If you want to know the meaning of sustainable fashion, today we help you identify the clothes and accessories industries who are environmentally conscious.
Sustainable fashion is the clothes and accessories industry which basically considers the impact on the physical and social environment.
As all industries, the fashion industry requires raw material for the manufacturing of clothes and accessories.
Hence the difference between a predatory industry and a sustainable one lies on the conscious selection of these materials.
But…. what does it mean to be sustainable in fashion?
The first thing you have to know is that if you are looking for sustainable fashion, there is no room for “fast fashion” or “low cost”.
Being sustainable, in fashion, is a way to see fashion as a major part of the social environment, ecology and economy.
Hence the importance you have when you choose your clothes and accessories so we can really make sustainable fashion prevail.
Unlike fast fashion, which has a brief life, we make sustainable fashion up of longer lasting clothes and accessories.
The reason for this lies on the selection of the raw materials, stronger and long lasting, and the color printing process. And also with a more classic manufacturing style.
Let us talk about raw materials for fashion accessories
Traditionally, cotton has been and still is, the main raw material for clothes and some accessories such as bags and backpacks.
But plastic, rubber, synthetic fibers, linen, leather, metal, wood….. as well.
You should know that the industrial cotton cultivation starts with deforestation which prepares the soil for sowing. And it continues with the use of plaguicides and chemical fertilizers which damage the soil, the atmosphere and the worker's health.
Later on, chemicals are used to dye the fabrics and large amounts of water to reach the final finishing.The complete process of cotton manufacturing implies a serious social and environmental damage.
Because cotton is the main raw material, we have identified the textile industry as the second most polluting industry after the oil industry.
The figures of this damage to the planet's ecology are overwhelming:
- 40 million people working for this industry; most of them women, but also children.
- 80,000 million cotton garments sold per year.
- 1,400 t-shirts manufactured per minute.
- 3,000 liters of water used on every t-shirt
- 7,000 liters of water to get the ´worn out´ for each pair of jeans.
- 2,000 million tons of chemical products poured into the water.
The Sustainable Fashion Association gave these figures, based in several countries.
Sustainable fashion with natural raw materials
Every day there are more natural alternatives for raw materials in the fashion industry:
- organic cotton
- recycled cotton
- organic wool, with natural dyes
- plastic recycled from the seas
- wood from planted forests
- natural silk formed by animal protein
Sustainable fashion seeks to generate a triple impact:
- Environmental, choosing organic raw materials grown without the use of herbicides or chemical pesticides; diminishing the carbon print in the atmosphere and reducing energy and water consumption.
- Social, attending to labour guarantees, such as working schedules, worthy rewards, education and participation in the improvement of the working environment.
- Economical, turning over to the quality of the garments and the temporality of the collections.
Manufacturing sustainable fashion studies the entire process, from the selection of the cultivation sites, the type of seed and the soil fertilising procedures.
If wood is the chosen raw material, it is not the same to extract it from natural forests than to do it from planted forests. The manufacturer must also know if the chosen species is in danger of extinction and must collaborate with reforestation.
They create new knitted fabrics from plastic. But, having so much waste it is no longer acceptable to use virgin plastic.
But we have found the largest amount of plastic at the bottom of the oceans. The Ocean Clean Up, founded by a young man called Boyan Slat when he was only 21, owns the first machine able to clean up the bottom of the oceans.
Why sustainable clothes and accessories are so expensive?
When you notice the complexity required by a responsible chain production, from the social, ethical and ecological aspects you understand why the costs are also higher.
But once you become used to having durable clothes and accessories you become a fan of “Slow Fashion”.
By demanding more transparency in the fashion industry, we turn into responsible consumers, loyal agents of change.
Very often the merchant does not know the exact proceedings of the products he sells but, with our questions, he will be obliged to do better research.
A piece of clothing made from recycled cotton should count with some identification similar to these:
The big industries take consumers´ actions into account because they recognize their power.
Therefore, the power to change our relationship with the planet is partly in our hands.
This new consumers´ awareness has made the fashion giants launch a global sustainability plan, even if it is only for economic reasons.
It is the responsibility not only of the big brands but of us, consumers. To eliminate compulsory shopping and immediate disposal products. If we don´t, the environmental and social impact will be irreversible.
If we pretend to do our part to preserve the ecosystem, we must choose durable clothes and accessories, classic models and suitable materials.
It is time for us consumers, to define the world we want to live in and the world we want to leave to the future generations. Cheap clothing consumption to wear and discard is no longer in fashion!
Take your stand for our Planet's future.