Updated: Jan 8
Sustainability and fair trade clothing are something we can all share in order to secure the future generations. If you are interested in making a change, see how you can build a green, waste-free wardrobe. Making clothes, buying clothes and using clothes means protecting everyone involved in the production of clothes.
There are some companies in the fashion industry that have taken steps to remedy this damage, but their efforts are small compared to the scale of the industry and there are few of them. It is also an industry plagued by waste and pollution, so it will have to change course. The Pulse of Fashion report estimates the progress some fashion industries are making in sustainability measures. Progress has been made, but it is stressed that change is not going far or fast enough.
"97% of goods entering the clothing industry are new resources, with only 3% coming from recycling"
Fashion and Sustainability
A number of popular clothing brands are proud to promote sustainable fashion as one of their main selling points. While not all brands have a one-size-fits-all label, brands with environmental certificates on their clothing brands can start at the bottom of the list. When shopping, be sure to check where the garments are made and what they are made of, and consider other factors such as the brand's environmental certification.
Figures from 2015 show that 97% of goods entering the clothing industry are new resources, with only 3% coming from recycling. So how do you know if the clothes you buy are sustainable and how does it help you know which ways to help fashion?
Porter has started offering an eco-friendly beauty and fashion collection and there are even a whole website dedicated to selling sustainable beauty products such as organic hair care products. Eco-fashion has become a thing, but what most conscious consumers don't know is that there are many more sustainable fashion brands.
The textile industry is one of the world's biggest polluters, for an example the EPA says Americans send 21 billion pounds of textile waste to landfills every year. By using biodegradable textiles such as polyester, cotton, polyethylene or polypropylene, you can reduce waste and less dangerous chemicals that may affect your health. They can be cruel - free of pollutants or they can use biologically digestible textiles that don't introduce microfibres and plastics into our oceans.
Sustainability in the fashion industry is finally becoming a priority. Consumers are really pushing for more brand accountability and the sustainability of the industry.
When people talk about sustainable clothing, they are not just talking about ethical shopping. Sustainable can in reality mean brands use natural, biodegradable fibres in their clothing, reduce water consumption and initiate recycling programs. Some of the most established names in the fashion industry and some of its biggest brands are committed to fair trade and sustainable production practises.
Although there is no eco-friendly clothing (i.e. clothing that has the least negative impact on the environment), there are a lot of brands that work to make a difference. The textile industry is wreaking havoc on our environment through the process of discarding clothes and waste. Brands and consumers alike have a much-needed interest in improving this problem.
Organic clothing describes materials that have been grown in accordance with ecological standards in agriculture. For example, the land on which the raw materials are grown must be free of pesticides and fertilisers.
Fashion and outdoor brands are now tasked with finding new ways to counter this, and the biggest goal of sustainable fashion is to buy less and use things for longer. In addition to a shorter life cycle, we need to be able to generate less waste to make the product usable again after its life cycle has ended.