Making a difference with sustainable fashion
Sustainability is becoming important in every business sector around the world. We need to protect our planet and its resources, and people are becoming more aware of the impact products have on the environment. Fashion is a huge business, so it’s important that it makes a show of getting on the sustainability train. What is sustainable fashion though?
What is sustainable clothing?
Sustainable is quite a vague term, something that companies use to their advantage. The fashion industry is responsible for a relatively large portion of greenhouse gases, with modern materials such as polyester being derived from plastics. Then there’s the milage – a lot of cheap fashion is brought over to the UK from places such as China and India. Ethics should also be brought into consideration, with the abundance of sweatshops producing cheap clothing. To be classed as sustainable, all of these things and more need to be considered and addressed.
A major step in sustainability when it comes to fashion is using natural materials. Even if something is made from cotton though, there are still levels of sustainability. Are chemical dyes used? Does the cotton-making process use gallons of water? By choosing organic cotton and natural dyes you can negate some of these problems.
Some companies are using recycled plastic to make materials now, but these can shed microplastics and cause a whole other set of problems. Viscose is made from tree pulp, which can be sustainable, but the chemicals used in its production are an issue.
Fast fashion has had its day. People are starting to realise that throw-away clothing isn’t such great value after all. One of the best ways to choose sustainable women’s clothing is to buy good quality items that will last for years. They may cost more, but if you get three times as much wear from them, it’s worth it, and less material goes to landfill.
Choosing a sustainable clothing brand
When looking for a brand you can trust to buy sustainable men’s clothing or sustainable women’s clothing, it’s worth doing some research. Beware of greenwashing though – a lot of companies are using green buzzwords in their campaigns without backing them up. Look for information about production methods and sustainability promises. Companies that are proud of their efforts are usually quite transparent about these things.
Reuse and recycle
New-to-you can be just as good as brand new and is the ultimate in sustainability. Clothing in excellent condition can be bought second-hand, and you can make some money yourself by selling items that no longer fit or don’t suit you. If a garment has had better days, there are still alternatives to throwing it in the bin. Firstly, can it be mended? If sewing isn’t your forte, there are people offering clothes-mending services. If it’s too far gone, give it to a charity shop or clothing bank as they can sell scrap material.