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Active clothing “Guide
Have you heard a lot about the term "sustainable fashion" lately? You are not the only one. 2018 was the year of conscience as the world awakens to the reality of the global plastic pollution crisis and the damage we are doing to the planet. This is your ultimate guide to sustainable fashion and answers all of your questions about this important growing trend.
Shockingly, the fashion industry is the second largest pollutant in the world behind just the oil industry. Isn't it amazing to think about the clothes you wear that do almost as much damage to the planet as drilling the oil and emissions caused by all planes, buses, cars and motorcycles around the world? Stop to think about it for a moment.
If clothing companies do nothing to change their practices, the global plastic pollution crisis, greenhouse gases and other toxic consequences will affect their planet and our health. That's where ethical and sustainable fashion comes in.
Sustainable fashion is fashion that is responsibly produced with low carbon emissions, ideally made from recycled materials, and that promises to treat everyone in the supply chain fairly and with respect. That means no more welding shops, no more catastrophes in textile factories and significantly reduced environmental pollution. Not only that, it also aims to educate consumers about the transition to a “zero waste” lifestyle by not buying cheap clothes to wear only once (or never!), Then throwing them away and for years to stay in the landfill.
Which clothing companies are ethical?
Thankfully, the sustainable and eco-friendly living movement is gaining momentum every day, and there are numerous eco-friendly clothing companies that are completely sustainable and ethical. Even large companies like H&M are making efforts to change their behavior and adopt more ethical practices and become more environmentally conscious.
Zara Williams is a sustainability advisor to several major brands and companies. She explains: "In my role as a sustainability consultant, I advise various companies on how to deal with their ecological and social risks. The projects include work to improve employment conditions throughout the supply chain, as well as the monitoring and control of energy and water consumption and waste management Working with many different companies on a number of projects is not the same day, which is great as I am constantly learning and it rarely gets boring. "
Ethical activewear brand Sundried beautifully produces activewear from 100% recycled materials including plastic bottles and even coffee grounds! Every purchase includes a donation to the partner charity Water For Kids. The supply chain is completely transparent from source to sale, so you know that the people who made your clothes have been treated fairly and with respect under good working conditions. This is a great example of a sustainable fashion brand.
What is the most environmentally friendly fabric?
When you think of fabric, what do you think of? Cotton? Polyester? Denim? You will be surprised how many different fabrics and mixtures of fabrics there are these days. One type you might not have thought of is recycled fabrics. These ethically sound and super green eco-materials are made in sustainable processes from raw materials such as coffee grounds, bamboo, fruit and even other materials such as plastic.
Recycled fabrics are very environmentally friendly as they cause less than a quarter of the carbon emissions of polyester and a third of cotton emissions. In addition, the process of making cotton and making it to make the clothes you wear today uses many resources such as water and energy. The production of recycled materials and environmentally friendly fabrics uses much less water and is generally more environmentally friendly.
The Sundried Olperer T-Shirt (see picture above) is made of 100% recycled coffee grounds, a super environmentally friendly fabric.
Why is sustainable fashion important?
At the moment a new sentence is being thrown in the media: "Circular economy". When you think of a basic economy, we do three things: make, use, dispose of. This is especially the case in the fast fashion industry, where cheap clothes are mass produced and sold, bought at rock bottom prices by people who don't believe in them, and then thrown in the trash can and landfilled. This is very polluting and unsustainable, which means we cannot go on like this.
Alternatively, a circular economy can be one that goes against this age-old practice by introducing a new method where we use resources for as long as possible, get the maximum value from them while they are being used, and products and materials at the end of each service regain and regenerate life. To apply this to ethically active clothing, it would mean investing in a good quality garment like a running vest made from recycled materials, mind that by washing it carefully rather than drying it in the extreme heat of a tumble dryer and using it for several years without a new one to buy.
Infographic courtesy of WRAP
Sustainable fashion is important because a non-circular economy cannot survive indefinitely and eventually we run out of resources and we find ourselves with a vast amount of landfill and waste on our planet. In a circular economy and with sustainable fashion, it is possible to go on indefinitely in a manageable way without harming the environment or the health and wellbeing of people.
"Fast Fashion" is a term that describes how quickly clothes are mass-produced, marketed, and purchased in the current marketplace. Clothing retailers like Primark are currently being scrutinized to sell clothes so cheaply, this is supposed to fuel the raging fashion craze and encourage shoppers to buy lots of cheap items, not care about them, and throw them away after just a few signs of wear and tear.
Infographic courtesy of the BBC
Why is fast fashion bad?
There is evidence that:
- British shoppers are buying far more new clothes than any other nation in Europe.
- People buy twice as much clothing as they did a decade ago.
- Fish in the ocean eat synthetic fibers that come off when washed.
Cheap clothing promotes a "throwaway" society in which everything is disposable. This is environmentally harmful as landfills fill with trash and the oceans fill with plastic. The more we produce and consume, the more our planet suffers.
It's not just our environment that suffers from fast fashion. Have you ever thought about who exactly made those cheap t-shirts for sale in Primark? It's time for big brands and big clothing companies to be more transparent about their production chains and how they treat their workers.
This is why the slow fashion movement is so important and the campaign “Who made my clothes?” Was launched.
Image courtesy of Trusted Clothes sustainability blog
What is the slow fashion movement?
The "Slow Fashion" movement is a new campaign aimed at educating consumers about their purchases and challenging the ethics of the fashion they buy.
Sustainable fashion is the future
The most influential part of modern life, whether we like it or not, is money. Until that changes, animals, people and the environment will continue to be abused in the name of gain. Socially responsible businesses aim to maximize long-term profits while balancing respect for broader social issues.
It's easy to believe that just one person doesn't make a difference.
The faster ethically responsible companies grow, the more pressure they will put on other companies, investors and banks to move away from unethical practices. As irresponsible practices become the focus, public concern about the treatment of animals, people and the environment grows, making companies operating in these areas less profitable in the long run as we are better informed about how our products are made .
Socially responsible investments are now widely recognized as safe long-term investment strategies. The combination of consumer, investment and business pressures can result in permanent change - changes that benefit people, animals and the environment.
The Ethical Consumer 2015 reports we are starting to support ethical products: the value of the ethical market has increased from £ 35 billion to £ 38 billion.
Sustainable fashion market analysis
The fashion industry is not all gloomy. Ethical fashion is no longer just a niche sector. It becomes part of the mainstream fashion industry.
- 48% of US millennial consumers choose brands that are actively involved in social causes (BCG, 2014).
- 50% of US adults identify as “green consumers”.
- 13% identify as “super green”, which means that they buy organic and sustainable products, are informed about the products they buy, and expect retailers to keep environmental damage to a minimum (Forrester, 2013).
Ethical delivery of premium style and tech function requires extensive research and additional time, but good ones can be done by those who wait.
"Green fashion is now an industry with annual sales of $ 5 billion, compared with less than $ 1 billion ten years ago. This may still represent a small fraction of global sales, but it signals its growth a big shift. " - - Ethea
Sustainability issues in the fashion industry
There are many different sustainability issues in the fashion industry. These can be divided into two main categories: environmental factors and social factors;
There are many environmental problems in the fashion industry: chemicals, waste, pollution, energy and water.
There are also many social problems: working hours, modern slavery, child labor, regular employment, and health and safety.
It is very important to question the ethics of the brands you support and the clothing companies you shop from. Question all of the above and then confront these big companies with the hard facts that this is not sustainable in the long run and something has to change and it has to change soon.
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