written by Alia,
this essay discusses sustainable fashion and it's importance! continue scrolling to read this article <3
Sustainable Fashion can be defined as clothing, shoes, and accessories that are manufactured, marketed and used in the most sustainable manner possible, taking into account both environmental and socio-economic aspects. (Pointing, 2019). It also aims to reduce textile waste and increase the ethical treatment of workers, the target would be to slow down the global production and consumption process to create an industry that will be more sustainable in the long run. (Kutsenkova,2017). This article explores the effect of Sustainable Fashion globally.
The concept of “Sustainable Fashion” is relatively new although the idea of sustainability has been around for decades. This concept was first introduced in the early 90s when designers and innovators explored possibilities beyond what had become a norm for clothing production and consumption in the fashion industry. The idea that clothing would be made in a way where it would preserve ecological, social and cultural diversity grounded what would become an important movement that opposed the idea of “fast fashion”. (Kutsenkova et al.,2017)
Fast fashion is at the forefront of the modern fashion industry. The obsession of having the latest trends and access from mass production fuels the fire of fast fashion. With having both customers and suppliers relying on fast and low-cost fashion, fast fashion has been able to grow with little to no concern towards the ethical and environmental issues that sustainable fashion opposes. (Kutsenkova et al.,2017)
Many people don’t recognize that fast fashion is one of the main causes of climate change. It supplies over 8 percent of all greenhouses gases, which is fearful knowing that we could fix the problem by sustainable fashion. If things stay as they are by the year 2050 over 25 percent, of the complete global carbon budget will go to the fashion industry, and more than 75 percent of the carbon footprint in the entire lifecycle would be taking place there. (Bédat, 2019).
According to the U.S Department of labor, the apparel industry has been the main cause for modern-day slavery and child labor, it has also resulted in many workers’ deaths because of unsanitary and unsafe conditions. (Bédat et al., 2019) This has been very common in today’s fashion industry and many popular brands like H and M, Zara, GAP and more have all been caught for employing young children as little as 8 years old. Hence the reason why Sustainable Fashion is looking for ways to create clothing but in an ethical way where there is no slavery involved.
There are many key benefits from Sustainable Fashion, the first key benefit would be that it’s eco-friendly. Conventional cotton usually requires a third-pound of chemicals to produce a t-shirt, therefore Sustainable Fashion ensures that there are no toxic chemicals involved in the making of clothes. In addition to the previous benefit sustainable fashion tries to use natural energy (windmills, solar panels, etc.) or use a small number of fossil fuels to reduce the number of pollution created. Similarly, clothes are also made through sustainable practices meaning that the manufactures would try to reduce the water consumption and ensure that they use as little materials as possible. (Katie, 2019)
Another benefit would be that they are ethical meaning that it is ensured that the clothes are produced under safe conditions, without labor, and underpaid workers. The relationship between the owner of the brand and the workers is built on trust transparency and respect, as well as having the freedom of speech. Unlike in fast fashion, workers can also have access to health care and can take time off when needed. (Katie et al., 2019)
In conclusion, sustainable fashion is a rising sector in the fashion industry with the potential to grow. By changing the consumption and production practices, the fashion industry can become more sustainable for the future. To achieve the goals that the movement desires, consumers must be faced with the realization that the non-sustainable fast fashion is not making a positive social or environmental impact. Sustainable fashion could potentially change the way people consume and the way companies produce, with the right balance of both, positive social and environmental results would arise.