Sustainable Fashion: A Modern Day Must

 

Did you know that the fashion industry is one of the most damaging to the environment? In fact, it is responsible for much of the air pollution, fossil fuel exploitation, carbon imprint and global water contamination. Because these harmful effects are alarming proof of the global warming crisis, it is so important that consumers are made aware of the different alternatives and ways in which they can support the environment. Many fashion brands and labels are adopting sustainability as their manufacturing ethos. Sure, you might have heard this term before (it’s not just a millennial-hipster thing!) but, what does sustainability really mean? Simply speaking, sustainability is an effective, ethical and eco-friendly approach towards fashion manufacture and garment lifecycle, be it textile production, product distribution, usage or responsible disposal. This is made possible by embracing the minimal waste ideology and by supporting sustainability and all its benefits.

 

There are many reasons to go sustainable!

It represents an ethical and optimistic approach towards the future, whereas fast fashion does not.

While fast fashion thrives on immediate profitability and mass-production, sustainable fashion focuses instead on the maximization of the garment’s life cycle. Sustainable brands achieve this by using resistant, natural and long-lasting fabrics. This practice, in turn, significantly lessens the environmental impact of the garment once its life cycle has ended. Think of a sustainable purchase as an eco-friendly, worthwhile investment!

 

You get a better bang for your buck.

When you purchase organically made fabrics, you are acquiring more durable and wholesome, chemically minimalistic garments. This means no toxic chemicals or dyes for your skin.

 

You are fighting global warming.

Did you know that the fashion industry is the world’s second most polluting industry? In fact, it accounts for roughly 1.2 tonnes of total greenhouse gas emissions per year. Environmental damage does not end here. Hundreds of gallons of water are used to produce a single garment, such as a t-shirt (700 gallons) or a pair of jeans (1,500 gallons). By adopting a sustainable stance regarding fashion, you are supporting brands that are careful to employ less environmentally damaging processes to manufacture their products.

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Sustainable = stylish.

Who said sustainable fashion had to be boring? There is an endless variety of sustainable brands and labels that make sure to keep up with all trends in season, so you don’t have to say goodbye to the styles you love! Also, you might want to keep in mind that many sustainable brands implement different sourcing methods, such as using deadstock, upcycling and revamping. In other words, chances are your sustainable garment is one of a kind!

It’s cruelty-free.

By selecting a vegan approach towards sustainable fashion, you are promoting a compassionate and animal-loving lifestyle. Because sustainability is all about caring for the environment and the Earth’s inhabitants, the majority of sustainable fashion brands refuse to use animal skins and by-products to manufacture their garments. This means no animal exploitation or suffering is involved. When in doubt, always check the labels!

 

Sustainability promotes human rights.

Because sustainability is all about caring for the environment, it is also its duty to care for its inhabitants! This means sustainable fashion promotes fair wages and safe working conditions for fashion laborers worldwide.

 

Easy-to-get Sustainable Fabrics

  • Flax Fiber: Also known as linseed or common flax, this material is used for a wide variety of purposes, including food, oil, and linen.

  • Jute: This sustainable plant fiber comes from the jute vegetable, and it can be spun into fabrics such as burlap, yarn or hessian.

  • Organic Cotton: Just like the name suggests, this cotton plant fiber is completely free of GMOs, pesticides and agricultural chemicals, so you don’t have to worry about itching, skin rashes or allergic reactions.

  • Nettle Fiber: This material is extremely versatile and durable! In fact, the nettle fiber plants offer medicinal herbs as well as a variety of textiles such as ramie and Himalayan nettle.

  • Soy Silk: A cruelty-free and ethical alternative, soy silk fabric literally come from the temperature and enzyme processing of the soybean proteins. Just like silk, this fabric is super soft and excellent for the production of cozy garments.

  • Hemp: This fiber is derived from the hemp plant and it is similar to flax, nettle, and jute. Fun fact: it can also be combined with other sustainable fabrics in order to enhance its softness and durability.

  • Banana Fiber: Also known as musa, banana fiber comes from the stem of the banana palm tree. It is also famous for being one of the world’s strongest and most degradable natural fibers.

  • Cork: You might know cork as the material used as wine bottle stoppers, but that’s not all! In fact, this sturdy and eco-friendly material comes the bark of cork-oak trees and makes a perfect leather substitute! Hasta la vista, leather bags!

  • Peace Silk: Unlike soy silk, this material is actually silkworm derived. The main difference between peace silk and soy silk is the fact that the peace silk production process employs a strict environmental standard in order to allow the fulfillment of the metamorphosis of the worm, up to the moment it transforms into a butterfly. In this way, no worm needs to die or suffer in any way.

Being a sustainable consumer implies a few tweaks to the average “fast fashion” consumer behavior. Here’s a list of some simple and easy methods to practice a sustainable lifestyle:

·        Purchase locally-manufactured garments

·        Restyle your clothes

·        Purchase vintage or second-hand clothes

·        Buy organic, biodegradable and recycled garments

·        Donate clothes instead of tossing them away

·        Add some skepticism to your regular fashion shopping routine. Don’t be afraid to investigate! Read labels carefully before purchasing so you know what you wear and what it’s made of.

Share the benefits of sustainable fashion with friends and family!