Being trendy has never been easier! More than affordable retailers allow fashionista to renew their wardrobe quickly, and for a cheap cost. As Fast Fashion has become a popular phrase used to represent this cheap, trendy clothing lines from well know retailers, and it might even seem like technological innovation, the fast pace of designing and manufacturing all these new styles comes with a high cost, whether is an environmental or human right one, it makes the fashion industry a harmful one that should make you rethink the next time you buy a piece of clothing.
We’ve reached out to experts that have insight, experience, tips, and advice on how to become more conscious when we want to look trendy, fashionable but also caring for not only the environment but for human rights of our fellow mankind behind the creation of our clothes.
We know companies are using certain terms and words to make people believe they are actually protecting the environment. How do companies deceive us and how can we detect greenwashing? And if we do, what can we do about it?
To understand what Greenwashing is, we first need to know where it comes from and what it means. The phrase was first used in the 1980s. It was coined by Jay Westerveld, an American environmentalist, in a report he authored in 1986 following a previous research trip to Fiji, where he had stopped to surf. He’d observed a note requesting customers to reuse their towels when sneaking into one of the resorts to get clean towels. Westerveld saw the irony, given that the hotel was focused on expansion at the time, with what appeared to be little respect for the natural environment. ‘We’ll destroy the environment, but make sure you reuse your towel. This was 30 years ago, yet still, today companies are using methods like this to ‘appear’ more sustainable. In essence greenwashing is a company making ‘sustainability’ claims or naming a product or business to make it ‘seem’ sustainable, whilst its business practice is actually not.
How to detect greenwashing?
Look for transparency – if it isn’t there, then there is most likely a reason why. By transparency, I mean both financially and in the supply chain. Look for certifications from organizations such as FSC and Fair Trade if they aren’t there, there is a reason why. Look for a sustainability policy and look if the company is involved in environmental and social impact projects. Modern consumers have all the information they need at their fingertips and a little bit of research goes a long way. Fortunately, legislation is coming, and greenwashing will then be a thing of the past, but that takes time and for now, it is up to the conscious consumer to vote with their wallets and head for sustainable choices. That’s partly why we set up Play It Green to provide every one of our members with the information so that they can make informed decisions. Companies can name anything ‘Sustainably Run’ but as in life, judge businesses (and people) by what they do, not what they say.
How can we slow fashion be more affordable for people? Or at least make them understand the value of real clothes made by well-paid workers
One of the biggest barriers that I see when it comes to getting people on board with shopping ethically or adopting slow fashion into their lifestyle is this idea of analysis paralysis. People get easily overwhelmed, they feel like it’s too hard, too inaccessible, too expensive, too this, too that… When we get into these mindsets, we tend to shut down and avoid making change altogether. Ethical and slow fashion is, without a doubt, more expensive for sure – for a variety of reasons. So yes, a cost barrier is often a hurdle that’s hard to overcome. The main way I believe we overcome all those barriers – cost barrier included – is through education.
Education is an all-encompassing term. One, we need to educate people on the importance of why this matters. This matters because there are real people – mostly women, but men, too, that make the things we wear. When you’re buying a pair of $20 jeans from a fast fashion store, we have to think about all that went into those jeans. The cotton had to be grown, the cotton had to be picked, the cotton had to be ginned, it had to be turned into fabric, dyed, cut, sewn, packaged, shipped, tagged, put on the floor of a retail store, etc. How did every single person along the supply chain of those jeans get paid fairly? They didn’t. Therefore, how can we as consumers demand better? By supporting brands that do pay their people fairly through our purchasing power. The other way is to educate people on the easiest and most affordable way to adopt this lifestyle… and that’s through shopping secondhand. It’s by far, the most ethical and sustainable way to shop, AND it’s the most affordable. Start with one category… don’t overhaul your habits overnight or you will burn out.
At the end of the day, education is key. The more we educate, the more knowledge and power consumers have.
Still Being Molly
How can we find out where the clothes come from and are made of? and why is becoming more important nowadays?
Finding out where your clothing came from and what they are made of is or should be a fairly easy thing to find out. This falls into the category of labeling requirements. I’m using the USA requirements to answer the question. Garments first of all have brand names either printed or sewn into the garment. Garments are also required to have care labels that include the fiber content and how to clean the item. (For instance, 100% cotton, machine wash tumble dry). Garment labels also need to indicate the country of manufacturing origin as well as the country of origin of materials. Thirdly there is a registered identification number or RN. This number indicates the manufacturer, importer, or corporate identity handling the sale of the product. The care label, country, and RN may be on the same label, but depending on the brand may be separate.
As companies and consumers become aware of the dangers of fast fashion, what’s the future of fast fashion in your opinion, and what can we do to stop companies from mass-producing clothes?
In a perfect world, fast fashion would not exist. We have more than enough clothes in the world to dress everyone on the planet. Just look at Kantamanto market in Ghana, overflowing with cast-offs from the wealthy northern part of the hemisphere. The fashion industry needs to re-orient and change gears. Instead of mass production of new clothing, we need to think about how we can use what we already have if we want to fix the colossal damage the fashion industry has done. The current sustainability movement is great. However, putting the burden entirely on the consumer is not the answer. We need to introduce policies to hold brands responsible for their actions and protect garment workers. One problem is that there is no agreed definition of what “sustainable” means. This allows brands to just slap ‘sustainable’ on a label without this really saying anything about their production and supply chains. In my opinion, EPR policy (Extended Producer Responsibility) is the way forward. EPR makes the producer responsible for the entire life cycle of the product. Currently, the responsibility stops as soon as the product leaves the shop. If EPR is introduced in fashion it would lead to tighter quality control and, therefore, a higher quality product. It will also encourage brands to introduce take-back programs, such as recycling or mending programs. It would make brands take responsibility for their product and hopefully slow down production and encourage two things: the making of the clothing that lasts longer, and the introduction of recycling options throughout the entire value chain.
Slow Fashion Movement
Why do you recommend buying from sustainable brands instead of fast fashion?
Most popular clothing brands manufacture and source their clothing overseas. It’s cheaper, but this harms the environment. You may have noticed when looking at environmentally friendly fashion brands that their products are created in the U.S or a small, ethical, and controlled overseas environment.
Products made in these controlled environments have lower carbon emissions and higher quality control.
Another thing we would like to mention is overseas clothing manufacturers do not have strict regulations when it comes to the environment. It’s easy for them to dispose of waste in an unethical way polluting the planet’s waterways.
When you choose clothes made by a sustainable company, you’re supporting proper living wages and fair labor practices. If you purchase from a fast fashion brand, there is a decent chance that you are contributing to unhealthy working conditions and unfair child labor.
Sustainable fashion products are high-quality, superior products. The eco-friendly fabrics that are used are strong, soft, and long-lasting. Sustainable clothing guarantees that you won’t have to buy new clothes continuously.
Buying from popular clothing brands does not guarantee that you get high-quality clothes.
What is behind the cost of sustainable clothing?
Some people are concerned that sustainable clothing costs more. In most cases, that is, in fact, true. That’s because sustainable clothing prices are based on the true cost of making clothing, including environmental degradation and human dignity. The factors that contribute to a piece of clothing being ‘sustainable’ include:
- Protecting soil
- Clean water
- Respecting workers
Starting from the beginning, sustainable clothing will ensure that soils aren’t damaged, poisoned, or eroded due to overproduction and toxic pesticide usage. Fibers from trees must be managed to avoid clear-cutting and topsoil loss. Sustainable clothing will use crop rotation and natural and non-toxic pest management.
Conventional dying is one of the world’s largest river and lake pollutants. Once the fibers are grown and spun, using sustainable, low-environmental impact dyes without toxic chemicals can help us save our freshwater stores. It also protects wildlife in and around rivers and lakes. Many ethical companies even use closed-loop systems that capture and reuse dye runoff rather than dumping it into our water systems.
One of the most significant contributors to the cost of sustainable clothing is providing living wages to organic farmers and garment workers. Conventional fashion companies concerned only with the cost of goods production drive child labor, sweatshops, and workers putting in 60-80 hours per week who still cannot afford necessities like food and shelter.
Finally, there is a cost of being Global Organic Textile Certified (GOTS) or USDA-certified organic. This cost prevents industry “greenwashing” and ensures the consumer gets sustainable fashions.
The way to combat the higher cost of sustainable clothing is to buy fewer, higher-quality pieces that last longer and are more versatile. You can still look good and do good on a budget.
What’s the secret to having a sustainable closet?
The fundamental key is to be deliberate and thoughtful. Plan out your purchases to fill gaps in your wardrobe – as opposed to buying a sale item you don’t need. Without planning, we tend to make impulsive decisions that add clutter to our wardrobes.
An easy trick to remember is the 30x rule. This is when you ask yourself if you can see yourself wearing the garment 30 times or more. If the answer is yes, then you have a winner! If the answer is no, then seriously consider if the product is worth it. Look at fashion through a ‘cost-per-wear’ lens focusing on durable products. You will realize that fast fashion has become very expensive over time!
What are the best alternatives to Fast Fashion online shopping, and how can the consumer be sure that the brand does follow what they say, that they are ethical, ecological, sustainable, etc?
Ecommerce is booming, and the competition to grab the attention of consumers is forever heating up. But so is our planet, and despite the increased demand for new, hot products we need to start slowing down. So, if you are looking to start shopping more slowly I would start by asking yourself a few simple questions before making your next purchase, for example – ‘why am I buying this?’ and ‘do I need it?’.
Advertisers are keen to push trends on you, but we need to break up with this revolving door of new and start loving the items we already have and making them last longer. So, if you are looking to replace an item you already own – could you repair it or alter it to match your current style? If you are gift shopping or aren’t needing something specific – could you shop on a second-hand platform like DePop or Vinted, or in person at your local thrift store? Or, finally, if you are looking for new underwear or something niche – could you spend a little more time researching the product and reduce your purchase’s impact.
Although our high streets may be limited in regards to local, independent, and sustainable brands – the internet isn’t. Try adding into your google search terms like ‘eco-friendly’ ‘sustainable’ ‘organic’ or ‘recycled’ – as well as add in your city or state so that you can support a brand on your doorstep. Once you have found something you like, it is best to shop direct – many genuinely ethical and sustainable brands won’t be on marketplaces like Amazon. This way you’ll also be casting your vote with your dollars, and helping conscious brands to grow their presence. By shopping directly you can also look out for red flags, like No product origin listed – red flag! No breakdown of contents – red flag! No About Us page – red flag! Sustainable brands work hard to make their products better for the planet – and they are excited to share them with you. So, if you can’t find the basic information about where the product was made and what it’s made from, then this is a sign to turn back.
Is Vegan Fashion a real eco term? There are clothes promoted as vegan fashion but is it really a term they should use that actually benefits the environment and reduces contamination?
That’s a great question! The truth is that there’s a lot of greenwashing around not only the term ‘vegan fashion,’ but many other sustainable fashion terms, as well.
Unfortunately, technically, anything made of plastic can be classified as ‘vegan fashion.’ But consumers aren’t stupid, and they’ve cottoned on to this.
Truly vegan brands know that PVC, plastics, and petroleum-based materials like polyester, nylon, and acrylic harm animals as much as they do humans, so those materials are not actually deeply vegan.
On the other hand, there are many purely plant-based materials, such as cork, organic cotton canvas, and hemp, that are strong enough to be made into bags and shoes. In addition, plant-based ‘leathers’ such as corn or cactus leather are increasingly being used by vegan fashion brands to create all kinds of accessories. Though some of these still use small amounts of plastic polymers, they’ve far kinder to the planet (and animals) than animal-based leathers.
Chere Di Boscio
What would you consider are the alternatives to fast fashion, and how can this evolve in the future?
There are many alternatives to fast fashion that are achievable with minimal disruption to your shopping and buying schedule. Many fast fashion alternatives can be creative and fun!
- Inspect Your Closet. Are there items in your closet that you see every day, but walk right past? Finding unworn clothing in your closet is a shopping treasure that has already been paid for. Experiment with the items and find new outfits to enjoy. You will have saved yourself from discarding the old and buying something new.
- Upcycling. Is sewing part of your skillset? If so, then you are fortunate in that you can transform garments that you never wear into something wearable. If you lack sewing skills, you can also consult with your tailor about turning your garment into something new. The upcycled garment will have found a new purpose instead of being disposed of.
- Thrift Stores (both local and online). Gently used garments can be found in thrift stores everywhere. Whether it is a thrift store near you or one of the several online, these garments need a new home and purpose. You will be saving wonderful garments and breathing new life into them.
- Buy Higher Quality Goods. This one is obvious, but it bears reiterating. Buying quality garments will greatly reduce the amount of clothing that is discarded. Your closet will be filled with clothes that you love and that are classic and timeless, not cheaper trendy clothing that will be out of style more quickly. Consider this tip when you shop for clothes and try to opt for quality.
How Can These Alternatives Evolve in the Future?
Younger generations are already putting a premium on sustainability. By recognizing that slow fashion yields more quality, consumers are purchasing clothing to keep for many years.
Beth Shankle Anderson
The Style Bouquet
What would be the best way to include kids and teenagers to look into clothes not by brand or what is trendy, but by the real value, not only quality and durability but also what is behind fast fashion?
I personally feel this is such an important question. I have two boys of my own, with one almost 13. Somehow, I’ve subconsciously been preparing for ‘these moments’ for years, with the start of my own organic baby and kids clothing store over six years ago.
Being a teenager for me was very different to see my children growing into curious pre-teens in an always ‘plugged-in’ society. The constant information stream of social media seems to be relentless — and it’s pretty scary for me as a mother at times — but I learned it can be a very powerful tool to gently educate and guide. Teenagers are influenced by various role models in their lives — and from the media they consume — but the good news is that there are plenty of positive role models out there, potentially influencing their ability to make healthy and sustainable choices.
With so many changes in the way we live, work, and socialize, there’s arguably never been a better time to connect with like-minded people — it’s one of the perks of social media platforms. Today, it’s almost become trendy and cool to be environmentally conscious, reducing waste wherever possible and choosing ethically made clothing over fast fashion. Greta Thunberg is just one amazing example. I am trying to keep my children updated on her moves as much as possible, including her Instagram posts, YouTube clips, and documentaries. She speaks from her heart and resonates with people of all ages, daring to ask difficult questions, being unapologetically authentic.
Parents and caretakers (including teachers) play a vital role in leading by example. We can all do more to talk about the true costs of fast fashion— and there’s so much information available through social media, YouTube, and the internet. With the ease of online shopping, it is easier to find true ethical and organic fashion brands that also offer trendy and cool clothes for children and teenagers, instead of going for a drive to the local shopping mall. Even though finding teenage sizes can be trickier, you can share this experience from the comfort of your own home as a family, finding the organic baby and kids’ clothes that look and feel great — which won’t become part of an obsolete ‘trend’ in just a few months’ time. As parents, we can do our research to educate our children by informing them. The overall knowledge is the key element in shifting a teenager’s perception of what is cool and fashionable — gently showing them quality alternatives to mainstream fashion.
Elves in the Wardrobe
How is the fashion industry accountable for contributing to the microplastics that end up in the ocean, what are the most likely fabrics to be part of it?
I believe that problem has to do with some of the older fabrics still in circulation – whether on racks or in landfills – from the height of the fashion boom in the late 90s and early 2000s. The fashion industry is becoming more aware, but the mindful habits of smaller companies are not finding their way up to larger corporations. Essentially brands have found ways to recycle ‘poly’ material but, poly-blend fabrics are the culprits in the long run.
Why is fast fashion so cheap?
Everyone who has ever bought clothes from such well-known trademarks as H&M, Zara, Benetton, Forever 21, Peacocks, or ASOS knows very well that their clothes don’t last long, and the quality of garments is usually rather poor. This is because these brands belong to the so-called “fast fashion” industry.
Fast fashion is a term that describes clothes and accessories that appear on the market several times per season (unlike “slow fashion” that changes clothes collections twice a year). In fast fashion, clothes move from the stage of sketches to the stores for being sold within a month or two. The major concept of fast fashion brands is to get the newest style on the market and the sooner they do it the better.
However, to be produced that often, the entire manufacturing process is shortened as much as possible. The merchandise is produced and priced cheaply. In order to keep their prices low and thus affordable for the customers, fast fashion manufacturers and companies often use underpaid and outsourced labor in their factories located overseas. In addition, the clothes manufacturing process is often optimized to be as short as possible using cheaper fabrics (e.g. nylon and polyester).
These companies emphasize the necessity of optimizing certain aspects of the supply chain so that the trends could be designed and manufactured quickly and without spending much money on the process. All this will allow the mainstream consumer to buy the newest clothing and accessories at a much lower price.
However, as a result of such an approach, the manufacturing methods that the fast fashion companies use often end up being hazardous for the environment causing great amounts of pollution. For example, the fast fashion industry is responsible for almost ten percent of global gas emissions! In addition, fast fashion clothing is not utilized to its full potential which also creates danger for the environment since tons of “old” items are thrown away every month in huge amounts!
This is why fast fashion contributes to unsustainable behavior greatly, and it may need to transition towards a circular system of production and consumers behavior instead of the current linear one.
Wool is historically an ethical and sustainable material, that said, why is it better to use organic materials, crafted items, but also what are the risks of overdoing it, hurting the animals, or like in the case of cotton water usage. What would be the recommendations for the end-consumer to look at when buying an item from such materials.
Wool is again an essential component of functional outdoor clothing. In some cases, this even consists entirely of merino wool. Decisive are not only the ecological but also the many technical and functional advantages.
The fact that wool is a sustainable raw material is beyond question. The keratin fiber wool has evolved along with the rest of life on Earth. As part of the natural carbon cycle, wool grows on sheep and easily biodegrades – making wool fiber a naturally sustainable choice.
However, in my opinion, it doesn’t make sense to pit wool and synthetic fibers against each other because it’s a romantic idea that we’ll be able to do without synthetic fibers in the future. Whether synthetic or natural fiber, whether nylon, hemp, or wool – further processing is generally one of the most critical factors for most environmental pollution.
Ten to twelve different operations are required in textile finishing, for example. Numerous chemical auxiliaries are available for this, and around 4000 dyes are used. For all the carcinogenic softeners, formaldehyde resins, and heavy metals in color pigments that are harmful to genetic material, as well as the bleaching agents, antiperspirants, and anti-crease agents that are used for “finishing,” one would need a much longer package insert than for some prescription drugs. According to Greenpeace, about 95 percent of the textiles sold in our country are imported from low-wage countries such as China, India, Bangladesh, or Vietnam.
Various natural fibers are often compared with synthetic fibers on the Internet, and their eco-balance is calculated. However, what is usually forgotten is that buyers of high-quality clothing made of merino wool, cashmere, or alpaca, for example, wear their precious parts much longer.
An expensive cashmere sweater certainly does not end up in the trash after six months, as is often the case with products from various fast fashion collections! And these are made exclusively from synthetic fibers, which are not biodegradable and also contribute to pollution with microplastics.
If you are serious about sustainability, you should check the quality and origin of the product before you buy it and take good care of it after purchase so that it lasts a long time. However, this does not only apply to clothing made of wool and is unfortunately not always easy.
Therefore, producers and consumers need support from experts, preferably from independent, internationally recognized institutes or associations with strict, clear guidelines and stringent controls.
Today, there are several institutions or initiatives for this purpose, such as GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard), the RWS SEAL (Responsible Wool Standard), Fair Wear Foundation, and Fair Labour Association aim to improve working conditions. These usually also check whether animal welfare is respected. These independent institutions offer manufacturers optimization and security in complying with the standards.
For the customer, they offer help in the form of internationally recognized certificates and seals of quality to determine whether the high-tech trekking shirt or expensive functional underwear is manufactured in an environmentally friendly manner and is not harmful to health.
In addition, you can also find out about the production conditions on the manufacturers’ websites. Unfortunately, this is usually not the case with manufacturers of synthetic clothing.
Capsule Wardrobes are trending right now. Do you think they have a positive impact on the environment and if so, why?
The idea behind a capsule wardrobe is to “buy less, buy better, and make it last”. Every time we make a choice of quality over quantity, whether it’s in fashion, home decoration, or let’s say, kitchen utensils, we make a step towards sustainability. Especially keeping in mind that the production of fashion leaves behind a huge trace of pollution at every stage of the process.
The whole point of a capsule wardrobe is to reduce the number of garments and accessories we own in our collection. This not only has a positive environmental effect on the amount of waste going to landfills we can save each year, but it can also have a compounding effect on the overwhelm that comes with having a full wardrobe. Do you relate to the saying “I don’t have anything to wear?”
Turns out that when we own less, we use each piece more, and we use them all. We also get more joy out of using each garment as it truly represents who we are. With this, we are more careful about the few things we own, and we consider mending over throwing away.
This itself has a direct impact on the fashion waste we can save from landfills.
The same happens when shopping, as we will only buy something that’ll fit our capsule wardrobe. Ultimately, this comes with saving a great bunch of money and space, plus not having to throw away or donate garments with the label still on them. This is the result of compulsive purchases, and a capsule wardrobe helps us to avoid exactly that.
When it comes to the sustainability battlefield that happens in our wardrobe, simply being able to remember and be fully conscious of the garments you own, will allow you to make better purchasing decisions moving forward.
With this awareness in mind, capsule wardrobes help us to feel less stressed, more detached from fashion trends, and you get to find yourself authentically through your style of choice. When you attempt to make your capsule wardrobe, you will also be looking to purchase unique garments that will enhance your self-expression.
These “special garments” are unlikely to be found in fast fashion brands as trends tend to guide what we should be wearing each season. Therefore, when creating a capsule wardrobe, there is a tendency to look for ethical and smaller brands that speak to our style and values.
Purchasing from ethical & sustainable brands that speak to your personality already has a ripple effect on the environment, as you are supporting the co-creation of a better economy that’s more inclusive of all creatures, less profit, and more purpose-driven.
The ultimate idea that prevails is that our capsule wardrobe is also a gentle reminder that the most sustainable fashion is the one you already have.
Our Good Brands
We normally think or consider that Fast Fashion is only related to garments, clothes, however accessories from socks, hats, even eyewear can be also considered Fast Fashion. What are the benefits of avoiding it and how can you do that?
For the same reason that a cheap T-shirt must be questioned on both production and quality level, you need to consider the same rules for eyewear too. If the frames are too cheap, then you should stay clear. Materially, the quality will be poor and so they will only last you a short time, but the more important argument is the implications for the supply chain. Do your due diligence on how they were made. If you don’t get transparency, then stay clear.
To avoid the problem altogether, you are better off taking the mindset of buying less but buying better. In the first instance seek out eyewear brands that source well-made materials and production methods and talk about them openly. You want your frame to last for years, not just the 6 months of a British summer. You’ll likely look after your frames better too and in doing so will get all the value back and more in the long term.
For Pala, we work in small batch production meaning that we only produce according to the customer and have close control over our supply. This means we don’t waste stock and minimize our impact on the planet.
Also, think about seasonal trends. A few styles will always ‘pop’ in season and there will be a clamor for the particular styles that the latest and greatest Instagram or Tik Tok stars are wearing. However, trends are just that and they can disappear as quickly as they arrive and the following year your frame suddenly doesn’t feel as relevant.
Therefore, think about styles that are timeless, there are many classic styles out there that never date. You can play with the frame colors to customize more to your personality, so don’t feel that ‘timeless’ means bland. You can still be cool and protect those eyes year after year!
Can finding your own personal style help you buy fewer clothes and opt for organic options?
What’s better than feeling like the most fashionable version of yourself? The answer: Feeling like the most fashionable version of yourself while also reducing your carbon footprint. There are lots of ways to give back to the environment, but one way that doesn’t get talked about as much is making thoughtful choices about what goes into your closet. What’s in your closet matters—it affects how you feel about your own style, it impacts your bank account, and it can have a huge environmental impact. According to the EPA, consumers in the US throw away almost 10lbs of clothing every month. And according to The Guardian, 1/5 of all freshwater pollution comes from textile dying and treatment. Not only does this affect our ability to protect our natural resources, but it also exploits those who make clothes for less-than-minimum wage and often in dangerous conditions. So it’s important that we hold ourselves accountable for how we’re treating our planet and others by being mindful about where we shop and what we purchase. But it’s also important that we focus on what makes us feel good, too—and that can be hard when you’re trying to be more sustainable with fashion. Here are a few things to consider in defining your personal style while working towards being sustainable. #Define your style Find the clothes that you gravitate toward, whether that’s dresses, bright colors, or comfy threads. This will help you feel more confident about your purchases and reduce waste and buyer’s remorse. #Go for quality It may seem like a splurge to buy a higher-quality piece of clothing, but it’ll last longer and reduce your need to go shopping. If you’re on a budget, try looking at secondhand shops! #Don’t be afraid to try something new Be creative with what you have! That sweater that you always wear with jeans? Try pairing it with a skirt or over a dress. That flowy sundress might look great with boots and tights underneath as the weather cools down.
Is sewing and making your own clothes a good option to help the environment from contamination? Is it a good path to take if organic clothing is a little expensive for some of us? What would be the best advice in these situations
Sewing – be it mending your existing clothing or making new pieces altogether – is a great option for the environment. By mending clothes you already have in your closet, you directly cut back on fashion consumption and promote a circular economy. When it comes to contamination and making your own clothes, you’ll likely repurpose an old garment you have or source material that’s already been manufactured – therefore, also not further contributing to the production processes that go into making new clothing you buy at a retail store, whose processes typically involve chemical dying that seeps into local waterways. To put it simply, working with what you already own or are available to you is a big part of eco-friendly fashion as you’re consuming every major trend that comes with each new season. On the topic of organic clothing, quality will always win over quantity. The price will reflect the quality when it comes to clothing and not just the materials. The price for ethically made fashion reflects a holistic approach to the piece you’re purchasing – from the use of organic materials to fair working conditions and transparent production processes.
My advice here is to invest your money in timeless pieces that you’ll love and wear for a long time (think a classic pair of jeans) and will also last you just as long.