Why Sustainable Fashion is so Important in 2019?
Ethical fashion is an incredibly topical subject at the moment. We as a species have accumulated an incredible amount of waste over time. With more waste ending up on the shores of our once beautiful beaches, the repercussions are becoming more apparent and visible to the wider public. God forbid their favourite beach resort is ruined! It does, however, shine a spotlight on an important issue that has gone ignored for far too long.
You may think that clothing isn’t the answer to global waste problems, but it has a surprisingly high impact. The textile industry plays a huge part in producing waste and the overuse of water. Ethical, sustainable clothing can actually help address many of these issues in ways you may not expect. Even better, clothing is something that everyone needs and uses, making it an extremely accessible avenue for the average person to affect change.
What is Sustainable Fashion
To understand the scope and power of sustainable fashion, we need to understand what exactly it is and what it affects. Sustainable fashion is a part of a much larger movement. It is part of the growing design philosophy and movement towards environmental and social sustainability. The goal of this movement is to create a system which can be supported indefinitely in terms of human impact on the environment and social responsibility.
Sustainable fashion focuses specifically on the fashion and textile industry. It doesn’t just look at what specific textiles and products are produced, it tries to alter the industry as a whole. This means dealing with interdependent social, cultural, ecological and financial systems that are associated with the industry. Most important (or topical) right now is the environmental impact.
It takes a viewpoint from multiple stakeholders, including the outsourced factories that produce the products for lower costs. This means it stems into fair trade territories as it ensures workers have fair wages and humane working conditions. Focusing on environmental factors also means the workers aren’t impacted detrimentally by non-eco friendly production techniques in their communities.
What is ‘Fast Fashion’?
This is the antithesis of sustainable fashion. Fast fashion can be defined as cheap, trendy clothing that samples ideas from the catwalk or celebrity culture and turns them into garments in high street stores at breakneck speed. It is produced cheaply with no care for sustainability or the environment.
Production and consumption of ‘fast fashion’ chains clearly cause damage to the earth. The pressure to reduce costs and speed up production time means that environmental corners are more likely to be cut. Production companies use vast amounts of plastic and other non-biodegradable materials in the creation process.
It is not just the production. Consumers play a part, too. We consume 400 per cent more clothing today versus 20 years ago and the average garment is only worn seven times before it gets thrown out. The need for sustainable and recyclable materials being used in clothes couldn’t be any clearer.
How Does Fast Fashion Affect The Environment?
There are chemical backlashes too. The fashion industry uses 1,600 chemicals in their dyeing processes, only one per cent of which have been approved by the Environmental Protection Agency. These chemicals can easily leak over into the surrounding community.
Fast Fashion directly contributes to these problems. During the production process, the use of cheap, toxic textile dyes is rampant– with the fashion industry being the second largest polluter of clean water globally after agriculture. That’s why Greenpeace has been pressuring brands to remove dangerous chemicals from their supply chains through its Detox The Catwalk campaign.
Industrial companies have chosen to use the environment how they see fit, without considering the impacts. In particular, they use waterways as a dumping ground for hazardous chemicals, unhindered by ineffective government regulations. For local communities living near manufacturing facilities, water pollution has become a daily reality.
What Impact Does Sustainable Fashion Have?
As mentioned before, it is not only waste that we need to worry about but the amount of water it takes to create clothing. Here are some frightening statistics: the average T-shirt uses 400 to 600 gallons of water to produce (that’s equivalent to seven to 10 full bathtubs) and a pair of jeans uses 1,800 gallons of water (that’s about 6,800 one-litre bottles of water.)
Choosing sustainable fashion over fast fashion will alleviate these problems. We at Fferal help you choose a more ethical choice for your wardrobe. We make sure that we only use materials that are either organic, recycled or sustainably sourced to ensure that the impact of production is kept down.
What Can the Producer and Consumer Do?
One way clothing companies can change their packaging methods to using less plastics. As mentioned before, the amount of plastic used for even the packaging of clothing is overwhelming. Fferal ensures that we will reduce all the plastic waste within the making and shipping of our goods. This makes a massive difference to an incredibly unhealthy industry.
Sustainable fashion brands ensure that they use organic cotton and ethical dyes when creating their clothing. This allows for not only environmentally friendly clothing but ethical clothing when considering the impact it has on the community. Using these organic and natural materials leaves the clothing with a real high-quality feel, without the guilt that fast fashion gives you.
Consumers can play their part too. As mentioned before, consumers only wear clothes on average 7 times before being thrown out. If consumers reuse clothing more, this problem will obviously be alleviated. However, this isn’t always possible. Fferal understands this and helps provide you with information on how to preserve the life of your products and then recycle or upcycle them so they do not go to landfill. This ensures you dispose of your clothes ethically.
Be Sustainable with Fferal
We pride ourselves on supporting the sustainable fashion movement. We want to combat fast fashion and give you the option to choose alternatives to unethical clothing. This is done by creating products on a slow fashion basis to help reduce the environmental impact of textile waste whilst creating high quality garments.
All our clothing is vegan-friendly and produced ethically, ensuring the workers receive a fair wage for the production of the clothing.