A thorough explanation of sustainable fashion is essential because there is so much misunderstanding about it. It’s no secret that the fashion industry is taking a major toll on the environmental equilibrium, with its carbon footprint accounting for almost 10% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.
Fortunately, there are now more ethical brands, clients who desire sustainable clothing labels, and even a search engine specifically for ethical apparel.
What is sustainable fashion?
The word “sustainability” most frequently refers to the environmental effects of creating, processing, and manufacturing from raw materials, using and caring for, and discarding clothing.
To make clothing, we use materials, water, and chemicals along the way. When you’re finished wearing the item, you buy it, wear it, and then discard it. But what follows that? It is typically disposed of at a landfill or burned.
Only 20% of all clothes are recycled at this time. It will take time even though major companies in the market are seeking better ways to recycle old clothes and be a part of the sustainable fashion trend. However, it can’t be achieved overnight.
So, in the interim, we can each lower our own consumption rates by minimizing the amount of clothing we buy and discard.
Importance of sustainable fashion
- Fast fashion firms, who release weekly fashion trends and follow them with low-quality, low-priced products, are responsible for a large amount of garbage. Sustainable fashion, in contrast, places a premium on apparel made from durable materials. Furthermore, sustainable clothing companies don’t often copy quick fashion trends.
- The majority of fast fashion companies source their clothing from underpaid workers in poor nations. Long hours, poor safety and health conditions, and constant pressure to produce all contribute to a climate that is exploitative of workers. Fast fashion companies have also been accused of using underage labor frequently. Sustainable clothing companies, in contrast, place a premium on providing all workers with a safe workplace and fair remuneration.
- Fast fashion has a significant carbon footprint due to the production of materials, shipping, and even the decomposition of textile waste in landfills. Sustainable clothing, on the other hand, uses biodegradable components made from natural or recycled fibers. These materials grow with little to no pesticide or fertilizer use, less energy, less water, and little to no chemical processing.
Types of sustainable fashion
Companies, campaigners, and brands involved in ethical fashion care about people and their welfare, whether it be psychological or physical. On the other hand, fair-trade businesses and organizations make sure that supply chains are established and kept up in which producers and farmers receive a fair return for their goods.
Terms like “vegan” and “cruelty-free” fashion refer to items that are produced without the usage of components from animals or acquired humanely.
Similarly to this, every action made by proponents of vegan and cruelty-free fashion aims to educate the public about commercial animal farming and the use of animals for fashion.
Slow fashion is a term that has just recently been used to describe a method of producing clothing that is in some ways the antithesis of “rapid fashion.” Slow fashion is manufactured by skilled artisans as opposed to industrial mass production, which is why the term “artisanal fashion” is used to describe it.
Sustainable fashion is exemplified by practices like renting clothing, renting used clothing, swapping clothes, sharing clothes, and thrifting. Thrifting is a fantastic technique to prevent the detrimental effects of fashion manufacturing and is readily available in thrift stores and second-hand retailers.
The practice of reusing and repurposing clothing to produce new fashion is referred to as upcycling fashion. A new type of high-end luxury fashion has emerged as a result of the popularity of this aspect of upcycled fashion among elites and modern fashion designers.
Sustainable Fashion’s impact on Nature
Currently, one of the sectors in the world that consumes the most water is the fashion business.
Water is used throughout manufacturing, dyeing, and finishing procedures in addition to washing clothes.
To put that into perspective, one pair of pants requires 7,000 liters of water, compared to 2,720 liters for one cotton shirt.
In addition to using water, the manufacturing of garments harms the environment by contaminating freshwater with hazardous chemicals that end up in waterways.
Furthermore, organic textiles created from hemp, organic cotton, and linen that use little to no water during production are prioritized by sustainable fashion.
Each animal contributes significantly to keeping the Earth habitable, making them an essential component of our ecosystem. The use of leather, fur, and other materials derived from animals has an impact on animal populations, which in turn has an impact on human survival on this planet.
1: Is vegan fashion the same as sustainable fashion?
In reality, cruelty-free and vegan clothing companies safeguard animals by using substitutes for leather and fur in their products. This prevents animals from being exploited and killed while maintaining the ecosystem’s equilibrium and thus can be called a sustainable fashion.
2: What is the financial impact of sustainable fashion?
Exceptional accomplishments, as changes are not always simple, especially in the fashion sector. Any modification that differs from the economic forecasts for the sector is rejected or, at best, delayed. The only workable option is a gradual transition from fast to sustainable fashion, but without having a significant financial impact.
3: Why is fast fashion bad?
For instance, the majority of fast fashion clothing is created with materials derived from petroleum. These brands use materials like acrylic, nylon, and polyester, and as a result, their manufacturing and disposal demand a sizable quantity of energy; increasing the carbon footprint ratio.
The Bottom Line
With the aforementioned in mind, there are several ways to make fashion more sustainable, including employing organic materials, biodegradable colors, and designing designs that generate no waste.
Shopping “more sustainably” can be confusing initially with a myriad of aspects to consider, due to the wide variety of approaches to improve the business.
However, you should prioritize the social or environmental issues you are most affected by, and then make those issues your top priority to be a part of the sustainable fashion community.