written by: Kristina Lauren
What is sustainable fashion?
Sustainable fashion refers to designing, producing, and distributing clothing and other forms of fashion in ways that are both environmentally and socio-economically friendly.
Currently, even with the most eco-friendly fashion brands, 100% sustainable fashion doesn’t exist. This is because of the abundant, exhausting use of water and electricity, as well as the microfibers that are introduced into nature as a result of washing clothes. But many steps are being taken to combat the wastefulness and pollution, some that are accessible even to the average person. Let’s talk about them below!
These are natural materials that will eventually biodegrade and safely reintegrate back into the earth. Some organic materials include cotton, linen, hemp, wool, silk, and cellulose fibers. Hemp, linen, and organic cotton are known for being the most sustainable, especially cotton, which is grown without the use of pesticides, better for the health and land of farmers, and strengthens biodiversity.
Try Secondhand Clothing
Ever shopped at a thrift store? If you have, you’ve contributed to shopping sustainably. This is because the materials for secondhand clothing have already been produced and don’t require any new extraction from the Earth’s resources. Shopping secondhand also keeps clothing from going to waste. For those of you trying to score a deal on fashion whenever you can, secondhand clothing can also be good for your wallet because it tends to be cheaper than shopping the newest trends.
Along the lines of secondhand clothing, fashion created from recyclables also uses pre-existing materials, so there’s no need to produce new fibers. Companies that prioritize recycling materials are not only creative in their designs but much of the clothing they produce is very similar to the thousands of other well-known brands out there.
Try Being a Minimalist!
In today’s culture, it’s pretty much a way of life to get sucked into the next big thing—or to just go out and buy something because you feel like it—and while you have every right to do so, if you’re interested in an easy (and cheap) way to contribute to sustainability in fashion, you should consider just buying less clothing.
This certainly doesn’t mean that you should whittle yourself down to only two pairs of shirts and pants or wear your clothes until you look like a weary traveler, but if you already have a decent selection of clothing that you’re happy with, try wearing those clothes a little longer than you normally would.
It’s always good to support your community and, in the case of fashion, doing so may support the environment as well. Non-sustainable fashion is already responsible for 10% of global carbon emissions, and transporting garments between states and often countries also contributes to this carbon footprint. However, creating clothing as close as possible to where it will be sold decreases the distance during production, and as a result, decreases emissions.
While you may not have the ability to implement all of the actions discussed, this introduction to sustainable fashion should at least get you thinking about the things you can do in your life to help make your sense of style more eco-friendly. Until next time!
What is sustainable fashion? (An introduction and 3 steps for getting started) — GREEN dreamer. (2019, May 8). GREEN DREAMER. https://greendreamer.com/journal/what-is-sustainable-fashion
What is sustainable fashion? — Sustainable fashion Matterz. (n.d.). Sustainable Fashion Matterz. https://www.sustainablefashionmatterz.com/what-is-sustainable-fashionHow much do our wardrobes cost to the environment? (2019, September 23). World Bank. https://www.worldbank.org/en/news/feature/2019/09/23/costo-moda-medio-ambiente