We live in a society that thrives off consumerism - and lots of it. There’s no better place to see this in action than the fast fashion industry, which has been growing at an almost exponential rate. According to Econsultancy, fast fashion has grown by 21% over the past three years, whilst the luxury market is starting to stagnate.

Naturally, this doesn’t spell good news for the planet. The rapid cycle of production to consumption results in huge amounts of textiles being thrown away annually - about 15 million tons worth!

Yet there are more and more brands popping up that offer an alternative vision of consumption. Smoke & Meteors is an apparel and homewares brand that prides itself on sourcing and creating high-quality items with ethical production standards. Rachel South tells us about the ways that Smoke & Meteors is making sustainability the cornerstone of everything they do.

(In Rachel’s own words):

“I am beyond thrilled to share Smoke & Meteors with you!”

“It all begins with getting dressed in the morning. I feel the same today as I did back in grade school, every day we have the opportunity to tell a story. We can tell so many stories through our style and most of the time we don’t even have to say a word while doing it.”

“Every pattern, every fringe jacket, and every textile we work with at Smoke & Meteors tells a story of culture, tradition, and life itself. When you wear an S&M piece or decorate your home with our collection of handmade textiles, you are carrying a story with you that represents a community that as woven many of their stories into a single fabric, and lucky for us we get to share them with you!”

“Smoke & Meteors is a place where men and women can come to ignite their fire, to light up their homes and wardrobes through our vintage clothing and global home decor collections. Why not dress like Cher circa 1975 on a regular workday? On even the dullest of days, being wrapped up in my favorite vintage coat with a fuzzy pink faux fur collar makes me feel like there is still a bit of magic left in the day. I started this company in the hopes that others can feel this magic too through our curated selection of vintage. The amount of expression that fashion and style allow us in the day to day is endless.”

“At Smoke & Meteors, we strive to have fun with fashion while keeping Mother Earth clean. We can all do our part in reducing our footprint and it brings me immense joy knowing we really can have it all if we put in the effort to use our small businesses to make a difference. I get to play with old garments and textiles from all over the world, while also creating a sustainable store with the environment as our top priority. This would not be possible without companies like noissue, who make it incredibly easy to use eco-friendly materials to keep our environment happy!”

“In a world of fast fashion, it can be a challenge to stay competitive with our pricing. Our pieces are not manufactured; there will only ever be one of its kind to come through our shop - that's what makes each piece so special.”

“We are all guilty of purchasing fast fashion - it is less expensive and easy to get quickly. However, you compromise on the quality and ethical business practices. At Smoke & Meteors, you are purchasing a high-quality piece that will last and has a story to tell - but it will be slightly more expensive.”

“It is difficult, especially with our home decor line, to price pieces competitively because we do everything by hand. We ethically source our fabrics by traveling to small villages and markets all over the world so we can see exactly where our fabrics come from and how they are made. We also work with a community of women in Tucson, Arizona who make each pillow for us by hand.”

“Our production costs are higher, but we would never change this because from start to finish we know how our pieces are made and what materials were used to make them. Our solution is to put out the best products we can and to simply educate our customers about our process. We are a part of the slow fashion movement and we wouldn't have it any other way!”

“Sustainability is everything us! Smoke & Meteors is a vintage clothing and home decor company, everything we produce is either recycled, handmade, or second-hand. It only makes sense that we stay as environmentally clean as possible with our packaging. We do most of our sales online, so from the very beginning, it was of the utmost importance to use clean products.

“We use compostable mailers, biodegradable cards, twine made from natural hemp, and of course, our fabulous recycled noissue tissue paper! We are on a journey to becoming fully sustainable. Of course, we are not perfect, but we work hard to have the environment at the forefront of what we do.”

“I feel there is a personal touch when you have custom packaging. The way you present your brand says a lot about who you are and with our custom logo tissue, people instantly know where their package is coming from. It's also fun for us to gift wrap with a tissue paper that we love and comes from a company we have mad respect for!”

“I chose noissue because I wanted a good looking tissue paper that was eco-friendly. People throw away the wrapping - it's inevitable, but in a world filled with so much trash I wanted to find a sustainable solution for when my customers throw my packaging materials away. Every packing material we use is either compostable or made from recycled goods to stay environmentally friendly, just like noissue. And I couldn't be happier working with a company that continually gives back by planting trees with every purchase!”

“I went simple and used my logo design. I wanted my customers to see the name of my store when they opened their package. I want customers to feel like they are opening a birthday present, I want them to have an experience with my shop. I hope that Smoke & Meteors resonates with them while they are opening their gifts and I hope they come back to shop with me again!”