Extractive, Sustainable, Regenerative & Fast Fashion

Gods Gifts Boutique blog post on Sustainable fashion

‘Extractive’, ‘Sustainable’ and ‘Regenerative’ are all different modes of working, living, and creating, in what we conceive as the wider life spectrum.

Becoming aware of these philosophies and how they could influence our society and our world in general in the long term can often guide us through our choices. Ultimately, it is in our collective best interest to forge a future world that can both sustain us, and ensure our health and wellbeing in the process. So what do all these terms actually mean?


‘Extractive’ industries extract resources from planet Earth and sell them on in the global market, usually for a price that does not reflect their true value. In many cases humanity collectively and/or indigenous cultures specifically may suffer the consequences of this business model.

It is nonetheless still allowed, as a number of individuals and corporations enjoy a handsome profit.


Living ‘sustainably’ (Sustainable lifestyle) can take many forms and shapes. From simple, usually non-invasive changes to our daily habits, to measures characterized by some as extreme. However, who would argue against supporting renewable energy sources if and when these are implemented wisely, and valuing well-being over excess growth?

How about considering the long term environmental impact each one of our business decisions and strategies has, before actually implementing them? After all, change lasts when supported rather than enforced, and comes progressively.


‘Regeneration’ implies bringing Planet Earth back to its former health and vitality. The ultimate goal being to create a ‘healthy’ relationship between human activity and our planets’ function and resources. To ensure balance on all levels. An interesting example is ‘regenerative agriculture’, that is, growing food while simultaneously contributing to a healthy re-balancing of the properties of the soil.

Businesses who are able to and choose along this spectrum also seek to ‘regenerate’ various different aspects of the business process.  Examples include focusing on equality levels among workers, giving back to the community when this is possible, and working with what are considered ‘regenerative’ ingredients, to name but a few.

Bringing the world of fashion into the equation…

‘Fast Fashion’ (aka mainstream fashion) is unfortunately the second largest polluter in the world. It comes only second after the first largest polluter on the list, the oil industry! Unfortunately most, though not all, companies related to fashion are clearly part of the ‘extractive’ model.

This business model therefore works directly against our collective present and future well-being. Unsustainably utilizing natural resources and irresponsibly using synthetic and toxic materials, polluting the environment and occasionally violating basic human &workers’ rights in the process. Often, the grander the corporation, the higher the omissions, the neglect to these aforementioned matters, and the more severe ‘fast mindless profit’ model employed.

Making wise choices regarding the issues presented here, when shopping, has evolved into an arduous, time-consuming, and often complicated process. Too much researching can end up feeling tiresome for the majority of people. Most of us are just busy enough already, and need to get on with their lives and their… shopping!

To keep things simple while still making environmentally conscious decisions as a consumer, a straightforward, quick and usually quite effective way to go for it is to check:

  1. The ingredients/material used (on the label).
  2. Where and how they were sourced from (on the net).
  3. Where and how they were made (on the label & the net).

That is already a great start. After all, the process should be simple in order to ensure change.

Love & Blessings


PS: Read up on the Gods Gifts Boutique philosophy here!