Sustainable Fashion: Why It Matters and What to Look For
Sustainable fashion is one of the hottest topics in the fashion world right now. We’re all becoming more conscious of our environmental impact, and it only makes sense for fashion to join in the responsibility to make changes. But why does sustainable fashion matter? What label should you look out for when you’re looking for clothes that are consciously made, without compromising quality? This article will tell you all you need to know about the growing industry of sustainable fashion and what to look out for.
1. Understanding Sustainable Fashion
Sustainable fashion is becoming increasingly important in today’s world, as people look for ways to decrease their environmental impact and be more socially responsible with their purchases. To understand sustainable fashion, it’s important to understand why it matters and what to look for when making a conscious choice when buying clothes.
- Reasons Why Sustainable Fashion Matters:
Sustainable fashion matters as it reduces the fashion industry’s negative impact on the environment. The fashion industry has a big impact on global pollution, animal welfare, water use, and human exploitation, due to the use of hazardous inputs, such as water and dyes, and relying on unethical labor sources. Sustainable fashion can reduce this negative impact. It also matters from an economic standpoint, as sustainable fashion enables businesses to make clothes in an efficient, innovative way and to avoid labor and material costs in the long run.
- What to Look for When Buying Sustainable Fashion:
When shopping for sustainable fashion, look for pieces made from natural materials such as organic cotton, linen, and hemp. Choose clothes that are ethically sourced and produced, and look for items that are free from toxic chemicals, such as dyes, finishes, and glues. Also, look for items that use manufacturing techniques such as eco-friendly wash processes and dry-cleaning. Finally, always choose clothes with quality and longevity in mind, and when possible, buy second-hand.
2. Why Sustainable Fashion Matters
As more people become aware of the environmental crisis, sustainable fashion has gained traction as an ethically minded way to shop. Sustainable fashion is not only important to preserving a natural environment but also to preventing exploitation of textile workers and furthering economic growth.
1. Reducing Environmental Impact
The fashion industry is responsible for 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions due to the production process, synthetic fabrics, transportation, and packaging. When you opt for sustainable fashion, you are choosing clothing made from locally sourced and renewable materials in an energy-efficient way. This reduces the carbon footprint and keeps toxic substances out of the environment.
2. Improving Working Conditions
Unfortunately, the fashion industry often relies on unethical working conditions in developing countries in order to keep costs low. Sustainable fashion seeks to improve the working conditions of the people involved in its distribution, from the designers and manufacturers to the salespeople. Sustainable fashion also seeks to promote fair wages and ensure that workers rights are being respected.
3. Supporting Local Businesses
When you shop from sustainable fashion brands, you are also supporting local businesses who produce ethical clothing. Sustainable fashion brands usually produce locally made products, reducing transportation costs and eliminating exploitation of foreign workers. By shopping sustainably, you are investing in the local economy and helping to create new jobs.
3. What to Look For in Sustainable Clothing
Sustainable fashion is more than just a trend; it can have a lasting impact on our environment. When we’re shopping for clothing, it’s important to keep sustainability in mind. Here are a few things to look out for when shopping for sustainable fashion:
- Organic content: Choosing clothing made from organic materials is an important way to reduce your environmental impact. Look for items labelled organic cotton, hemp, bamboo, or wool to make sure your products are made with organic materials.
- Recycled content: There are many products made from recycled materials, including jeans, sweaters, and accessories. Look for labels that indicate the product is made from recycled materials. This is an easy way to support sustainable fashion.
- Fair-trade certified: Fair-trade certified clothing ensures that workers are treated fairly and paid a living wage. Look for the Fair Trade Certified label, which indicates that the clothing was produced in a way that is beneficial to the workers and the environment.
- Sourcing: Look for clothing that is sourced from sustainable and ethical businesses. Many companies are now committing to sustainability and ethical production through transparency initiatives, such as the Fair Wear Foundation, which ensures ethical production and sustainable sourcing.
By being mindful of these factors, you can make sure your clothing choices are helping to create a more sustainable future. Not only will you be supporting sustainable fashion, but you’ll also be doing your part to save the planet.
4. Making Sustainable Fashion Choices
Making mindful fashion choices is an essential part of creating a sustainable wardrobe. Here are some tips and advice on how to make sustainable fashion choices:
- Buy clothes of good quality: Look for quality construction and fabrics that are likely to last, such as natural fabrics like cotton, wool, and denim – they are more likely to withstand the test of time and won’t need to be replaced as often.
- Shop secondhand: Shopping secondhand is not only a great way to save money but helps reduce fashion waste by reusing clothes. You can find great items at online marketplaces and thrift or secondhand stores.
- Repurpose and upcycle: If you’ve got an old garment you no longer wear, consider repurposing or upcycling it in some way, such as turning it into a bag or transforming it into a dress.
- Choose brands that are ethical: Look for brands that use eco-friendly and ethical production methods, such as minimizing water and pesticide use in their production processes.
- Avoid fast fashion: Fast fashion retailers often produce cheaply and unethically, only to be discarded a few weeks later. If you want to make a sustainable fashion choice, avoid these stores.
In order to make sustainable fashion choices, it’s important to be aware of the environmental and social impacts of the fashion industry. Thankfully, there are many ways to achieve this – from choosing good-quality items to avoiding fast fashion retailers.
It’s clear that sustainable fashion plays an important role if we look to create a better, healthier future for the planet. With so many aspects to consider, it can seem daunting to make the right decision when shopping for clothes, but by familiarizing yourself with the most important principles, you can make sure that the items you buy today are produced in an environmentally conscious way that will benefit both people and planet.