Sustainability is a word that we’ve heard about non-stop for the past few years. From brands claiming to be sustainable to shoppers being deceived into believing that they’re buying the right product for the planet and the people.
But what does sustainability really mean, especially in the fashion industry?
A sustainable label is one that implements practices that hurt the environment a little less and more than being an achievement, it is a goal and a journey for every brand and every individual.
But a lot of companies and people still don’t know how to approach an eco-friendly lifestyle or how to make sustainable changes. So this week, we’ve put together some simple steps everyone - brands and individuals - can take to start becoming as eco-conscious as possible.
1. Know what sustainable fashion means
Sustainable fashion is a growing trend in the world of consumerism that aims to minimise the negative environmental and social impact of making clothes. More specifically, it’s about using resources and human capital responsibly and keeping longevity in mind.
2. Define what sustainable practices you want to follow
There are a few different directions you can take in your journey towards a more eco-conscious approach to fashion. Whether this is by only buying second-hand, buying circular materials and recycling properly, or looking into garment workers conditions, the important aspect is researching and making an informed decision before purchasing.
3. Educate people on why sustainability matters
This can’t just be up to brands, as most of the big labels have been failing at this so far. You can start educating others by first educating yourself and then, share what you learn with others around you, or even better, on social media! We share a lot of information on the matter on our sister brand’s bi-weekly blog, Scarlet Destiny, so just remember to check it out.
4. Think about the circularity of what you buy
“Has it been recycled? Is it recyclable? What materials is it made of? What will happen to this garment when I’m done with it?” These are the questions you should ask yourself before you purchase something new and / or used. Generally, garments with higher quality materials will last longer, which means it can be sold again and again and depending on the fabrics used to make it, even recycled into something else. Some companies with the infrastructure will take garments back for a token of a new purchase, such as Thrift+, MUD Jeans or Patagonia.
5. Attend sustainable fashion events, and stay informed!
These events don’t have to be for brands and brand founders only. As they usually talk people through new materials and ways to build successful sustainable brands, this same information can actually help you understand and research in a more informed way.
For example, you could start by visiting the Fashion For Good Museum, an interactive fashion space for the future of fashion, where the stories behind the clothes you wear are told as well as how your choices can have a positive impact on people and our planet. They currently have an exhibition until September 2023 called Knowing Cotton. Otherwise, which creates a multifaceted experience, invites you to reflect, question, play and wonder. Totally worth a visit!
The fashion industry is always changing rapidly with new technology, materials and processes being developed all the time. But it’s important to be mindful of how we can create a sustainable future for the industry. We definitely think that these five tips for a sustainable fashion lifestyle are some of the best ways to get started.
[Information sourced on fashionforgood.com and worldfashionexchange.com
All images sourced on canva]