Many people might have the question, “why sustainable clothing”, but we ask why not?
The fashion industry, combining the retail and e-commerce businesses, is worth more than $3 trillion dollars now. It contributes a fair amount to the world economy. But not only this, but it also contributes highly to global pollution.
It might be difficult for some consumers to process this fact. As the pollution is not seen directly on the outside like in aviation or oil industries. Fashion harms the planet by releasing excessive amounts of carbon, microplastics, landfill waste and polluting nature.
The fast-fashion world of millennials and GenZ’s is prompting this hostility even more. The constant need to be validated by others, to be on top of trends and make your mark on social media is important for them. This has promoted high consumption of fashion and corporations are doing everything to meet these demands. Keeping in mind the greed of profits these corporations have been resorting to unethical practices.
Negative impacts of the fashion industry:
Environmentally, it is difficult to measure the damage done to nature in any kind of number. Excess use of natural resources, fertilizers used on crops, chemicals of fabrics and indecent amounts of fashion waste in landfills.
97% of the time new resources are used to make clothes and only 3% of them use recycled materials.
Some people might think that adopting sustainable clothing might take the edge of their fashion game. The options that they might get will be limited. But no, the fashion industry has advanced a lot in its sustainability approaches. With designers aiming to make fashion more inclusive of trends and sustainability. Also with the help of modern techniques, the concept of sustainability has changed. Now, it can be fairly difficult to identify between a sustainable and a normal garment. The ugly truth of the fashion industry is alarming.
Why sustainable clothing is the need of the hour?
1. Saves natural resources:
Sustainable clothing switches to options like upcycling, reusing or recycling the products. This automatically reduces production and consumption. Sustainable fashion promotes a circular economy, hence extending the life cycle of products as much as possible. It uses far fewer natural resources like water, oil and crops.
2. Reduces carbon footprint:
If there is less use of new materials, the production will automatically reduce. This will help in reducing the emissions of greenhouse gases while cultivating the fibers, from production factories and transportation.
It also uses sustainable and degradable materials like hemp or bamboo pulp which decompose quicker than regular cotton or polyester. This helps in reducing the emissions from landfills.
3. Sustainable is ethical:
Garment factory workers, especially in third-world countries are treated like modern-day slaves. Many human rights advocates have compared these factories to ‘sweatshops’. Many women here, earn merely 15 cents an hour. Ethical fashion comes under the term of sustainability. These brands promote ethical and fair-trade practices. Standard working conditions and wages with health care.
Often working with local farmers or artisans, they help them with research and development work. Sustainable fashion pledges to not produce clothes at the cost of human misery. This industry is also strictly against child labour.
Read about the unethical practices in the fashion industry.
4. Safer for animals:
The fashion industry is one of the biggest threats to animals after the food industry. Every year, it kills more than 450 million animals to procure wool, fur and leather. Is it ethically right to kill so many of them in the name of fashion?
Sustainable brands only adopt cruelty-free and vegan methods to produce their materials. It has come up with various alternatives for these animal by-products like making faux leather with hemp.
5. Healthier impact:
Non-sustainable practices like dyeing using chemical substances have polluted rivers around the world. This has shown effects on the health of the locals deteriorating over time. Natural fibers used by some sustainable brands are also shown to have healing properties that benefit the consumers’ skin.
Not only this, but sustainable fashion can also be beneficial for your pocket and wardrobe. As clothes are of high quality it reduces the need to buy more. Many pieces are made from upcycling materials, so your clothes have a high chance to be unique.
6. Overall influence:
As sustainable fashion concentrates majorly on the process beyond the end use of the products, slow fashion is more concerned about the production process. Eco-fashion wants to do justice to the ecology and green fashion considers the health of nature and the people. This new model wants to do just for every sector involved in the process.
There is no better and reliable option at the moment to turn the face of the fashion industry. With the younger generation being woke about their opinions, they can surely bring a united change. Sustainable fashion is more than just a lifestyle, it is a means to stand up for something they believe in. This is why sustainability is the need of the hour. It might take the fashion industry years to be carbon negative but the revolution has begun and there is no stopping now.