Why Most of the Fashion Today is NOT Sustainable

We all know why being sustainable is important, but why has it been difficult for some brands and customers to have this eco-friendly approach in fashion? Sustainable in fashion industry means to adopt practices at each stage of garment production and distribution that do not harm the environment in any manner. With the use of organic fabrics such as cotton, hemp, jute, silk, etc., natural dyes, biodegradable and recyclable raw materials rather than chemicals, plastics and other environmentally harmful products, the garment can be tagged as sustainable.

So, when we know that these clothes that are made from organic fabrics that do not cause any harm to the planet and are also categorized as green clothes, then why is it difficult for most of the fashion brands to manufacture and distribute these eco-friendly clothes?

The main reason for many fashion brands to follow unsustainable practices is that most of the customers want trendy clothes at cheaper prices. Many shoppers want clothes in trend at a low cost so that they can discard them after wearing them for few times, then switch on to new trendier clothes again at lower price. The amount of money required to purchase organic textiles and raw materials is much higher than the purchase of synthetic fabrics and plastics. Hence, the cost of the product becomes higher and is displayed with even higher price tag.

Therefore, the sustainable outfits do not come with low price; they are quite costlier due to the organic materials used in them. As they come with a good price tag, customers do not want to discard them when the trend changes nor do they want to wear them because this trend no longer exists. So, most of the customers cannot afford to purchase these costlier clothes with every new trend as the trends change every coming week. This is the one of the primary reasons why many brands tend to stick to the non-sustainable way of manufacturing clothes as it provides stylish fashionable clothes at affordable price to the customers.

This quick change of trends is called fast fashion. Fast fashion leads to wastage of natural resources and energy as the new collection of fast fashion brands comes every week. This leads to unnecessary continuous consumption and wants which is not beneficial for environment.

Sustainable Fashion Brands.

Many brands are in support of practicing sustainable activities in the production of garments. These fashion brands use raw materials that are organic and recyclable in their manufacturing process. The brands who have come forward in this are Levi’s, Puma, Gucci, Stella McCartney, Calvin Klein etc. Indian brands such as Liva, Insom, B Label and many more are completely eco-friendly fashion brands.

However, brands such as H&M are not completely hundred percent sustainable but in some percentage they are. H&M uses around 50 percent of sustainably sourced material in the production and is also in a mission to make these green clothes available at reasonable price.

How we can be Sustainable as consumers?

We all know that garments made with eco-friendly practices are sustainable. But, as consumers what can we do to maintain sustainability? Here comes the list for all the customers who want to go green with fashion.

  1. Shop from Sustainable Brands- Buy your outfits from sustainable brands and labels. This would be the first step towards sustainability as a shopper. As the environmentally friendly outfits usually come with good price, keep good care of them to be used for longer period.
  2. Repair or Redesign- When your outfit is torn out or you are bored of its design then don’t discard it, rather get it repaired or redesigned. In this way you will be to use more and more of it.
  3. Don’t throw but pass on the outfit- When you really want to get away from an outfit in your wardrobe then don’t dump it in trash. Just donate it to a needy one or pass it on to a second hand shop. Until the outfit is wearable and is in good condition, you can also offer it to your siblings, friends or anyone who would be eager to have it.
  4. Give your torn out clothes for recycling- If your clothes are torn out in a way that they can neither be repaired nor redesigned nor in a position to be given away to someone, then pass them on to a collection point so that they can be recycled. In this way your completely worn-out outfits can be used in production of new garments or in some other textile materials.
  5. Can Buy Second Hand Outfits- To lower down the production of new clothes, you as a customer can also consider having some clothes on rent, sometimes exchanging or borrowing garments from siblings, friends and relatives for different occasions. You can also buy high quality second hand or vintage clothes. This will not only put a halt to excessive production of garments but also it will be pocket friendly in some ways.
  6. Buy only when it is required- Because of fast fashion that brings new collection in ever coming week, customers want to have all the new trends in their wardrobe. Also, because of social media likes, they don’t want to repeat the outfit and this is why people are crazy about shopping and posting their pictures in a new outfit with new trend. Today the trend should be sustainable to save the planet, to save nature and too save the healthy life. So, it required to put a stop on unnecessary shopping and to buy when you actually need an outfit

What can Brands be sustainable?

After understanding that what customers can do to promote green fashion, let’s see what brands can do for the same. Here comes the list of some ways that fashion brands can follow to e called sustainable fashion brands.

  1. Be Organic- Brands can use fabrics and raw materials that are sourced organically from nature instead of harmful chemicals. Also they should use natural dyes can be used for dying fabrics, biodegradable and recyclable materials in the production of the garments. From designing to manufacturing to transportation and distribution of the clothes, sustainable fashion brands should follow eco-friendly measures.
  2. High Quality and Timeless Designs- Fashion Brands in order to be sustainable should opt for designs that are timeless and evergreen, that do not have any effect of whatsoever the trend is going on they are wearable in all occasions. High quality will ensure the durability of the garment.
  3. Promote Slow Fashion- As discussed above, fast fashion leads to more and more production and wastage of items. Every new week we see new garments in the stores of fast fashion brands, which is not that necessary. This also leads to exploitation of labour. If we look at traditional way of slow fashion, in which only two collections are launched in the entire year that is spring and autumn collection, leads to no wastage and no needless production and consumption.

Now we understand deeply about the benefits and ways to follow sustainability in fashion. It will be fruitful for all of us if we start following the practices to save our environment from now. We should fulfill our needs but not at the cost of our environment and future generations. The complications will come while implementing the sustainable routine, but with every challenge comes the solution. If many people are following it then why can’t we all? Big fashion brands should come forward with green fashion approach as they are the leaders and have the power, money, resources, worldwide reach and can come up with alternatives to implement the sustainable practices. This will inspire other brands too and slowly all brands and customers will think of eco-friendly clothing.

Read More

What is Sustainable Fashion and Why It Matters?

sustainable fashion

From increasing air pollution to climate change every year, some industries   are responsible for deteriorating the ecosystem  and   one of them is the   fashion industry. This is primarily  because from manufacturing to the final sale of the garment,  each stage usually requires the use of chemicals, plastics, non-biodegradable  raw materials, and the practice of other environmentally harmful techniques due to which our planet is suffering day by day.

To protect our ecosystem, the concept of Sustainable Fashion came into existence. Sustainable Fashion refers to the practice in which all stages of garment production and distribution are exercised in an   environmentally friendly   manner.   This   movement tends to spread the awareness among consumers to   buy and   consume   sustainable   outfits, which are manufactured and distributed causing no harm to   the   environment.   The process of creating green apparels starts from creating designs, selecting fabrics, raw materials, manufacturing, packaging and distribution in a   manner   that   ensures   no damage to the planet.

The concept of sustainable fashion has become a topic of interest and concern over the years. It is now widely noticed due to the coverage in media, workshops, debates and seminars around the world. As more and more customers are becoming aware, many brands start taking initiative to convert their business model and design their garments taking the environment in concern as well as treating workers in a better manner. With more support from people, more brands will aim to follow sustainable clothing.

Why Sustainable Fashion is Important?

Sustainable fashion may be a new concept for some people but it is very crucial to understand that why we need it. The fashion and textile industry happens to be the second most polluting industry after the oil industry. It is said that thousands of chemicals are used to make garments from scratch and if any one of them doesn’t sell or becomes an outdated trend, it is dumped adding pollution to the atmosphere.

Most of the customers like to shop for stylish clothes that are available at cheap rates, which is quite obvious. But many of those cheap, stylish clothes are manufactured with polyester blended fabrics. These synthetic fabrics are wrinkle-free and after sometimes cause irritation on the skin. Tees and tops in synthetic fabrics start to stink after a few washes, due to which they are discarded. But, before buying and discarding these clothes, do we know that it takes around 200 years to decompose that piece of cloth?

Thus, it is important for us to know that we should opt for clothes that are made from organic fabrics such as cotton, silk, hemp, linen, etc. and are long-lasting. The fibres of these fabrics

grow naturally and hence they cause no harm to the environment. On the other hand, synthetic fabrics such as Nylon, Rayon, Polyester, Spandex, Acrylic, etc. should be dumped to save the planet, as they are chemical and polymer based ones.

If consumers support and demand for sustainable clothing after understanding the pros of it, then the fashion brands will start taking their demands into notice. It is consumers who have to stand against synthetic fabrics or chemical based fabrics in order to make clothing brands realize what they should sell. Once, every customer starts to shop wisely then we can see many benefits of it in the near future.

Also, nowadays people are more into flaunting their outfits on social media due to which they don’t want to repeat the same outfit again. They unnecessarily shop for more and more outfits leading to exploitation of natural resources. Therefore, it is important that people should know about its adversity and cut down on their unwanted needs so that they can live in a healthy environment. People should start a new trend of Sustainable Lifestyle, instead of flaunting their new outfits every other day. They should encourage people to repeat their outfits and also to buy clothes that are made from organic fabrics and not the chemical based ones. Once, people start to adopt sustainable fashion lifestyle, it is surely going to bring about some better changes in the long run.

Is there any forum to support Sustainability in Fashion?

There is a forum too to support sustainable practices in fashion industry. The forum is named as EFF (Ethical Fashion Forum). It was established in 2006 and is a non-profit organization that aims to raise awareness about sustainability and green fashion among people. To diminish poverty and environmental damages, the forum provides the needed tools and resources.

EFF has thousands of members in over 100 countries with the same objective, to raise the bars for fashion industry and make it run by keeping environment and planet in concern. So, to make it happen, EFF has come out with policies with top ethical bodies to form and spread ethical and sustainable practices to benefit society as well as the earth. Thus the main motive of EFF is to make fashion business develop in three variants; social, commercial and environmental.

How can customers select sustainable fashion clothes?

sustainable fashion

First of all, a customer should search for organic fabric clothes. This does not mean that they should buy regular cotton clothes to support the movement but the organic cotton clothes. Organic cotton grows naturally while the inorganic cotton requires harmful pesticides and a lot other chemicals just to make a single piece of shirt. Customers can select the organic cotton clothes through the certified tags such as OCS (Organic Content Standards) and GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard). These tags ensure that the garments are manufactured socially and sustainably. Thus, every time when a customer purchases outfit made from organic fabric, he/she’ll be saving lots of water, energy and carbon emissions.

Secondly, while purchasing clothes, customers should look for outfits labeled under Fair Trade Act. This ensures that no animal is harmed during the entire process of manufacturing and distribution of the product. It also means that the cruelty-free outfit is not made from leather or fur. Not only this, the tag also ensures an ethical work environment in which the workers are treated properly and paid adequate wages.

sustainable fashion

In this way customers can support Sustainable fashion and spread the awareness around themselves. Whatever customers demand, brands will manufacture that. So, it’s our responsibility now to demand for organic, recyclable clothes that are long lasting, timeless and stylish at the same time. Whereas, trendy clothes exist until the trend gets outdated and then they become useless and are discarded to create pollution. If we all come together and take the initiative to support green sustainable fashion, then surely soon we will see some better changes for the environment as well as for the whole planet.

Read More