The fashion industry is rapidly growing around the world. The rapid and large production of trendy and cheap fashion is based on the concepts of overproduction and overconsumption. Low costs of production make it much easier for manufacturers to overproduce; therefore, more waste.
There are several issues with Fast Fashion. Let’s have a look at some of them:
- Unfair Trade: The rapid change of trends and the low cost of production push the sellers to overproduce. These very low prices mean that many of the people involved in the making of products are unpaid/mistreated and are working in unsafe & unhealthy environments.
- Water Waste: The fashion industry wastes around 79 billion cubic metres of water a year, equivalent to 20% of all water waste.
- Toxic Pollution: Fashion production releases harmful emissions. It accounts for 10% of the world’s carbon emissions.
- Fossil Fuels & Microplastics: The fashion industry, and the production of synthetic fabrics, account for 35% of the global microplastic pollution.
Unfortunately, there is almost no brand that is 100% sustainable, but there are many ways by which a brand can become more sustainable.
But what does Sustainable Fashion mean?
Eco-friendly/ Green Fashion are more specific terms. Their goal is clear: to leave the minimal negative impact on the environment.
Sustainable fashion, however, is a more broad term. A sustainable brand is considerate of its social, environmental, and economic impacts. It is a brand that aims to have a system that works without leaving a negative footprint— or at least as minimal as possible.
How can a brand be more Sustainable?
- Fair Trade: Create a safe and healthy working environment with proper wages.
- Choose natural materials: Cotton, hemp, linen etc. In general, materials originating from plants are more preferable to petroleum-based synthetics.
- Use recycled or deadstock material: Using leftover or recycled material to create new clothing/products is always a great way to save the environment and reduce production costs.
- Use less toxic dyes.
- Zero or low waste designs: Clothes with many designs and different materials result in more waste.
- Using materials that are produced on renewable energy run facilities
The social, environmental, and in turn, economic impacts of the fashion industry are mostly negative. However, there are many ways by which a brand can start utilizing its resources to leave a better impact and become more sustainable. As a consumer, it is your duty to look for and support a better and more sustainable lifestyle.
Photo by: cottonbro