Sustainable Fashion and How to Show Your Support
From organically sourced produce to eco-friendly cars, the world is continually shifting to more environmentally sustainable ways of living. The benefits of a sustainable driven world cannot be denied. Dwindling resources threaten our very existence and the measures being implemented may ensure that everyone is able to live more prosperous than before. Fashion is no exception to the sustainability-focused modern world. Yes, there are many brands that utilize unethical business practices, however, the growing number of sustainable companies bodes well for the future of fashion. While sustainable fashion is not completely defined as of yet, we can understand it as follows: clothes, shoes, and accessories that are produced, advertised and used in ethical and sustainable ways. For example, Toms practices sustainability by donating the value of each shoe sold towards an empowering initiative.
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There are many ways to show support on sustainability in the fashion industry. You can opt to go for more sustainable fashion brands and choose the ones that are for ethical, organic, and cruelty-free production. If you wish to follow sustainable fashion then it is important to understand a few of the key strategies. We will discuss these in more detail below.
The 7 Sustainable Fashion Strategies
There are seven sustainable fashion strategies (as outlined by Green Strategy) that should be followed to ensure you are purchasing items ethically. These are as follows:
1. On Demand & Custom Made
Individuals are in need of a specific item that the manufacturer is capable of delivering. Items are not mass produced but made to order. This is not always possible as a huge investment is required to sustain customer orders. However, the excessive use of resources to mass produce garments is worrisome.
2. Green & Clean
The manufacturing processes should be environmentally-friendly. No animals should be harmed during the process. Materials should be renewable and companies should make an effort to source alternative, sustainable materials. Hemp, for example. The facilities should be clean and pollution levels should be monitored. Delivery should become more eco-friendly with time.
3. High Quality & Timeless Design
Companies should not sacrifice quality to make an extra buck. Products should be made to last so that excess garments are not having to be manufactured. Trends should not dictate design or vice versa. Design should transcend trends and stand the test of time.
4. Fair & Ethical
All employees should be treated ethically. Companies should not exploit their resources, employees, or customers for profit.
5. Repair, Redesign & Upcycle
Consumers should be willing to fix damaged items. Companies should be available to assist. Consumers should be encouraged to take care of their items.
6. Rent, Loan & Swap
Consumers should be willing to exchange their clothes with others. It is important that we take a proactive approach to fashion. Lend clothing to someone in need. Borrow rather than buy. Sometimes we may need to forego sentiment to action sustainable fashion.
7. Secondhand & Vintage
Older items should be accepted by companies and sold off at much cheaper rates. This makes fashion more accessible to those in need. Sustainable fashion should be available to all.
In a perfect world, every item of clothing should meet all of these ideals. However, this is not always the case. Most companies forego various aspects to cut costs. Profit is still a driver for many businesses. That said, there are brands making a positive difference. Here are a few:
The Top Sustainable Brands and Initiatives
Ethical Fashion Initiative
This initiative was launched by the UN. The aim of this initiative is to connect artisans from developing countries to the top fashion labels. Together, they hope to provide ethical working conditions and minimize environmental damage.
Patagonia Action Works
Patagonia is driven by sustainability and innovation. The development of this recent initiative aims to help individuals easily access petitions, events, donations and volunteer programs with local organizations.
Heading up the repair and upcycle game is Silfir. They offer a unique service whereby they will fix your favorite clothing using as many original parts as possible. As a result, you can make your clothes go further and enjoy something new from something old.