With the growing concern for the state of our planet, the discussion of sustainable fashion has been on the rise. After various online research, I’ve collected everything you need to know when it comes to this new widely used term. Next time this topic comes up on the news or is in your next lively discussion with friends and family, you’ll be ready to impress.
What is Sustainable Fashion? The Facts That You’re Getting Wrong
Before sustainable fashion is discussed, it’s important to define the term first. Sustainability, explained by the Collins Dictionary, is the “Avoidance of the depletion of natural resources in order to maintain an ecological balance.” Another way of saying this could be a way of meeting the current generations’ needs without compromising the ability of future generations. This term is fairly new and is not solely based on environmentalism and our natural resources. Sustainability also relates to the consumption of our social and economic resources.
However, sustainable fashion is using those natural resources and implementing them within the fashion industry. This process of clothing creation can be defined as a method for producing garments in a more mindful way, taking into account the environmental impact this industry and process has on our world. Sustainable fashion involves using natural resources and maintaining environmental health. Sustainability in fashion includes using renewable materials and reducing waste generation. It’s about making changes to help the earth and its ecosystems without asking for help or compensation. Consistent choices in fashion can reduce air pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, water pollution, and other impacts on the environment. Companies have just started to look at the environmental impact of producing, wearing, washing, and disposing of their clothes.
Why is Sustainable Fashion Important? 4 Main Factors Destroying our Planet
Sustainable fashion is important because the fashion industry has a major environmental impact on our planet. The fashion industry is the second largest polluter in the world following the oil industry and it’s only getting worse. There are about four main concerns regarding sustainability and the fashion industry:
- Water consumption and contamination
- Chemical usage like fertilizers and pesticides for the production of raw materials
- Energy emissions, especially the high use of energy when producing synthetic fabrics
- Waste creation due to the excess fabrics sent to landfills
Only 20% of all clothes are recycled. Many consumers do not know how to dispose of their clothes when they are done with them. Sustainable fashion helps to reduce the environmental impact by using materials that are either recycled or produced in an environmentally friendly way. Additionally, sustainable fashion helps to create a more equitable industry by supporting workers’ rights and fair wages by also being socially responsible. By embracing sustainable fashion, we can help to create a more sustainable future for our planet and the people in it.
How Can We Help? It’s Easier Than You Think
You can help aid the change in the fashion industry by making small changes to your wardrobe. For example, thrift stores are becoming very popular to purchase and dispose of second-hand clothing. As stated previously, a very minuscule amount of clothing gets properly disposed of. Donating or selling your clothes to a thrift store gives your pieces a new chance to be worn by someone else. Instead of buying new items, shopping at thrift stores or online resale sites is a great way to find unique pieces while also reducing waste. Additionally, when at the mall or a clothing store, we should be checking the tags of all the clothes we are looking at; do your research. Opt for clothes made from natural materials that are more durable and biodegradable than synthetic fabrics like polyester and nylon. Learn about the brand of clothes you buy from and see how their products are created and how immense their impact is on the environment.
Is Sustainable Fashion Affordable? How You Can Get Involved in the Change
Affordability when it comes to sustainable fashion is a key factor to consider. As clothing items become more and more sustainable, it seems that this quality only makes the price go up and up. While sustainable fashion can be more expensive than traditional fashion due to the use of higher-quality materials and ethical production methods, there are still ways to make sustainable fashion affordable. Again, shopping second-hand is a great option and you can actually find some great luxury name brands. Furthermore, investing in timeless pieces that will last for years can help save money and the environment in the long run. By being mindful of our purchases and researching affordable options, we can all make sustainable fashion more accessible.
Sustainable Fashion Brands That You Need to Check Out
There are numerous companies that have paved the way to making a name for themselves as a sustainable brands. One of these key companies is Patagonia. However, they are moving away from calling themselves a “sustainable brand.” They still believe they are part of the problem and cannot 100% commit to using the label for their company. Patagonia is a clothing company creating gear for the outdoors founded by Yvon Chouinard. Chouinard’s business started out with a small shop that sold pitons. After his partnership with Tom Frost, the company grew immensely. Later in the 80s, after becoming a more established company, Patagonia explored more sustainable materials and processes. After research, they discovered a method where they could create one fleece product with 25 recycled plastic bottles. From there, Patagonia has become one of the key brands people think of when asking about sustainable brands.
One of the factors that have allowed them to become so esteemed is their value of transparency with their customers. They have used their power and success to create awareness for organizations that cannot do it themselves. Since 1986, they have donated at least 10% of their profits to grassroots organizations. They’ve also built environmental responsibility and animal welfare programs. These programs demonstrate how they make their products. They explained that for this season, 89% of their fabrics were made with preferred materials, 100% of their down was responsibly sourced, and 100% of the virgin cotton is grown organically. They also have many social responsibility programs that keep their business practices ethical and in line with Fair Trade certification rules and regulations.
Another company that is creating change in the fashion industry is Reformation. Reformation is a sustainable fashion brand that was founded in 2009 by Yael Aflalo. The brand began as an online store selling vintage clothing but soon expanded to include its own line of sustainable clothing made from eco-friendly materials. Reformation has become a leader in the sustainable fashion movement and has been featured in numerous publications such as Vogue, Elle, and Harper’s Bazaar. The company is committed to reducing its environmental impact by using sustainable materials, minimizing its waste, and creating stylish designs that are both fashionable and sustainable. Reformation has also partnered with organizations such as the United Nations Foundation to help promote sustainability initiatives around the world.
By using old-fashioned digital printing presses, they are able to create high-quality clothing with minimal waste. They also set up a textile dyeing facility where they produce all of their colors from natural ingredients. This way, they are able to produce beautifully vibrant clothing without polluting the environment with dangerous chemicals. Reformation is also committed to ethical manufacturing practices on an ethical level. For one thing, they source all of their materials domestically whenever possible. They also create one of their shirts by recycling plastic bottles into t-shirt material. By doing so, they not only reduce waste but also generate additional revenue through their recycled products line.
Conclusions: The Future of Sustainable Fashion
A lot of this subject and the direction of the movement is unknown. However, the younger generations are key players in the future of sustainable fashion. These people are seeing the importance of the more ethical business practice and how detrimental the fashion industry is to our planet. Because of climate change, humanity is about 10 years away from catastrophic climate change or a major greenhouse gas emission impact that cannot be reversed. The sustainable fashion industry is less than one to be admired but more so created through emotional attachment and loyalty to the cause. The brands that are doing sustainability right are loved, appreciated, and praised for their work. With all that being said, sustainable fashion consumption will continue to grow immensely at this rate.