May 20, 2021 01:41 PM | by Nada Allam
What is Sustainable Fashion? Everything You Need to Know
You’ve probably seen the term, ‘sustainable fashion’ as you scroll through Instagram, and a lot of fashion influencers have been talking about it, because frankly this is a term you need be aware of, because the future of fashion is heading in that way!
The world is moving in a direction, trying to be conscious of everything that is being made, from eco-friendly products being found in your local drug stores, to people taking initiative and trying to be conscious of their waste. At the end of he day it is our responsibility to be aware of what is happening around us in all industries, but especially the fashion industry.
This article is not to lecture you about what you should or should not be buying, or about boycotting certain brands that are not sustainable. The fact of the matter is, it’s easy to preach about it, it’s a whole lot difficult to flip your life to it.
This article is merely information, to explain to you what exactly is sustainable fashion, why there is an ongoing talk about it, the brands to keep an eye out for that are sustainable, because if you can do something small to support sustainable fashion, then that’s a start.
Our hope is to try and start the path of being conscious of our purchases and shopping habits, in hope to try and help the environment.
What is sustainable fashion?
It refers to clothing that has been designed, manufactured and distributed in an environmentally friendly way. Sustainable clothing refers to fabrics that come from eco-friendly resources and recycled materials. While we all love fashion and shopping, the sad truth is that the fashion industry is one of the biggest contributors to global pollution.
What is fast fashion?
Unfortunately, fast fashion is something we all love. You know how when you hear of a trend, you're likely to find it in your favorite high street brand, and at a very convenient price. Then the next week you find that same high street brand launches it’s new collection and everything looks so pretty and you have enough money saved, and so you make another purchase, only to have forgotten about the purchase you did a week ago, and the trend isn’t popping as it was. Basically, ‘fast fashion’ is pieces designed to be consumed quickly and at cheap prices, which makes shoppers believe that these pieces are disposable.
While fast fashion is appealing and easily purchasable by the mass, it harms the earth’s natural resources, abusers workers, and leads to an enormous amount of waste.
Where can we find sustainable and ethical fashion?
Contrary to popular belief, ethical fashion does not have to be expensive. You see, it’s the high end brands that are considered sustainable, because the traditional fashion houses have only a few seasonal collection per year. As opposed to high street brands that produce new collections every other week.
However it’s important to know you that there are a lot of sustainable brands out there that you can shop from. Not only so, a lot of high street brands have launched a ‘conscious collection’ within their collections. A conscious collection is made of more sustainable materials, not 100% sustainable, but and many brands have pledged that their full collections will be sustainable in a few years. So, if there is ever a time to start being more conscious of your shopping, it’s not, because ethical shopping has gotten a whole lot easier.
Shop the conscious collections:
You don’t need to stay away from your favorite high street fashion brand, consider shopping from their conscious collection if they have one. A conscious collection is created with more sustainable materials like organic cotton and recycled polyester.
A few brands that have conscious/sustainable collections: H&M, Mango, ASOS, Marks & Spencer, Reformation etc…
Vintage & Thrift store shopping
In addition to looking for sustainable brands, there are a few things you can do to try and limit your consumption of fast fashion. For example, consider vintage or thrift stores on your next shopping spree, not only will you save money, you will not be supporting the production of excess clothing. You’ll be surprised with the amazing pieces you will find.
Another thing you can do, is to shop locally. Wherever you live, if you pay close attention to the local brands around you, you’ll be amazed with what they have been producing. By shopping locally, you are reducing your consumption of fast fashion, you support a local brand that only produces a handful of collections throughout the year, and you’ll end up purchasing something extremely unique too.
As I had mentioned before, we’re not here to preach that you shouldn’t shop from your favorite high street store, because after all they are a lot more affordable. But, how about buying less?
What is the item of clothing made of:
It’s the synthetic fibers that have serious implications on the environment. So, the next time you decide to buy that top, take a quick look at it’s components, make sure it’s 100% cotton instead of polyester, or even linen. It will feel a lot smoother on your skin too. Even Adidas latest Stan Smith was created using recycled materials.
Wear things differently and in many ways:
Take a look at your closet, I bet you, you can revamp your wardrobe! Consider using a service like Ask a Stylist, they will show you how you can change your style, and create a bunch of new outfits without shopping.
Donate your clothes:
Marie Kondo your closet from time to time. Giveaway what you don’t wear, and keep only what you do wear. A lot of store nowadays offer a service where you can drop off old pairs of jeans and more and they’ll either repurpose them or give them away to shelters.
Main Image Credits: eco-age.com
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