collaborative post // The fashion industry is notorious for its impact upon the environment. Not only does it produce a lot of emissions, but additional waste, created through the use of chemicals and pesticides, has given the fashion industry the infamous title of being the second biggest emitter of pollution.
As the customers of this industry, we play an important part in trying to curb its influence upon the environment. A lot of fashion consumers are now turning towards investing their time and money into ethical and sustainable clothing.
Why does the fashion industry have such a big impact on the environment?
Fast fashion has become a large part of the fashion community. Consumers see items of clothing on online fashion stores and want them delivered to them as fast as possible. So, fast fashion brands try to keep up with the pace of manufacturing and delivery. Unfortunately, this has consequences and has led to:
- Waste from textiles and dyes affecting the environment
- Pollution created from fumes and CO2 emissions
- Workers being exploited and not being paid a decent wage
- Plastic fibres being left in the ocean to cause more pollution
Recently, it has been estimated that customers tend to purchase around 60% more garments than they did back in the 2000s. However, with that said, the customer only keeps the piece of clothing for half the amount of time that they did in the 2000s. This means the lifecycle of clothing has shortened before it eventually becomes waste.
This can have a harmful effect on the environment and makes it seem as if the production process simply is not worth the cost that is placed upon our planet’s resources.
What is ethical and sustainable clothing?
Ethical and sustainable clothing is created with our planet and the workers who make the garments in mind. As you have already read, the fashion industry can have some problematic outcomes, especially in relation to exploitation and environmental damage. So, ethical and sustainable fashion tries to lessen the impact that it has on vulnerable workers and the amount of pollution that can have a harmful effect on our planet.
Let’s take a moment to split up these types of clothing so that we can go into more detail. For ethical clothing, brands will focus on the social impact that the fashion industry has on the lives of their employees and factory workers.
They consider how they can make a brand that keeps its employees safe, especially when they are in the factory, and how they can pay them a fair wage.
They will also make sure that the customer understands where their clothing has come from, and will try to keep transparent about how they remain ethical in relation to the creation of their products.
Sustainable clothing brands will focus more on how they will impact the environment. So, they may try to consider their carbon footprint, and how they can maintain a circular lifecycle for a product so that no waste is created. This includes recycling clothes or creating new products out of older materials.
Investing in ethical and sustainable clothing
Recently, customers have become more aware of the impact that clothing has on our planet and on the people who make it, so much so that they are expecting fashion brands to be held accountable for their environmental and ethics-related impact. If you want to invest in ethical and sustainable clothing, you can get started by:
- Recycling your clothing or donating it to charity
- Avoiding buying new clothes that have been mass produced, and instead looking for recycled clothing
- Considering purchasing clothing that is vintage, old, or that has been reconstructed and resold
- Trying out clothing rental services
- Educating others on the impact of the fashion industry
- Purchasing clothing from sustainable or ethical-focused brands
It is important that the fashion industry is held responsible for its impacts. This means there needs to be a conversation about ethics and sustainability, and what larger fashion brands can do to help or even start to invest in producing ethical and sustainable clothing themselves.
Are you ready to invest in ethical and sustainable clothing?
If you want to make a difference to the world, you can start by considering the types of clothing brands you purchase your outfits from. Focus on ethical and sustainable clothing brands, such as The Spark Company, and do your part to help improve society for the better. By doing this, you will be able to encourage others to do the same. After all, small actions lead to bigger and better things!