The world of fashion and clothing isn’t always about the glitz and glamor. Behind all that facade is a reality where underpaid and overworked garment workers make fashion garments cheap and fast. These people are exposed to poor safety practices and working conditions while producing high-end fashion pieces for the biggest brands.
Recently, the term “sustainable fashion” has become the latest buzzword circulating around the entire industry. This seems to be an excellent solution for producing ethically made and environmentally friendly garments that don’t rely on enslaving workers. Let’s discover what sustainable fashion is all about and why it actually matters.
What is Sustainable Fashion?
Sustainable fashion is the term used to describe the production of clothing and accessories using non-harmful and eco-friendly materials and processes. It is an attempt to reduce the environmental impact of the fashion industry, including the poor working conditions of the workers. Sustainable fashion requires fabrics and clothing to be made with sustainable and renewable materials and produced by a responsible production process that doesn't harm the environment.
It basically reverses the way fashion has been done over the last few centuries. In the past, fashion was produced as fast and cheaply as possible, with little or no regard for the environment and the people who made the garments.
In recent years, the fashion industry has been at the center of criticism for its negative practices. Major fashion brands were accused of using unethical and harmful production processes, especially when the production process involves low-paid workers. These practices, which have been going on for decades, were recently exposed by several fashion publications and blogs that are fighting for safer working conditions for garment workers. Famous fashion designers also spoke out against these practices, insisting that clothes and accessories should be made with eco-friendly materials and processes that do not harm anyone.
Eco Fashion vs. Sustainable Fashion
The term “eco-fashion” is pretty similar to sustainable fashion. The main difference between the two is the primary aim. Eco fashion is about having an eco-friendly style and reducing your own fashion footprint. When it comes to sustainable fashion, the main goal is to have a more responsible and eco-friendly production process.
It might seem the same on the surface, but there is a crucial difference between the two goals. While eco fashion aims to focus on the consumer’s responsibility, sustainable fashion aims to fix the problematic production process.
Why Does Sustainable Fashion Matter?
Above all, the main goal of sustainable fashion is to be eco-friendly and not cause harm to anyone. This is achieved through four main principles:
Use of Natural and Renewable Materials - Fashion designers and fashion brands are now using natural and renewable materials to produce their fashion garments. Environment-friendly materials like organic cotton, bamboo, and other non-synthetic materials are being used. These materials require fewer chemicals and energy to produce and are not as harmful to the environment.
Reduced Clothing Waste - Waste reduction is also included in the sustainable fashion principles. Most of the garments produced by large fashion brands are not actually worn by the majority of people. This results in a lot of clothing waste that cannot be recycled. Sustainable fashion seeks to reduce this waste by encouraging consumers to buy the right amount of clothing items they need, which they can wear more than once and recycle.
Respect For Workers - The level of exploitation and exploitation of the workers involved in the production process is another key factor. Sustainable fashion requires companies to treat workers with respect and decency. The workers should have fair pay and have safe working conditions.
Reduced Carbon Footprint - The fashion industry is notorious for creating millions of tons of carbon emissions each year. Sustainable fashion seeks to reduce carbon emissions in the fashion industry. It does this by using materials that are not harmful to the environment, reducing the need for transportation, and promoting the recycling process.
Sustainable fashion is an evolving concept, much like the fashion industry itself. For now, it is still in its infancy, with many people associating it with the concept of “going green.” If you want to be a part of the new trend in the fashion industry and reduce your environmental footprint, then buying sustainable fashion products is a great start.
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