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Sustainable Fashion is here to stay
Sustainable fashion has become a major issue as more and more concerns are raised about the impact the fashion industry has on our environment. Many people think about sustainable fashion as a trend that has gained popularity in our times but that’s not true. Sustainable fashion is here to stay because our environment isn’t a trend it’s a big issue we should all be aware of.
The fashion industry plays a major part in our society and in our economy. It produces billions of dollars each year and employs even more people around the world. Fashion is big and thus has a big impact both socially and environmentally.
The good news is that the last couple of years more and more people, as well as companies, recognized the big negative impact fashion has and have taken steps in reducing the environmental damage and be more transparent when it comes to their manufacturing procedures. Also, even though we usually talk about the companies we should also talk about how we, consumers, should be the ones who make the right choices and force the companies into a more sustainable way of operation.
The word sustainable fashion is being used more and more; we hear it all the time but do we really know what it means?
When we talk about sustainable fashion, we should be aware that there are two sides that concern us and that we should be aware of, the ecological side and the social side of the fashion industry.
Social Concerns related to Sustainable Fashion
As I mentioned above, the fashion industry employs millions of people around the world the majority of which (according to various studies) are women. One of the most important issues when it comes to the fashion industry is labor.
In recent years, more and more discoveries are being uncovered about labor rights violations, inequality, and unfair wages and poor working conditions.
In order to try and raise awareness about these issues, many organizations have tried to promote more transparency when it comes to the manufacturing process of garments. The Fashion Revolution is an organization promoting ethical fashion and transparency when it comes to the supply chain. Their Fashion Transparency Index (You can find more information here) is a catalog, published every year which contains a list with all the major brands and how much information they make available to the public about their operation.
Even though this alone is not enough I do believe it is a major step in the right direction. We need more transparency in order to make the fashion industry and the clothes we wear more ethical. We should not forget that someone worked to manufacture every piece and they deserve a living wage and good working conditions like every other person.
Ecological concerns related to Sustainable Fashion
The fashion industry, traditionally, has a negative impact on the environment. According to studies, the fashion industry has one of the highest water usage, pollution from chemical treatments used in dyeing and the disposal of large amounts of unsold clothing through.
The rise in “fast fashion” brands has increased all of the above since consumers have easy access to a large selection of inexpensive clothes and they can afford to buy a lot more than in the past.
The debate about fast fashion has a lot of advocates who encourage consumers to stop buying clothes from these brands in order to reduce the total environmental impact. Objectively, If we do stop buying fast fashion it’s true the production of all the clothes that damages the environment will stop but if we see it from a more realistic perspective we should all agree it’s difficult.
We don’t all have the ability to stop buying fast fashion but we can help in other ways to reduce the ecological damage. So, even though we can’t always avoid fast fashion we can make sure the pieces we buy will last us a long time.
The worst thing about fast fashion is that we buy all the latest trends and wear them for only one season before buying even more new clothes. Make sure you get classic pieces that won’t get out of fashion the next season. Go for all time classic clothes will have in your closet for years to come.
To conclude, sustainable fashion means producing clothes while thinking about both the environment and the people working to produce them.
We can all take steps to help promote a more sustainable lifestyle without abandoning anything.
- Buy pieces that will last you for a long time.
It doesn’t matter where you buy them from just make sure you treat them right and they will last you forever.
- Buy secondhand
You can find amazing pieces in thrift stores for a really low price. You can even find designer and vintage pieces you will love. Vintage clothes have made a huge comeback the last couple of years.
- Repurpose old clothes
Find pieces you no longer wear and instead of throwing them away you can repurpose them of sell them to thrift store for someone else to find.
- Buy from sustailable brands
Sustainable brands have the reputation of being expensive and that’s one of the main reasons most people don’t buy sustainable. Of course, that’s not true. There many affordable brands that offer sustainable options.
Remember that as a consumer you decide what to buy and who you support!
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