Sustainability is key
Every day, the majority of us get dressed in clothing items that have been created by the second-most polluting industry in the world.
Topped only by oil, the fashion industry is largely contributing to environmental destruction as so many consumers are insistent on buying clothes at cheap prices. More often than not, these clothes aren’t designed to last and usually only have a few wears in them, meaning that they typically get thrown into landfill. This is known as fast fashion.
Water is causing a big part of the problem. Fabric and textile manufacturing uses large amounts of water, in which most of it is flushed back into waterways full of bleach, inks and acid. Fast fashion is having devastating impacts on not only the environment but the workers too.
When it comes to making ethical and sustainable fashion choices, we are all aware that there is more we can do, but knowing exactly what we can do to help can be difficult. It can all seem a bit daunting and raise a few questions, but there are plenty of small and easy changes that you can make which will, collectively, make a huge difference to the environment.
How To Embrace Sustainable Fashion
Use The #30Wear Rule
We’re all guilty of the odd impulse buy, usually when we know full well that we won’t really wear it that many times. Next time you’re out and feel the urge to buy, ask yourself four questions. Do I really need this? Do I own something similar? Does it go with what I already own? How often will I wear it? If you’re persuaded, think about whether you will get at least 30 wears out of it.
Look After Your Clothes So That They Last Longer
If your clothes last longer, then you won’t need to keep buying more. When it comes to clothing care, all it takes is just a few simple changes to your usual routine. Try washing your clothes at a lower temperature, hang clothes out to try rather than using the tumble dryer, and air clothes a couple of times before you wash them.
When it comes to removing stains, instead of heading to the dry cleaners, try some home remedies first. Vinegar is great for removing stains on fabrics such as suede and leather and is a much more eco-friendly option than heading to the dry cleaners every time.
Mend, Rather Than Throw
It can be easy to just throw clothes away once you’ve had your use out of them. But, there are plenty of other things you can do with clothes that you no longer want. If you have some items in your wardrobe that you don’t really wear because they don’t fit right anymore, instead of throwing them away, why not take them to be altered? Not only will you have a perfectly tailored piece of clothing, but you’ll be helping to stop at least one piece of clothing from entering landfill.
If there are some items of clothing that you no longer like, then there are some great ways you can re-use these, too. Old shirts can be cut up and used for cleaning rags or for washing your car, or you could even braid strips of fabric together to make a homemade chew toy for your dog. A new trend that is emerging, which we love, is using pieces of fabric to make reusable food packing with beeswax. A perfect alternative to plastic wrap, it can be reused again and again.
Shop Ethically From Eco-Friendly Brands
There are many ways that brands and retailers can be ethical and eco-friendly. Whether they pay fair living wages or have their labor policies strictly enforced, plenty of brands are now adopting this way of thinking. If you are concerned about clothing production, then look into natural clothing materials and fibers, such as organic cotton and hemp.
If you are worried that investing in sustainable fashion means buying frumpy, dull and itchy clothing, then there is no need to worry! Here are just a few of the biggest sustainable and eco-friendly fashion brands that are gaining traction in the fashion world:
Before sustainable fashion was even a thing, Stella McCartney was already paving the way for the future. With the use of eco-friendly materials, such as organic cotton, recycled polyester and regenerated cashmere, they have increased on their devotion to the cause year on year.
Stella McCartney have also recently set a scientifically-approved target to help the effect that fashion has on the environment. They are looking to reduce greenhouse gases and also have a 2020 deadline for eliminating any hazardous chemicals used within their production line.
Originating in Sydney, Australia, Horizon Athletic is the work of Marlena Gabriel, a professional athlete who spent time searching for the perfect sports garments.
The inspiration for the clothing comes from Australia itself. A country surrounded by ocean, it’s the perfect environment for sports lovers. Horizon Athletic reflects the country’s respect for the environment and aims to raise awareness of the impact plastic waste is having on our oceans. They, along with environmentalists, have predicted that we will see sea life end within the next 6-16 years.
The fabric used for Horizon Athletic is made from Econyl, which is a recycled fiber made up of consumer waste and abandoned fishing nets. Econyl is 5 times more durable than any other fabric when exposed to the likes of UV rays, chlorine, salt water and sunscreen.
Since their first project back in 2003, Finisterre have worked tirelessly to create clothing which is both stylish and built to last. Their pioneering insulation jackets and waterproof are recycled and made from their own blend of Merino wool, which comes with many benefits. It’s natural, renewable and biodegradable, even in marine environments.
Each pack of wool can be traced right back to the farm it came from in New Zealand. Each farm must comply with the five animal freedoms that Finisterre have set in place. The animals must be free from thirst and hunger, have easy access to shelter and comfort and they must be able to display their natural behavioral patterns. The animals must also be handled in a way to reduce distress or pain and they must provide protection from rapid development of any significant injury or disease.
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Want to hear more about Natalie? Natalie is a freelance writer and journalism student. She loves writing about beauty and fashion trends and travel. In her spare time, Natalie enjoys reading mystery books with a cup of tea or planning her next travel destination or shopping trip.