Updated: Jan 28
I am sure we are all familiar with the term ‘Sustainable Fashion’. It is making big waves
in the fashion and clothing industry. But have we ever taken the time to know the
insights into what exactly sustainable fashion is? Sustainable Fashion, also known as
eco-friendly fashion is no longer a hippie pipe dream. Let’s take a dive into the world of
eco-friendly fashion and the great impacts it is making on the fashion industry, individual
lives, and the planet.
Sustainable fashion as google describes is a part of the growing design philosophy. In
addition to reducing harm to the planet, It has greater social motives which mean it is
produced keeping in mind social aspects such as fair wages and good working
conditions. Defining sustainability will be meeting the current generation’s needs without
compromising future generations. Fashion is now more socially conscious and earth
friendly than ever! Sustainability is not only useful for a society whose future depends on
balancing the ecosystem but also for big companies and brands that wish to reduce
costs and sustain themselves long-term.
Various Forms Of Sustainable Fashion
Image source: pexels.com
Demand & Custom Made
When it comes to bespoke, DIY, tailor-made or made-to-order clothes, it saves a lot of waste and gives you the quality you want to wear. This form of sustainable fashion is considered highly wasteless as it is made according to the consumer’s
individual style, fit and preference and the company avoids racks of unsold clothes at the end of every season. Bespoke clothing is considered the best form as it is totally custom-made to your specifications. It promises high quality and detailed finishing. Of course, you can’t throw away a suit that wraps your body just like your skin! It lasts longer and is hardly ever out of style. Go find yourself an amazing bespoke designer.
2. Green Is The New Black
Most fashion and clothing brands are now conscious of the environment. They are making an effort to use environmentally safer practices in their production process. For example: to cut down on the use of water and toxic chemicals, many small-scale production companies are working with small cotton and silk farmers who use environment-friendly and traditional practices of textile production. More and more people are now becoming aware of the environmental cost of buying big brands and starting to make the switch to buying more environment-friendly clothing.
3. Reduce, Redesign and Recycle
Image source : Pixabay
The fashion industry repeats itself again and again. Many fashion designers are now finding ways to find use recycled and discarded materials in their designs. This saves a lot of energy in production and as well as less production waste. Redesigning is also another criteria that some designers are using to contribute towards eco-friendly fashion. As a consumer, once a product is no longer desired, instead of throwing it away we should hand it over to a secondhand shop, exchange it with a swap shop or donate it to a charity for its prolonged use. Apps such as Elanic or Poshmark have become very popular for selling or swapping your good-quality used clothes.
4. Vintage is back
Image source : Pixabay
Vintage fashion is selling now more than ever! Major publications like Vogue Paris also emphasize vintage clothing and state how pretty palettes are timeless. By choosing to wear vintage and reused clothes, we can combat 14.3 million tons of textile waste per year. And hey, you never know when the polka dots or the classic velvet kick their way back into trend. The app Vinted allows people to sell or swap their vintage clothes.
- Hiring Your Clothes is the next big trend. Hiring high-end clothing from mobile applications such as Flyrobe allows you to rent luxury items that
are normally out of your price range.
5. New Ethical Materials
The infamous debate on how ethical cotton is has now led a number of designers and companies to opt for organic cotton. According to the World Bank, Cotton accounts for 16% of global insecticide release alone. Bamboo, soy, corn, hemp, and wood pulp are used by textile manufacturers as an environment-friendly alternative to conventional pesticide-heavy cotton fabric. Some brands like Stella McCartney have pushed the ethical envelope the furthest by not using fur, either, or feathers from the aspect of avoiding animal cruelty. It was jaw-dropping for many people when
Versace announced their ethical decision to quit fur once and for all in March 2018.
6. Fair Trade Fashion
Fair Trade is more than just trading. It empowers poor people of the world to fight poverty and look for a better tomorrow. It uplifts our moral grounds too. It contributes to sustainable development by giving better trading conditions and securing the rights of marginalized producers and workers. By buying Fairtrade products, we directly contribute to underprivileged producers and workers who are working hard to make a living out of their creations.
Sustainable Fashion is no longer just a vague dream or a niche market. More and more brands are making an effort to bring change. H & M announced in April 2017 that by 2030, they will become a 100% recycled brand and will use only sustainably sourced materials. Zara has maximized the use of organic cotton in their clothes. Marks and Spencer have created a buying tool that calculates the living wage which is factored into the prices it pays to factories in countries such as Bangladesh.
With all the initiatives that the producers, workers, consumers, and the fashion industry is taking; a bright, secure, and sustainable future is not far away!