It’s no secret that the fashion industry is not known for its ethical or sustainable practices. From the use of hazardous chemicals to the exploitation of workers, the fashion industry has been widely recognized for having a major environmental and social impact. But with the more recent rise of sustainable fashion, there is hope for a more responsible future in the fashion industry.
Sustainable fashion is a broader term encompassing both ethical and recycled materials, fair labor practices, and eco-friendly production methods. It is a movement which encourages more responsibility and consciousness when it comes to production and consumption, and seeks to reduce fashion’s impact on the planet.
The key to embrace sustainable fashion is to understand the production cycle – from design, fabrication, use and waste of textile products. Waste is one of the major issues facing the fashion industry and one of the primary reasons for the need to shift towards more sustainable practices. Sustainable fashion is taking steps to reduce waste by focusing on ethical material sourcing, slow fashion, and utilizing recycled and upcycled materials.
In order to shop sustainably, the first step is to be mindful of what you buy and where you buy it from. Before making a purchase, do some research on the brand and the materials used. Look for brands who use organic and natural fibres such as hemp, organic cotton, bamboo, and silk. These fabrics are not only more sustainable but they can help reduce the water usage in the production process.
It’s also important to look for production transparency from the companies you purchase from. Making sure they use fair labor and pay living wages, as well as detailed information on the material sourcing and production process are important factors to consider. Another way to reduce the fashion industry’s impact on the environment is to choose certified organic and recycled fabrics that are produced without the use of hazardous chemicals.
Are you tired of fast fashion? Try looking for vintage and pre-loved clothes which help to reduce waste and support circular fashion instead. Quality is also important when shopping sustainably and it’s important to invest in pieces that will last for years, rather than pieces made with cheap materials that will have to be replaced over and over again.
Finally, never forget that the most sustainable way to shop is to buy secondhand. Buying pre-loved or vintage clothes helps to reduce fashion waste and product life cycles. There are a number of outlets where you can shop for secondhand items such as thrift stores, consignment shops, and online resellers.
The shift towards sustainable fashion is a movement that is growing every day. Embracing this change requires educating oneself on ethical materials, production methods, and shopping habits which can help reduce fashion’s footprint on the planet. Shopping ethically and responsibly has never looked better!