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WMU student inspires fashionistas to invest in sustainable clothing

"Fast fashion pollutes the environment," says Atomic Sierra founder Abigail Jaqua. "It’s completely irresponsible and unnecessary.

WEST MICHIGAN - Abigail Jaqua is a 19-year-old entrepreneurial student at Western Michigan University. After educating herself on the impact that the fast fashion industry has on the environment, mostly by watching documentaries covering the topic, Abigail began blogging about the importance of sustainable fashion. 

And then, while in lockdown amid the COVID-19 pandemic, she launched a sustainable clothing line called Atomic Sierra. The goal of the Atomic Sierra fashion line is both to educate fashionistas all around the world, and to inspire people to ditch the trendy styles we see in big box stores like amazon and forever 21, and to instead invest in sustainable fashion.

“Once I started learning more, I started writing and sharing the information because this is so impactful," says Jaqua. "I really got into that and once the pandemic hit I was sent back home to Milwaukee and I really had so much time on my hands, so I’m like, 'let’s translate this blogging into something more, let’s really get this message out there.' I know not everyone is going to listen to me. I know not everyone is going to believe me and I know not everyone is going to make a change but this is something I gotta do." 

Investopedia defines fast fashion as "clothing designs that move quickly from the catwalk to stores to meet new trends. The collections are often based on designs presented at Fashion Week events. Fast fashion allows mainstream consumers to purchase trendy clothing at an affordable price."

Atomic Sierra offers an alternative answer to fast fashion — a line of basic wardrobe staples including sweatshirts, leggings and crop tops, and accessories like necklaces and earrings. Each item is made from sustainable textiles such as organic plants and recycled materials. And all materials are GOTS certified.  

"They’re made to last, they're made to not go out of style, they have so much behind that is so amazing and that’s what we are really pushing," says Jaqua. "Fast fashion pollutes our environment. They make clothes that are not made to last, they make clothes that are supposed to go out of style, they make clothes that fall apart in a month or two, clothes that take months to biodegrade. It’s just completely irresponsible and unnecessary. Making billions of dollars off of us and off of our planet and if we keep going at the rate we’re going in 20 years we’re not going to have anything left.”

Learn more about sustainable fashion on Atomic Sierra Facebook and Instagram. And read their blog on their website. 

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