What is sustainable fashion and why do we need fashion that is sustainable?
Re-sharing this post from last year when I had newly embarked on my journey of being sustainable. Hope this gives you ideas too.
I love fashion and being fashionable. The past 5-6 years I’ve had an issue – I’ve become a shopaholic! E-commerce made shopping at home so easy and affordable, add to that the cheap and fast fashion available in Zara, H&M (♥️) and that I had overtime become an emotional shopper. While these were the primary reasons for my out of control shopping, there was a secondary underlying one too – I started travelling a lot. I started following these amazing travel influencers for travel ideas but instead got influenced to buy clothes before each travel to take Instagram worthy photos.
The last few months thanks to the strict lockdown in India, I’ve had to take a break from shopping. I, also, had to pack and move cities. While packing I realised the crazy amount of clothes I own, the crazy amount of clothes I’ve wastefully bought (bought online and forgotten to send back) and the amount of money I had wasted.
My sister has been doing a lot of research on sustainable fashion and minimalism. Taking a lead from her, I also decided to look up about sustainable fashion and try to incorporate as much as possible in my life.
WHAT IS SUSTAINABLE FASHION:
From an environmental perspective, the aim should be to minimize any undesirable environmental effect of the product’s life cycle and maximizing repair, remake, reuse, and recycling of the product and its components.
From a socio-economic perspective, all stakeholders should work to improve present working conditions for workers on the field, in the factories, transportation chain, and stores, by aligning with good ethics, best practice and international codes of conduct.
As a consumer, this means thinking about what you buy, knowing which philosophies you are supporting through your purchases, and also, asking yourself if you are really going to wear that new piece to the extent that it was worth being made.
BEST PRACTICES AS A CONSUMER:
1. Less fast fashion: I love fast fashion – easy access to fashionable clothes at an affordable price. But the same reasons lead to it not being sustainable both environmentally as well as socio-economic reasons. Disposing off of fast fashion clothes made using polymer mixes poses a threat to the environment. Additionally, to offer consumers fast fashion at affordable prices – brands usually exploit labour in economically poorer countries. Less fast fashion is the easiest way to contribute the sustainable fashion.
2. Slow fashion: slow fashion means sticking with what you have for a long time. I know this is very hard because we all want to buy new, trendier pieces. But for basics, this may not be that difficult. Buy good quality basics and try reusing them for years. Basics such as plain tees, plain shirts, sneakers, blue/black jeans, etc.
3. Buy local: the buy local movement has really kicked off these last few months thanks to this crazy pandemic. Buying locally produced fashion reduces the transportation required to get the items to you and is better for the environment. This will also ensure that you keep a tab on where your clothes are sourced from and whether best ethical practices are followed by the brand.
4. Minimalism: minimalism is the new buzz word in fashion. The idea is to create multiple outfits from a fixed set of items. This will lead to less buying and more reuse of items in your wardrobe.
5. Buying 100% material clothes: as of now there isn’t any technology to recycle blended materials. Hence, using clothes made of 100% products ensures that they can be recycled and reused.
6. Clothes swap/second hand/sharing/donations: the simplest way to increase your wardrobe without spending money is sharing clothes with your friends of the same size. Additionally, another way to increase your wardrobe is to swap clothes with your friends of the same size. But if there are clothes in your wardrobe that you can’t share/swap with someone – donate it to someone else to ensure they’re used thoroughly before being discarded. Another way to reuse clothes is to buy/sell secons hand clothes.
These are some steps I am trying to take to go sustainable. These are some simple steps that we can all take to make our everyday fashion more sustainable. Our Earth is struggling daily, let’s all get together to help in our own small way! The hardest for me is to not go crazy shopping at H&M. Will you try to move towards sustainable fashion with me?
(Images from the internet!)
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