How Does Sustainable Fashion Help the Environment?
Sustainability is a hot topic in the current climate. Many laws are now being formed around making businesses more eco-friendly, as well as big corporations undertaking voluntary measures to improve upon sustainability.
Just look at the huge push big industries have made to get rid of plastic straws recently. This has all come about through consumers voicing their concerns and businesses subsequently listening. Obviously, there is a difference between getting rid of plastic straws and changing business models to reflect sustainable practices, however if sustainable fashion is supported, then more people will take note.
So how does sustainable fashion actually help things? We have mentioned before how sustainable fashion is the future, as it helps a number of vulnerable people and is demanded by the modern consumer. One thing we wish to look at in more detail is exactly how great sustainable fashion practices in the textile industry helps the environment. Let’s check out all the ways it contributes to a healthy environment and why you should invest in clothing brands which practice sustainable production.
What is Sustainable Fashion?
Sustainable fashion is both a movement and lifestyle choice, therefore existing outside of the fashion and textiles industry. It is the antithesis of fast fashion, which is a process many budget clothing and fashion brands practices. Think your Primarks, your Boohoos and your supermarket clothing.
The movement encompasses every member and stakeholder in the production and consumption process in the fashion industry, looking at both environmental and social factors. These can range from working conditions, if the production processes have detrimental environmental impacts as well as if sustainable materials are used when producing the clothing and packaging it for general sale.
Why Sustainable Fashion Is Needed More Than Ever
There are some truly damning statistics when you look at the fashion industry. By 2030, it is predicted that the industry’s water consumption will grow by 50 percent to 118 billion cubic meters, its carbon footprint will increase to 2,791 million tons and the amount of waste it creates will hit 148 million tons.
This really highlights why the fashion industry needs both the producer and the consumer to become more environmentally friendly. Many think that is just the companies in the fashion industry that need to take action but they will never take action without demand from the consumer.This means the responsibility lies with us all. After all, it benefits everyone on the planet.
How Does Sustainable Fashion Help The Environment?
What exactly does sustainable fashion do for the environment? Firstly, it raises awareness of the problems that are in place. As mentioned before, companies would just go on making an obscene profit with unethical practices if people weren’t aware of the damage it does and start to protest.
Secondly, once these practices are encouraged, clothing materials production will be affected. Less environmentally harmful or raw materials will be used during the manufacturing of the clothing. This will reduce the initial impact on the environment through the production of water. Many brands are using sustainable cotton initiatives to reduce water, energy and chemical use. New dyeing technology will work to reduce water consumption by up to 50%, as well as numerous energy and chemical saving schemes throughout the supply chain.
The Consumer Dilemma
The industry and production side of fashion is only part of the problem. Yes, the industry is working to reduce the environmental footprint of its products, but the problem has now shifted to the consumption side. The insatiable appetite for fashion means people are buying more and more clothes.
Since 2012, there has been a 10% increase in the amount of clothing purchased in the UK alone. Not only are consumers buying more but the rate at which their clothing gets discarded is also becoming increasingly quicker as they chase the latest fashion trends. It is estimated there are over £30 billion of clothing sitting in wardrobes across the UK that has not been worn for over 12 months.
There needs to be more of an emphasis on textile recycling and ethical consumption of clothing, yet here lies the problem. The ideal rationale would be that consumers buy fewer, more high quality clothes which they wear over a period of months or even years.
This logic relies on the assumption that humans are always logical creatures when purchasing clothes, which is very rarely the case. With the level of ego fueling and emotional satisfaction that fast fashion brings, psychology and behavioural science may suggest that ethical fashion consumption is a pipe dream. It’s up to us to prove this assumption wrong.
What Sustainable Practices Can You Undertake?
The average consumer can combat this by practising ethical fashion consumption. The biggest issue that is stopping ethically-minded brands from becoming more sustainable is the consumer, either through their lack of awareness of the issues faced by the industry or through an unwillingness to pay the premium for sustainable products.
Practising and publicising these ethical processes help solve both issues of awareness and unwillingness. Simple things like donating your old clothes to charity shops or recycling them can really help. It is important to make those around you aware of these practices to help, as this is a movement that everyone needs to take part in.
Finally, we understand that buying new clothes is often a necessity. When purchasing new clothing, be sure to do your research on who you buy from to see if they support the movement. Choosing independent brands like us at Fferal allow you to really make a difference to a hugely important cause.
Shop Ethical Today With Fferal
We wholeheartedly support the ethical fashion movement, with an ethical production process in Portugal using sustainable vegan-friendly materials. We’re very proud to have set up this process which benefits everyone in the production process, without compromising on the quality or pricing of our clothing.
We ensure that workers receive a fair wage for the production of the clothing.