Why Ethical Fashion Brands Are Better For The Environment
Like a lot of people, I used to overconsume and own lots of fashion items that I barely wore.
I would buy a new dress just to go out on a date. I liked the feeling of having something new to wear and it made me feel better about myself.
Cheap clothing were easily accessible to me. It was like an addiction and I didn’t even realised how much money I wasted on cheap clothing.
Well that’s before I learned about the fast fashion industry.
One day I took a look at my closet, full of clothes that I didn’t even wear and I asked myself ”Where does all these clothes go when I get rid of them?” ”With what materials are they made of?”
After doing some research and learning where my clothes came from and how they were made, I was shocked by what I found.
Reasons Why The Slow Fashion Industry is More Sustainable
Slow fashion is defined by making clothes in a slower and more sustainable process.
Slow fashion brands use organic and natural fabrics (like organic cotton, wool, hemp, etc.). They also often use recycled materials as well in order to reduce clothing waste around the world.
Since their clothes are made in a traditional way, they require less harsh chemicals to be made and are less harmful to the environment.
Not only that they use natural fabrics, but they often use natural clothing dyes as well which means that less chemicals are released into our rivers and the ocean.
Ethical fashion brands often use organic cotton that is grown without the use of pesticides.
Slow fashion brands are often fair trade certified that uses sustainable practices, which means that unlike fast fashion, they use decent working conditions, give good wages to their workers and make sure that their clothes are made in an ethical way.
For them it’s quality over quantity.
Even tho slow fashion brands are often more expensive then fast fashion brands, their clothes will last a lot longer since the natural fabrics that they use are of better quality.
Since their clothes last longer then fast fashion, choosing slow fashion brands reduce clothing waste around the world.
Speaking for myself, all the clothes that I bought so far from slow fashion brands are still in really good shape even after being worn for years.
Reasons Why The Fast Fashion Industry is Not Sustainable
Lead People to Overconsume
First of all, did you know that the fast fashion industry is the second most pollutant industry in the world, behind only fossil fuel energy production and agriculture?
The problem is that we live in an over consumption of fashion items world.
In order to fulfill consumer’s demand, fast fashion brands provide affordable prices on clothing that reflects the latest trends.
The problem is that this ends up persuading consumers to always buy more which leads to the problem of overconsumption.
The business model of fast fashion is not sustainable. This overconsumption of clothes causes shortage of natural resources, also most fast fashion clothes are not considered as collectables for vintage or historic collections. Because of this, they often only end up as waste, hardly to be recycled and cause more clothing waste everywhere in the world.
In fact, studies shows that the average American throws away about 70 pounds of used clothing per person a year.
Only about one-fifth of the clothes that are donated is directly used or sold in their thrift shops. Sadly, most of the clothes donated end up as clothing waste.
the fast fashion industry use lots of synthetic fibers and chemical-based materials like polyester, rayon, nylon and a lot more.
Before our clothes used to be ethically made with mainly natural fibers, such as cotton, wool or silk, but since this overconsumption started, the fashion industry has changed.
Clothes produced with synthetic materials are made with harsh chemicals. These chemicals don’t break down and often end up polluting our rivers and the ocean. To learn more I really recommend watching the movie River Blue.
Polyester is made from petroleum and is now found in about 60% of garments in stores and is non-biodegradable, meaning that it cannot be converted to a state that is naturally found in the natural world. Source
Not only that, but did you know that it takes about 1800 gallons of water to produce a pair of jeans? The environmental impact of the fast fashion industry is huge.
Sweatshops, Poor Working Conditions
A lot of fast fashion companies use sweatshops. A sweatshop is where workers are employed for their hard labor under highly poor working conditions with severe safety risks and very low wages sometimes including child labor.
The fast fashion industry falls short in providing safe conditions for its workers. In fact, in 2013 there was a factory collapse in Bangladesh which killed over 1100 workers.
A good movie that I recommend on the subject is The True Cost.
These were some reasons why ethical fashion brands are more sustainable.
Since I heard about all of the negative environmental impact of the fast fashion industry, I decided to break this cycle of overconsumption of clothes.
I now only buy clothes that I really need, I also support ethical fashion companies and buy most of my clothes second hand.
Shop ethically, support ethical companies and help the environment.
Together we can all make a difference.
Environ Health Perspect. 2007 Sep; 115(9): A449–A454.
Waste Couture: Environmental Impact of the Clothing Industry
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Pollution in the fashion industry
3 Reasons Ethical Fashion Is An Even Bigger Trend Than Organic Food
River Blue Movie
The True Cost Movie