to single-use plastic (plastic packets, straws, cutlery and packaging) - even though you may think you have disposed of your plastic in an ethical manner by recycling , due to single-use plastics being lightweight, they often get swept up by the wind and blow into our rivers/waterways, which take them directly into our ocean
  • Pick up at least 10 litter items every time you go to the beach (cigarette butts and plastic straws are the biggest culprits causing the most harm to marine life) 
  • Use marine-friendly detergents and skincare products (especially sunscreen) - you may not realize it but what you wash down the drain goes straight into our oceans. Eco-friendly detergents can be expensive so if you are able to make the change over from harmful detergents to sustainable detergents, you can rather make sure that you only use marine-friendly sunscreen. Normal sunscreen washes off your body and into the ocean every time you take a dip causing harm to marine life, both animal and plant species. 
  • Eat sustainable seafood (follow the SASSI guide for sustainable seafood choices) - I know prawns are yummy but they are the most unsustainable seafood out there. The fishing methods the commercial fishing industry uses to catch prawns is called 'trawling' and trawling causes kilometres and kilometres of seabed/reef to be ripped up whilst not only catching prawns but a number of by catch too, including sharks, stingrays, turtles, dolphins and numerous endangered fish species. 
  • Educate yourself - the more we learn about our oceans and why it is so very important to look after them, the more we will do to protect them. (Jenna)

I believe each person can find at least one area or more in their lives where they can be more sustainable, it truly is different for each person and their lifestyle. The key is to make it a part of your lifestyle, consistency is key to creat new good habits. (Tanya)

3. How important is sustainable fashion to you when you purchase clothing?

The fashion industry is one of the biggest polluters in the world, with the highest water usage. Fast fashion is simply UNSUSTAINABLE. When purchasing clothing items it is important for me to know that the brand/company that I am supporting is sustainable and is managing their impact on the planet. As a consumer, the buying power is in our hands. It is up to us to make the right decisions for the sake of our planet and future generations. (Jenna)

Seeing now that it’s become more available and affordable is a great thing, soon it will become the norm for us to only reach for sustainable fashion. (Tanya)

4. What do you understand as sustainable fashion?

My understanding of sustainable fashion, also known as slow fashion, is that the company from which you are purchasing from is considerate of their impact on the environment and humanity as a whole and has policies and process in place to ensure they limit their impact. Sustainable fashion is not fast, mass produced fashion, it favours quality over quantity. (Jenna)

‘Sustainability’ in the context of fashion refers to the environmental impacts of making, wearing and caring for and the disposal of clothing in the end. (Tanya)


5. Do you feel South African fashion is ahead of what is happening internationally in terms of slow fashion?
Without looking at any stats, I would say that South African fashion is definitely one of the leaders in working towards a more sustainable way of doing things. I don't think this applies to the bigger, more corporate brands (I could be wrong) but rather our smaller, bespoke brands. South Africans are generally very conscious people and the more we value supporting sustainable brands and products, the more our demands are being met. There has been a massive rise in sustainable fashion brands cropping up in SA and this can only lead me to believe we are doing something right.  (Jenna)
I think the South African fashion industry is definitely becoming more and more conscious like the rest of the world, of the positive shift in fashion and that people are ready to embrace and support it.  (Tanya)


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