Sustainable fashion is a trend-setting alternative that is becoming increasingly popular. Now people not only want to be fashionable, but they also want to do so while taking care of the planet and the environment. More and more brands are joining this change due to the strong demand of the new generations, from multinational fashion brands to small brands like Clotsy Brand that fight for a conscious fashion, taking care of people and the planet.
In the beginning there was not much projection, because why pay more for a pair of trousers when you could pay as little as possible? This has come to an end. People are starting to ask themselves: What is behind each garment, under what conditions and with what materials has this garment been produced? Even if it means paying more for a garment. Thus, more and more people follow their values and are willing, not to pay more for the same garment, but to invest in a quality garment that will last them for a long period of time. Celebrities and celebrities such as: Emma Watson, Meghan Markle, Anne Hathaway, Leonardo Dicaprio, Michelle Obama, George Clonney, Jon Bon Jovi or Alejandro Sanz have already started to be part of the cause.
In this article we are going to see what sustainable, ecological or sustainable fashion is all about, what are the characteristics that a garment must meet to be considered sustainable and what can consumers do. Keep reading and we will tell you all about it!
What is sustainable fashion or ecological fashion?
Sustainable fashion or ecological fashion is a form of textile production that aims to develop garments for responsible consumption, with awareness and respect for the conservation of the environment, animals and people. Sustainable fashion has several purposes: to reduce the environmental impact in the elaboration of the product, to put an end to the exploitation of many workers in the fast fashion industry and also to preserve the right to life and health of animals and people on the planet.
In addition, for garments to be sustainable, they must primarily move away from two characteristics that have been imposed for centuries:
The overexploitation of the planet's resources.
The semi-slavery conditions in which the people who sew in countries such as Bangladesh or India find themselves.
These bad practices in the industry began to take place at the end of the 1980s, when protests and denunciations were made by activists who became aware of the use of materials that were harmful to health during the making of garments and the exploitation suffered by employees in order to meet the high demand of the time. This sentiment was accentuated after the Rana Plaza incident, a building that housed a garment workshop that sewed for big brands such as Primark and Inditex, which ended up collapsing due to the conditions of the building. After this episode, a struggle began to eradicate these practices (which are very present nowadays) in the world of fashion. Sustainable fashion strives to produce garments respecting the conditions of workers throughout the production chain and reducing the environmental impact as much as possible, avoiding the use of chemicals and pesticides when it comes to obtaining raw materials.
Why is sustainable fashion important?
Sustainable fashion, as we have said before, owes its importance to a series of factors that complement us as a society and for which, in some way, we are responsible:
Quality in the materials used for manufacturing
The quality of the materials used during manufacturing will mainly guarantee the durability of the garment, thus avoiding having to produce new garments because they break quickly.
Much slower production times
Slow fashion or slow production is a term that started to be used as the counterpart of the expression fast fashion, which refers to the increase of clothing collections throughout the year, reaching up to 16 collections per season. Slow fashion, on the other hand, is a term used to refer to the production of two collections per season: autumn/winter and spring/summer.
Eradicating labour exploitation in the sector
One of the reasons for the emergence of sustainable clothing was to respect the human rights of the workers who were part of this industry. Countries such as China, India, Bangladesh, Zambia, Benin, Egypt, Turkey or even Morocco use child and forced labour to carry out the various activities in the textile manufacturing process.
Preservation of animals
Important brands use animal skins to make their garments, a fact that caused the extinction of many species. Nowadays, we can see how important design houses have made a change, opting for cruelty free materials and being able to respect the life of the animal, as well as its habitat.
Consumer health safety
The dyeing and treatment of some fabrics carries chemical components that are dangerous to the human body. This added to the fact that, during the manufacturing process, residues of these pollutants are spread on land, water and air, in addition to the excessive use of some vital resources, for example, approximately 7500 litres of water are consumed in the production of jeans.