By now, you’ve probably heard about how important it is to buy sustainable fashion and the importance of sustainability in general. Even though sustainability has just become more mainstream in recent years, there’s always been a need for ethical clothing that prioritizes garment workers and quality content. According to the UN Environment Program, “the fashion industry is the second-biggest consumer of water and is responsible for 8 - 10% of global carbon emissions.
Fast-fashion, on the other hand, which typically does not consist of sustainable clothing, can be harmful to the environment and to the people creating the clothing. Fast fashion brands rely on fossil fuels to create synthetic fibers that use up energy and water versus using natural fibers that produce low CO2 release, low energy usage and no soil contamination.
Investing in sustainable clothing doesn’t just make a positive impact on the world today, but for future generations to come. Using natural materials or recyclable fabrics can reduce your carbon footprint and limit greenhouse gas emissions and in turn, global warming. With less toxic chemical treatments like dyes, less energy, and less water, sustainable fashion requires less textile waste that harms the environment.
Aside from the environmental impact that leads to pollution, landfill decay, microfibers in the ocean, and much more, here are other reasons why you should invest in sustainable fashion.
Sustainable Fashion Is Fashionable
Have you ever gone thrift shopping? Vintage/second hand clothing is like finding diamonds in the rough. You can score old clothes and accessories from designer fashion brands that are still fashionable and look as good as new today. Even though they’re from seasons past, trends often repeat. If you shop in your mom's or grandma’s old closets, you’re bound to find something you love. Buying things that have already been worn can be fashionable and ensure you’re not adding more waste that end up in landfills.
Also, good clothing never goes out of style. Instead of following weekly fashion trends that go out of style and consistently buying new clothing that affect climate change, you can develop your own personal style that stands the test of time. Ditch the trends: Experiment and get bold!
Sustainable Fashion Saves You Money
Instead of buying something every month, you can buy high quality pieces from slow fashion brands and buy secondhand pieces for less. You can also make a conscious effort to reuse your clothing or turn it into a completely different garment. Take a pair of jeans for example: this is something that never really goes out of style and can be bought at a thrift shop. You can cut them into shorts or biker shorts once you’ve gotten good use out of them. This eco-friendly approach will save you money that can be spent on other necessities. It will also save fashion companies money as it can reduce their long-term electrical costs since they’re using less energy to produce clothing.
Sustainable Fashion Is Valuable
Vintage clothing can be incredibly valuable in years to come — sentimentally and monetarily. Certain pieces of clothing that don’t have value now can become worth much more in ten years. You can sell that clothing one day because other people might not be able to get their hands on it any other way. It can be a testament to a specific time period. If you don’t want to sell them, your family can be gifted those pieces and be reminded of a special occasion where your personal style truly shined.
What is the most important factor to consider when purchasing sustainable fashion?
Check the labels to ensure that the clothing is used with natural fibers like organic cotton (without the use of pesticides), Tencel (made from wood pulp), organic hemp, and organic linen versus raw materials that use up lots of energy and resources like rayon, polyester and nylon.
Additionally, you’ll want to look up the fashion brand to see if they’re considered to be an ethical brand that treats their workers well and doesn’t include child labor, or unfair living wages.
Do consumers want sustainable fashion?
Consumers who care about the environment and climate change for themselves and their children want fashion brands to be sustainable. The fashion movement pushing for more sustainable fashion brands can help us all live a more clean, healthy life.
What are the benefits of sustainable fashion?
Sustainable fashion can lead to less toxins in the environment, which can lead to less water, air, and soil pollution, and global warming that destroys communities.
If you want to shop slow fashion brands that are making a positive impact on the environment, check out idPearl, a NYC-based fashion boutique selling high quality sustainable apparel and accessories.
- By Bonnie Azoulay