For a good long while, The Height of Style was a true labor of love for me—first as a vehicle for my own sartorial expression, and then as a platform that granted underserved tall consumers voice and choice. For a good long while, running tHoS felt like harmless fun. Harmless fun that included a surplus of fabulous clothes and shoes for me and all my friends and readers.
But then something happened with the presidential election of 2016. Historically, elections had little significance in my life and on my world—least of all, on my life in fashion circles. But this one changed the way I started thinking, acting, and caring—as an individual, as a consumer, and importantly, as a voice. Particularly, as our country’s administration started spewing anti-science rhetoric around climate change and practically and philosophically abdicating responsibility for our only planet, I started interrogating my plan for The Height of Style, and investigating the fashion industry’s role in the very very real global climate crisis.
Practically, I started asking, “Is the message I’ve been perpetuating actually harmless?” And more critically, “Is what I’ve built reflective of what I now care about, and believe?”
The answers that I kept returning to were similar. In that they were“no” on both counts.
I’ll be the first to admit that this was a hard pill for me to even contemplate swallowing—especially as on one hand, I rebranded The Height of Style in 2014 with the intent of providing a helpful resource for tall men and women. But the data I had been discovering didn’t lie: the global fashion industry now accounts for 8% of the world’s carbon emissions. Textile manufacturing emits 1.2 billion tons of greenhouse gases annually—more than that produced by all international flights and maritime shipping combined. And in addition to the palpable impact of all this pollution, fashion supply chains around the world are notably inefficient, wasteful, and unethical. As production has doubled over the last 15 years and wages and worker protections diminished, demand too has waned, with almost 65% of garments ending up either in landfills or incinerated.
And while the responsibility is largely on brands to change—including many of the big, opaque, unsustainable, grow-by-acquisition players in the tall fashion vertical (and including the vast majority of the tall brands tHoS has previously partnered with)—so too can we as consumers make value-based choices with how we spend and consume. Even in the absence of political support (or mere acknowledgment), if enough of us choose to vote with our paychecks and our values, we have a shot at seeing positive change for our planet, and in our lifetimes.
So begins a move to greener, more sustainable fashion pastures for The Height of Style.
Quietly, I’ve dedicated the last several years to discovering, trying out, and investigating the lifestyle and fashion brands that are doing well by doing good—operating as socially, economically, and critically, environmentally responsible entities. Many of these brands don’t explicitly reference tall consumers in their stories, but instead are inclusive of tall consumers in their offerings. And though their products come with higher price tags, they come with the quality designs, thoughtful/recycled fabrications, and yes—all the labor of good love—to ensure that their initial costs are paid back many times over in their continued wear and use. To this end, I’ve made myself the 6’4″ fit model to guide the content that will first premiere on the “Long Green Lines” channel.
Though I expect this pivot may alienate some readers, I hope that it will reinspire the majority of our community to live better, live stylishly, and consume in accordance with what we can all care about. We deserve that.
Please share your comments and feedback below—and stay tuned for the maiden post, going live in less than two weeks.