The moment you think about fashion; words like glamour, colours, trending, etc; naturally strike your mind. Without a pause, without a doubt! Do words like ethical and sustainable ever seem to go along with fashion? Had this question been asked a decade earlier, the answer would have been a tragic ‘no’. Today, with many brands desperately seeking to make sustainability the key of clothing, the verify differs.
Ethical and sustainable fashion does not start with the manufacturing of clothes. It starts from the cotton fields and finally ends in the consumer’s wardrobe. Thus, traditional cotton farming cannot be termed as ethical or sustainable as harmful pesticides are used. Understanding that integrating social and environmental issues with business yields long term benefits to the company is essential for all clothing brands.
The fashion industry remains rather silent about sustainable fashion. People are aware that green clothing is better than conventional fabrics. Every time consumers spend money on fashionable garments, indirectly people tell the fashion industry about what they should be manufacturing. After all, the consumer is king. Hence, the consumers should wisely use this right.
For a consumer, pursuing sustainable fashion is the first step towards sustainability. As consumers, we can further contribute towards sustainability by taking care of little things like washing the clothes in cold water than using hot water to reduce energy consumption, using biodegradable detergent to prevent pollution of the environment, etc.
There are many benefits of sustainable fashion. Fashion industry uses hazardous pesticides for growing cotton and toxic chemicals to dye fabrics which in return have a huge impact on the environment. Opting for organic and sustainable fabrics like organic cotton, bamboo or hemp, significantly reduces the amount of carbon and chemicals dumped in the environment which is certainly a good practice. Buy organic and renewable fibers to support sustainability. In addition, buy durable green clothing that you can wear for many years to reduce waste that comes from throwing away old unnecessary clothing. Invest in clothes that are classic, chic and can be used in future rather than buying a trendy item and discarding it as soon as the fashion is outdated. After all, trends change really quick!
Big global brands must be more responsive towards sustainable fashion, as they have a vast reach and the financial capability to research and develop greener alternatives. Sustainable fashion will eventually become a norm after enough awareness. Gradually, it will be practiced by everyone in the fashion industry.