Based on a survey by Statista in 2022, 35% of consumers in the United States prefer to buy sustainably produced clothing products. This could be attributed to the increasing environmental awareness among modern consumers.
By 2050, global production of municipal solid waste is expected to reach 3.4 million metric tons. Factors like urbanization, population growth, and changes in shopping patterns greatly influence this.
According to the State of Fashion Report in 2019, one in three women considered their clothing “old” after two to three years. People tend to ride in seasonal fashion trends, which is why fast fashion is always in demand. To inform yourself about sustainable fashion choices for women, here’s a guide you can refer to.
The Impact of Fast Fashion
Fast fashion refers to cheaply and massively produced and priced fashion items that suffice the latest catwalk trends, from wardrobe staples like women suits and dresses to skirts and jeans. The most prominent players in the fast fashion industry include Forever 21, Zara, H $ M, and Uniqlo.
According to the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the fast fashion industry is accountable for 10% of global carbon emissions. Moreover, it is the second-largest consumer of water worldwide. What’s more, every year, 85% of the textiles go to dumps each year.
By 2030, the emissions from textile manufacturing businesses are expected to skyrocket to 60%, which only means that fast fashion’s dark side can quickly outstrip the momentary benefit it offers consumers.
Benefits of Sustainable Fashion
To keep up with consumers’ demand, brands would produce fashion items speedily and distribute them while overlooking the environmental impacts of their actions. For many, knowing that a product is sustainable produced makes them more comfortable to wear.
Together, let’s learn more about the benefits of sustainable fashion and be more confident about what we wear every day.
It reduces the world’s water pollution, carbon emissions, and waste
For many consumers, ordering clothes overseas would cost them less, but clothes produced outside the United States have multiple negative environmental impacts. For instance, when you buy overseas, it entails higher carbon emissions due to overseas shipping. Moreover, in some countries like Bangladesh, India, and China, their manufacturing companies have no strict environmental regulations, making it easy for them to dispose of microplastics and toxic chemicals in waterways.
It promotes fair labor practices
Providing fair labor practices is a large part of the sustainable fashion business model. Foreign countries don’t enjoy the same level of labor and fair wage standards as the United States.
Patronizing fast fashion overseas may mean supporting unethical working conditions and unfair labor treatment. For example, in some countries, high cases of child labor and human trafficking are recorded in the fast fashion industry.
Conversely, when you support sustainable clothing brands, you also advocate proper living wages and fair labor practices. To check if a brand follows fair labor practices, check their website and see if they have passionate messaging on this cause.
They are of higher quality
Eco-friendly fabrics are of superior quality. These materials are softer and more durable and will last for many years. This means you won’t have to buy clothes to replace the worn-out ones frequently. On the other side, you won’t have the chance to check the quality of fast fashion items you can buy overseas, so there will be no guarantee that the items will still be usable after several years.
In producing sustainable fashion items, here are some key considerations that consumers must bear in mind:
30 Wears Test
When you buy any clothing, ask yourself if you can wear the item at least 30 times. However, to become a mindful shopper, go beyond the 30-wear test and ask yourself if you can wear a piece of clothing for a lifetime. Avoid buying something that you can only wear on a single occasion. Instead, pick something that you can wear over and over again. You can find versatile items that don’t easily fall out of fashion in no time.
Donate Your Old Clothes
Rather than throwing your clothes in the dump, consider donating them. Live by the one in, one out policy, which means buying one item and donating one in exchange. Through this principle, you can promote a good cause and contribute to a more sustainable world.
Quality Over Quantity
Buy quality fashion pieces rather than cheap, less eco-friendly ones to lessen your carbon footprint. You may be thinking that this would cost you more. However, changing your mindset and investing in timeless, high-quality pieces minimize future unnecessary purchases. Plus, it allows you to maintain a less cluttered wardrobe for yourself.
Following sustainable fashion may mean limiting yourself in terms of fashion trends. However, this is a global effort you can consciously participate in, making a difference in the long run. This may also mean not wearing the favorite brands you used to enjoy, but the changes would influence the world on a larger scale, allowing future generations to enjoy a healthy environment where they can survive and thrive.
Also Read: The Ultimate Fall Activity Clothing Guide