Some of us don’t care what we wear while others seek to express themselves through fashion. Neither is wrong nor right but no matter where you fall on the spectrum, your buying power affects the environment. Fast fashion is a recent global phenomenon that arose as a result of globalisation.
This process can be defined as mass produced garments that are readily available in record time to be purchased online or in a store. This has been seen as a marker of progress for the fashion industry because of how easy it is to obtain global fashions but many of us haven’t stopped to consider what this means for the environment and other people.
Not only does fast fashion contribute to child slavery and sweatshops, but it also destroys the environment in a number of ways. These include using a massive amount of electricity, water and natural resources to create single garments. Even after the garment has been created, the clothing still needs to be washed and go through wear and tear. Making clothes cheaply not only means that the clothing does not last but also that a lot more chemicals enter the groundwater through the process of continual washing of synthetic fabrics.
Another problem arises from the global culture of things being “in” or “out” of fashion. This would be alright if clothing was made to be biodegradable but instead, it’s thrown out and lies in landfills for as much as 200 years, as in the case of polyester.
Many brands such as H&M, Nike and Zara have made headlines for producing their clothes this way but this does little to stop their practices. The best way to change the way popular fashion brands make their clothes, is to boycott them altogether. But what will you wear? We have the answer: sustainable fashion brands.
An example of one of these brands is To Be Frank which is based in the UK. Creators of these pieces use recycled materials to do so, promoting products that are made from organic materials like apples. They don’t sacrifice on customer favourites, creating leather and denim looks that are identical to those made by mainstream fashion brands, only better-made and with the environment in mind.
There are plenty of other brands who are following suit in terms of creating slow fashion that is ethically sourced. Another option would be to simply purchase or procure second-hand garments. Recycling and re-wearing clothing stops the clothing from being thrown away and also lessens demand for new clothing. If you really can’t imagine your life without new clothing, look for certain textiles like linen, silk, cork and hemp which are more easily biodegraded.
This is just one of the ways that you can live more sustainably! Read our other blogs to find out more about changes you can make that will leave you feeling healthier and more eco-conscious.