With many of us looking to reduce our impact on the planet and conserve precious resources, sustainability is a key concern in all aspects of our lives, including what we wear. This article will explain why making sustainable fashion choices is important on both a personal and global scale and how you can implement changes to improve the sustainability of your wardrobe.
What is Sustainable Fashion?
Sustainable fashion means sourcing, designing, and manufacturing clothing and accessories in a way that doesn’t negatively impact the environment on a large scale. This involves choosing raw materials that are readily available and/or materials that have been recycled or can be recycled after use.
Sustainable fashion also goes hand-in-hand with ethical fashion, which is about considering the human impact of our clothing as well as the environmental impact. So-called ‘Fast Fashion’ contributes to human rights violations across the globe, where people can be found working in terrible conditions for low pay in order to produce cheap clothing quickly so that it can be sold in large volumes to consumers. Moving away from this model means thinking about where our clothing is coming from, who is making it, and under what conditions.
How to Know
Sustainable fashion is also known as ‘slow-fashion’ because garments take longer to make and arrive but are also designed to last longer without needing to be replaced either because trends have changed or because they have worn out. These clothes may take longer to be created and shipped to you, and cost more initially as a result of the workers being paid a fair wage for their work and due to the materials used.
You will be able to identify these slow-fashion garments as they are typically made of organic or recycled materials that have been ethically sourced. Sustainable clothing companies will be actively working towards carbon neutrality and low waste. They will also understand consumer concerns about ethics and sustainability and be open about who their business partners are.
Sustainability can also be applied to accessories as well as clothing and you can play your part by considering the environmental and human impact of the jewellery you choose, for example, opting for diamond rings that contain ethically sourced diamonds.
Why is It Important?
There are many reasons why sustainable fashion is important. For one, it improves the working conditions of clothing makers worldwide and helps to ensure that the people producing our clothes are fairly paid and can do so in a safe environment. Sustainable fashion choices can also reduce our individual carbon footprint by reducing emissions as well as reducing waste and conserving vital water.
How to Carry It Out
One way to make more sustainable fashion choices is to opt for second-hand pieces from charity shops and marketplaces and reuse or upcycle old clothing wherever possible. When buying new, avoid fast fashion outlets and choose good-quality clothing from reputable retailers. This may mean buying fewer pieces but with the benefit of knowing that they will then last longer and be less likely to fall apart or go out of style quickly. It’s also important to research companies before buying from them so that you can be sure that their ethics align with your own.