My Thoughts, Tips, and Experiences in Fashion
Perhaps you’ve been hearing the term ‘Sustainable Fashion’ going around and are wondering what exactly that means. Well, every article of clothing, every shoe, every accessory sold has an impact on the environment. Sustainable fashion challenges people to take a look at the impact their wardrobe has on the environment and seeks to minimize it.
So how does clothing impact the environment?
There’s actually a lot that goes into the production and selling of clothing, and while I don’t want to scare you off of ever buying clothing again, you should be aware of the process to help you make educated decisions.
Let’s use a cotton T-shirt as an example. First the cotton has be grown (which equals pesticides) and harvested, where a machine is used to do so. Then the cotton is transported to a facility where it is processed, first into threads, then into cloth. The cloth is either bleached or dyed, and some dyes are safer for the environment than others. Then the cloth is transported to another facility where it is made into clothing. Once the clothing is completed it is packaged into plastic and cardboard boxes and again transported to either a warehouse where it is stored temporarily or directly to the stores. The store where the T-shirt is being sold uses gas and electricity. And they give you your purchase in, what is most often a plastic bag.
And while you may think that’s where the trail ends, you should also take a few other aspects into consideration. Materials were used to build that store. There is also a head office for that store (which also uses gas and electricity) that makes the decisions on what clothing is made, and produces the marketing for the brand – print ads, billboards, commercials, in-store signs and displays, etc. Perhaps there was also a fashion show to display this season’s styles.
All in all, there’s a lot of resources that went into the T-shirt you just bought at the store.
How do I take part in sustainable fashion?
There are a few ways you can lessen the impact your fashion decisions have on the environment and each one has benefits.
Everyone has a different level of comfort when it comes to the above options. For example, I don’t like shopping in consignment stores. They make me anxious. But I will bring my old clothing there. I’ve also always been a firm believer in the quality of clothing, and a lot of the pieces I have in my wardrobe have been there for 5+ years. And my new year’s fashion resolution is to do more DIY.
Some people choose to only ever buy used clothing, and I applaud them. But that’s not all that sustainable fashion is, and everyone can make small decisions that are part of sustainable fashion.
What’s your sustainable fashion action? Leave a comment and let me know!