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Let’s be honest, our environment getting worse each day, right? From the past few years global warming, air pollution, climate change etc. have become our daily language. We should reduce our waste and recycling the used wastes to save our earth. Now let’s have a look on sustainable fashion.
What about our clothes? Is there any link between clothes and our environment? The answer is, of course, they are linked.
Do you know that 2,700 Lts water are required to make 1 cotton t-shirt which is enough to drink for a person for 2.5 years? Also, 2 billions of cotton t-shirts are sold every year. Almost 93% of used clothes end up in landfills. 60% of the fibres used in clothing are not bio-degradable. So, it’s not surprising that the fashion industry is the 2nd most polluting industry in the world after oil and gas.
Then what to do? We can’t leave wearing clothes. That’s why sustainable fashion is the answer.
What is Ethical or Sustainable fashion?…
The term “sustainable” or “ethical” fashion is also referred to as “slow fashion”. Moreover, it’s a complex issue that sustainable fashion requires the full life cycle of the product starting from the design, sourcing till the production procedure. However, sustainable fashion is the most considerate of humanity and the environment. Likewise, it reduces the environmental impact wherever possible. Find interesting? So, the following are the reasons why this matters.
Why Sustainable fashion matters?
1)SAVES NATURAL RESOURCES:
It has been explored from a recent study that a input of 98 million tons is required annually for making clothes. Moreover, an endless list of synthetic fibres, fertilisers, chemicals needed to dye and finish fabric and it’s surprising to know, for every 10,000 tons of Econyl raw material, we are able to:
2) REDUCES CARBON FOOTPRINT:
The thing is that the vast majority of our beloved clothes are petroleum-based and made from fossil fuels, polyester, acrylic & nylon. So, fashion industry emits a huge amount of greenhouse gases per year. Whereas, sustainable brands are made of natural resources. Moreover, organic fibres like linen, hemp, organic cotton & TENCEL are biodegradable.
3) SAVES WATER & ANIMAL LIVES:
Firstly, organic cotton reduces water consumption by 91% as opposed to conventional cotton. Likewise, fibres like linen, hemp, REFIBRA & recycled fibres like recycled cotton requires little amount of water.
Additionally, it’s estimated that the leather industry is killing 430 million animals per year. The cruelty-free alternative is the sustainable fashion industry.
4)HEALTHIER FOR PEOPLE & PLANET:
It is estimated that around 8,000 different synthetic chemicals are used to dye, bleach and wet process garments. Moreover, those cause diseases or even deaths among farmers and inflict serious birth defects on the forthcoming generation. Similarly, our skin absorbs the chemicals used in the clothes. So, before you put in new clothes make sure you have washed it. Also, check the chemical content certification label like OEKO-TEX, GOTS or BLUESIGN.
Now, think about it do you want a greener wardrobe?
Sustainable clothes are made off…
Our sustainable clothes are not made out of synthetic fibres like nylon, polyester or acrylic. Rather those are made from eco-friendly fibres which are natural resources like, wood pulp, coconut, bananas, jute, hemp and pineapples as well. Similarly, the resources can be a mix of both natural and synthetic fibres. Also, they can be decomposed at a less span of time.
‘The Next Black’ is a documentary film which is about the future of sustainable clothing.
7 forms of sustainable fashion…
Firstly, when we have started giving importance to sustainable fashion it was noticed that there are many forms of it. Green Strategy’s Anna Brismar was the first one who has identified the seven main forms of sustainable fashion, it’s production and consumption. It’s shown below.
Life cycle of clothes…
The following is a pictorial view that illustrates the life cycle of clothes, from product design, raw material and fiber generation, fabric production, cutting, tailoring, transport, storage & sales, use, repair, reuses & redesign by the consumers and finally textile recycling, waste generation & incineration.
Is this affordable?…
Now coming to point of the big factor for every industry-affordability. Hear the voice of fashion. It’s true that sustainable fashion would necessarily cost more than the traditional fast fashion. But, someone who is buying a hand-spun, hand-woven or hand-dyed outfit were to understand the level of work that goes into making it by the artisans and their families. So, sustainable fashion cannot be equated with price. Its real value is the impact a consumer can have on human lives through their purchase.
Worthy investment for big industries…
Consumers preference has been changed and it is more eco-friendly. Research says, 88% of consumers want their brand to be more sustainable. So, the fashion industry has taken a big step forward to its sustainability. As we all know that the fashion industry is creative and it changes their product and investment according to their consumers choice. Afterall everything is about worth investment in business. It is good to know that, over the last decade, a number of brands in the fashion industry have to make the change in the fashion industry. The leaders like Stella McCartney, Raven Lily, Akola, Reformation, Patagonia & Apolis are changing their industry works in order to protect our environment and to take care of the workers.
The following are the fashion companies leading in a sustainable way.
Stella McCartney is a popular fashion designer. She had taken an aim to make the fashion world cruelty-free and ethical. The company uses materials like cashmere, fibre from the forest, fur-free fur, organic cottons, recycled nylon and polyester, vegetarian leather. Those has been proven fully sustainable.
Raven Lily is dedicated to use locally-sourced, recycled and organic materials to provide the foundation of their collection. An interesting thing is that the jewellery from Ethiopia is made from melted bullet casings. Some of their materials are vegetable tanned leather, upcycled cow horn, organic denim from Africa’s only carbon neutral, fair-trade factory, recycled brass, alpaca wool, remnant jersey etc.
Each piece of their product is hand-crafted by women in Uganda. The materials are a combination of naturally occurring and locally sourced. Their brand provides vibrant design and materials. Besides they are dedicated for the job creation to empower women.
Reformation helps their customers to sell their old products and earn credit point to buy a new one. Also, the materials used are upcycled and sustainable. Each products from Reformation contains a tag which shows the score of environmental footprint so that customers can know its environmental value.
Patagonia helps its customers to repair the used clothes instead of buying new items. Also, it follows fair-trade practices and closely monitor supply chain to be more eco-friendly. Their products are durable and customers are encouraged to use second-hand items.
Brands involved in sustainable, affordable fashion…
Apart from these brands, many retailers have also changed their own collections made out of sustainable fibres. An Austrian company produces a certain variety called EcoVero, is made out of wood pulp. This fibre puts 50% less strain on the environment and also can be decomposed in a few months.
If we all collectively, ask for sustainable clothes may be in the near future all brands might just succumb to our demand or they might just get motivated to look at sustainable fashion. Wouldn’t that be great! Till then just checking your tag of clothes.