A small step into Sustainable Fashion
Posted by Mirela Mendoza on
Lately, I've been wondering a lot about what our impact on the planet is. I'm an advocate for nature and it's beauty, but I can't help but wonder how much damage we are causing it by abusing its resources without thinking about the future. We don't have a Planet B, and for me, it's important that my kids can enjoy the same beauty and natural resources that my generation took for granted.
As a fashion lover, one of the most heartbreaking things is learning how this industry is one of the most polluting in the world, and how many natural resources it consumes in the process of making a piece of clothing. From the cultivation of more friendly materials to reducing the residues of dye and fibers that end up in the oceans, there needs to be a big change in the fashion industry. The good news is there's an alternative and as consumers and fashionistas, we can be a big part of it.
Have you heard about Sustainable Fashion?
This concept is part of the growing design philosophy and sustainability trend: We can be more friendly with our planet in the way we eat, move around and dress!
"Sustainable fashion can be defined as clothing, shoes, and accessories that are manufactured, marketed, and used in the most sustainable manner possible, taking into account both environmental and socio-economic aspects".
- Green Strategy
It's socially good, planet-friendly, and cruelty-free.
The fashion industry is a big part of the problem. For example, we make 400 billion mt2 of textiles annually. But about 60 billion mt2 of those are from cutting room floor waste (1). That's almost 15% of the textiles that are made, and they are not even turned into clothes, just directly thrown away! Our favorite brands must know this is not acceptable for us, and start making changes in the way they find their materials and how they are sewn to reduce their impact on the planet.
As consumers, it is important to become aware of the power we have in putting pressure on companies to be sustainable, but also into making small changes ourselves. Heather Knight, from Fashion Revolution, has some uncomfortable numbers: "We spend less on clothes than ever before we also buy more clothes than we used. As a society, we purchase 400% more clothing today than we did just 20 years ago". Think about how fashion 50 years ago was much more sustainable. People used to have fewer pieces, but they were made to fit, with fabrics of high quality and designed in a very versatile way that allowed people to style it in different ways.
Being more sustainable in fashion doesn't necessarily mean that you'll have to stop purchasing from your favorite brand or limiting your choices in terms of trends. And it definitely doesn't mean you'll have to go over your budget to find a sustainable piece of clothing. You may be thinking, what is the fashion equivalent of a metal straw? How can we be more sustainable as fashion enthusiasts?
"Buy less, choose well, make it last"
It's easy to fall in love with a piece or a collection, then go rushing to the store because you need to have it in your closet. Stop for a minute and really consider, "how many times will I wear this dress?". If the answer is less than 10, it's not a smart purchase. Avoid impulse shopping or you will end up with that one item you know is going to fall out of fashion in no time. Rather look for unique pieces you'll want to style in hundreds of ways and keep forever as an essential piece for your wardrobe.
Make your clothes last longer
A small rip or hole can be fixed in no time, missing buttons are super easy to sew. If you don't know how to do it yourself, find a tailor. Tailoring it’s a great option if you need a small repair or resizing your favorite jeans. Looking after our clothes and making them last a year or two longer is a small and satisfying change we can all make. And by having to replace things less often, you'll be saving money!
Question your favorite brands
You may feel overwhelmed about where to start buying more sustainable clothing, but it doesn't have to be that hard. Knowing the origin of a piece and how it reaches its final product is a good starting point. How can you know if a brand is aligned with your values? Ask! Today, more than ever, we have a direct channel to start a conversation with our favorite brands: Social Media. Investigate, follow organizations that support sustainability, and exchange your findings with friends and other fashion lovers. The more knowledge you have, the more informed you will be to make a good choice.
Repurpose or Recycle
It's important that you don't throw away your textiles. Clothing that is placed in the bin is either incinerated or ends up in a landfill, both are terrible options for the environment. If you don't wear something anymore, you can donate it or even sell it to a second-hand store to make somebody else happy. By doing this you are also helping others to be more sustainable. If a piece of clothing can't be worn anymore, you can recycle it as the last instance, don't forget this takes a lot of resources like water and energy.
The environmental impact of the fashion industry it's not only a product of its waste. To really make a change we must understand the life cycle of a product, starting from the source of the materials. Start by avoiding furs or leather from animal origin, the first step must be a cruelty-free fashion. Look for eco-friendly materials like organic cotton, vegan leather, bamboo, soy, or even a revolutionary product like Piñatex, a natural leather alternative made from cellulose fibers extracted from pineapple leaves.
- Tags: be more sustainable, Contaminación en la industria de la moda, eco-amigable, eco-friendly, fashion industry pollution, fashion trends, how to buy sustainable fashion, Moda sostenible, organic materials in fashion, ser más sostenible, Sustainable Fashion, tendencias de la moda