Did you know that what you wear can create havoc on the environment? From the process of making your garments, to the waste that gets thrown away into landfills, to the sweat-shops overseas, every step can be hazardous to the environment.
What Does Sustainable Fashion mean?
The fashion trend of 2020 is not a seasonal color or a must-have style. Rather, it is the idea of sustainable fashion and ethical clothing. Environmentally sustainable fashion takes into account all of the processes involved in garment making. From the designing to sourcing, even the production process is designed to be ethical.
Not only are the processes involved looked at, but the workers, communities, and environment; basically everything affected by it is taken into consideration. Here are five main issues which are addressed by the fashion industry today:
Usage of Water:
To make just one pair of jeans, 7000 liters of water are used. The demand for fresh water for drinking and agricultural purposes is difficult to meet. Many brands are now looking for alternative ways to cut back on their demand for fresh water.
Chemicals Which Are Hazardous:
Dyes and finishes involved in making clothing and jewelry are not only hazardous to the environment but can also cause harm to the community. These chemicals can get into community water sources thus causing water pollution. Many fashion brands are searching for sustainable ways to produce dyes and finishes for their respective clothes and jewelry.
Sustainable fashion brands are coming up with ways to produce less waste. They are doing so by making clothes useful again once they've run their course. There are two ways we can help make clothes useful again. One way is repair any damages such as holes and keep wearing them; and the other way is to recycle the materials. A rise of 10% in second-hand clothing can cut carbon emissions by 3% and water usage by 4%.
Items with a short life cycle:
Because fashion brands keep launching new designs every year, garments and other items go "out of style". Everyone enjoys new styles but it creates waste. The main goal of sustainable fashion is to create items that you will enjoy using longer. One way to solve this is to buy custom handmade items. The quality of handmade is much better and since they are made to your specifications, you will be able to enjoy them for a long, long time.
Many natural fibers such as cotton, are grown using pesticides and treatments which affect not only the farmers but everything surrounding it. Due to this, organic cotton, linen and other fibers are available. Organic fabrics use less water and cause little to no harm to the environment. On top of this, sustainable fashion brands are also searching for ways to be organic throughout the process and not just growing the crop.
Is Sustainable Fashion Cheaper Than Fast Fashion?
Buying second-hand clothes is not only sustainable but also cheaper than buying new clothes. This is called "recommence" by the fashion industry. Sites such as thredUP, Postmark and eBay make sustainable fashion easier as they allow you to swap your clothes and sell pre-loved garments.
On the other hand, if you are willing to buy new sustainable jewelry and clothing that follow ethical practices, give fair wages to their workers, and use organic fabrics then you may end up paying more. Such items last a lot longer.
List Of Sustainable Brands:
According to Good Housekeeping, here are some well-known sustainable brands:
- Levi's - that publicly shares its sustainable processes of making its jeans.
- Alternative Apparel - focuses on using organic cotton and recycled materials to make closet staples such as T-shirts, hoodies and leggings.
- Pact - whose cotton garments are certified by GOTS which tells us that the entire manufacturing process follows ethical and sustainable guidelines.
- Pascale James - a sustainable jewelry brand which extracts silver from scrap jewelery, used medical equipment and electronics instead of mining it. When it comes to gold, the brand uses 18-carat fair-trade gold.
Custom Life USA – offers all handmade leather purses and jewelry by local artisans.
"There is no beauty in the finest cloth if it makes hunger and unhappiness" - Mahatma Gandhi
When it comes to sustainable fashion, there are some brands that are diligently trying to make a difference in our environment. So when you are shopping, buy from brands that follow ethical practices and help improve the world we live in.
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