These days, clothing brands are churning out fast, low-quality clothing that is just meant to satisfy a quick, passing trend. Most people don’t realize how harmful this is for the environment. Fashion is actually the second most polluting industry in the world, surpassed only by the oil industry. Fabrics are over farmed and manufacturers use tons of chemicals to produce clothing in such high volumes. This ends up having a huge impact on water and soil supplies in the areas they are being produced - and the overall result is very taxing on the environment.
In addition to the environmental harm, large factories abroad tend to employ farmers and workers who are forced to work for unlivable wages and in harmful and dangerous conditions. Big companies are more concerned with the bottom line dollar than with human rights. Cheap, fast fashion trends are driving these behaviors, and it’s time to reexamine our priorities as a global village and direct more attention toward sustainable fashion.
Sustainable fashion is slowly but surely gaining a lot of attention for all the good it is doing for the world. But the thing about sustainable designers is that they are so busy making the world a better place that they don’t advertise what they are doing nearly as much as the fast fashion world. Sustainable fashion focuses on creating lasting fashion items that don’t abuse labor, animals, or the environment. Let’s take a look at just a few of the reasons why sustainable fashion is so important and helping the earth in such critical ways.
The fashion industry is incredibly wasteful. Every time a consumer buys an item of clothing that only lasts for a few months, it creates added waste. Not to mention the additional damage that is caused by using pesticides and chemicals to treat the fabrics initially. Choosing organic fibers and sustainable fabrics - such as the ones made from bamboo or hemp - can drastically cut down on the amount of carbon that is released into the atmosphere and the chemicals that are used in the process.
Sustainable fashion supports fair trade and fair working conditions, unlike much of the fashion industry practices. You can be sure that your clothing was produced in safe working conditions and that the workers who made it were treated fairly and earned a fair wage. The fashion industry is notorious for unsafe labor practices and money-saving techniques that don’t take human comfort into account. Sustainable fashion proves that people mean more than the bottom dollar a company is after.
While leather clothing items might be all the rage on the runways, people fail to think about the animals that had to give up their lives in order for that jacket to be made. Any clothing item that uses animal products such as fur, leather, wool and silk often means that animals get treated poorly in order to procure those materials. Buying sustainable fashion is all about promoting cruelty-free business practices that don’t harm animals just for the sake of trendy clothing options.
Sustainable clothing might not seem cheap up front - but buying organic, renewable fibers means that your clothing will last a lot longer. It’s the difference between paying $30 for a pair of jeans that you’ll have to replace every three months and paying $150 for a pair that will last you five years. Sustainable fashion is meant to last beyond just one season - and you can find plenty of classic shapes and silhouettes that will be in fashion for years to come.
Fast fashion is all about creating thousands of the same items and selling them as quickly as possible, which means there are going to be a lot of people wandering around your town in the same outfit. Aside from the many reasons why sustainable fashion is important for the world, it is also important for your own unique style. Sustainable items are produced in very small quantities so you are investing in a unique clothing option that represents your personal style and helps you stand out.
Reformation is a clothing brand that’s all about high standards and sustainability. They were founded in 2009 in order to design and manufacture limited-edition collections made entirely in Los Angeles. They are a wonderful example of a successful company that sources sustainable fabrics and vintage garments and focuses on better practices in their supply chains. The result is beautiful clothing items that are made with a fraction of the environmental impact that regular fashion has on the world.
Their factories use the most efficient, eco-friendly and pro-social technologies and practices that they can find. They take it to the next level with green building infrastructure and minimized waste, water and energy. They also invest extra time and money into the people that work for them in order to ensure safe working conditions and livable wages.
The practices that companies like Reformation are adopting help make an impact on the world and help to make significant progress in the fashion industry!