In the last couple of years, you’ve probably heard sustainable fashion being mentioned, whether it was from friends or television. However, what exactly is sustainable fashion, and why does today’s fashion not fit sustainability?
Sustainable fashion usually refers to clothing that is manufactured, distributed, and consumed in a way that causes no harm to the environment.
Another terminology quite often mentioned alongside sustainable fashion is ethical fashion. This refers to clothing made in ways that value human rights, and thus account for honest wages and safe work environments. Ethical fashion can also be looked at from the vegan point of view, which means any part of an animal should not be included in the clothing (leathers, pelts, etc).
Today’s fashion industry is dominated by fast fashion. Fast fashion is specifically made in masses for the lowest prices and only be made to wear while a current trend lasts. After the trend is over, the clothes are thrown away and the next trend starts.
We buy around 60 percent more clothes nowadays than back at the start of the 2000s. This enormous increase did not come without any harm. Greenhouse emissions, waste, and pollutants have increased tremendously throughout the whole supply chain. It comes as no surprise that the fashion industry is one of the most polluting industries existing.
Next to harming the environment, the fashion industry also exploits its workers and hurts animals. Millions of people are hurt each year while working in the fashion industry. And even more, animals are killed in order for us to have beautiful leather bags and fur coats.
Let’s make a change
There are two sides that play an important role in sustainable fashion.
First, you have the side of the brands. They are the ones that should find ways to produce their clothing while diminishing their carbon footprint and without causing harm to the environment.
Second, you have the consumer’s side, which is you and me.
We, as consumers, can do something too. We should think twice about purchasing clothes. Do you really need it or are you just following trends? Other things that we can do include looking at local companies, sustainable materials, or go thrift shopping! If you want more tips on how to be sustainable on a budget you can click here.
One important note to mention is that it is impossible to be completely sustainable with fashion. The microfibres and dyes in our clothes will eventually end up in the ocean due to the washing cycle.
That is just the way it is. However, we can at least lessen our carbon footprint and cause less harm to the environment, while still looking as cute as ever!