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Sustainable Fashion and What You Should Know About It

Sustainability has been a word thrown around for years when discussing climate change, and it has been a word that has taken the fashion world by storm. Fashion has seen a dramatic shift in its production and design, in particular, with regards to materials being used to create new fashion lines to combat the trends within fast fashion. With the rise of climate changes, understanding the importance of turning towards sustainable fashion can help to reduce damaging effects left on the planet as a result of waste byproducts from fast fashion.

The fashion industry is one of the planet’s top polluters, contributing to almost 20% of the globe’s water pollution and coming in second behind the oil industry. Fast fashion, or clothing made from cheap materials to keep up with ever-changing trends, account for over 19,000 chemicals released when in production. Due to the immediate need for fast fashion to keep up with the change in trends, most clothing is made from plastic. This results in an abundance of microfibers polluting the oceans when the fashion is discarded after the trend has risen and fallen. The cycle continues to run as long as the demand for fast fashion stays constant. In an effort to break the cycle and steer towards the goal of a cleaner planet, sustainability is important to uphold within the industry.

Sustainable fashion not only accounts for the materials fashion is made from, but it also includes the health and working conditions of the workers responsible for making the clothing. In order to maintain sustainable efforts, the entire industry needs to make a change on all levels. Every part of the process needs to be held accountable for sustainability to work. For example, clothing made from natural resources such as grown cotton and hand-spun wool from animals that were naturally raised unharmed would be a more sustainable process than a majority of those run now. This process is developed on the idea that customer needs are met without destroying the future ability to meet the needs of future generations.

Sustainable fashion will create longer-lasting clothes of better quality, and although this means their prices will rise, the materials will allow for clothes to maintain efficiency for years. More years than most fast fashion, which is typically disregarded and thrown out after six months to a year. The clothing material also allows for the clothes to be recycled should they be thrown out due to the sustainable material they would be made out of. This prevents more ocean pollution and increases the use of the new fashion. It will take more than one or two people choosing sustainable fashion over other choices. It is important for everyone to learn more about the benefits of sustainable fashion in order to preserve the planet. Cutting down on the second highest polluting industry will create a big impact in the fight against global climate change. And it all starts with buying smartly and being aware of the types of clothing you choose to buy.

Megha is currently a second year global studies major and film, television, and digital media minor at UCLA. She has a passion for the arts, including photography, graphic design, and painting. In her free time, she loves reading classic literature, making jewelry, and learning new languages!
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