Next to fossil fuel, one of the environment’s top polluters is the fashion industry. It’s difficult to imagine how such stylish garments are actually dirtying up our world.
While clothing businesses are booming with their sales, they are also responsible for 10% of the carbon footprint around the globe. Additionally, the amount of freshwater, crops, fibre, and chemicals it takes to supply the huge demand for cheap and trendy clothes has damaged the environment in unimaginable ways.
Fortunately, being fashionable and eco-friendly at the same time is possible. Sustainable fashion is making its way into wardrobes and stores, one environmentally-responsible piece at a time. And it’s more than just recycling fabric and buying from thrift stores.
Here’s why you should buy sustainable clothing:
What are the bad effects of the clothing industry on the environment and animals?
Picture this: a single cotton T-shirt requires 2,700 litres of water to produce. Now, multiply that by 80 billion, which is the estimated number of pieces of clothing that the world consumes every year.
Imagine using up an enormous amount of water to produce garments that will eventually be discarded when the newest fashion trend comes in.
Aside from water, growing crops to produce textile also damages our precious forests. Millions of trees are cut down every year to make way for crop plantations for rayon, cotton, and other fabrics. Animals are displaced from their homes and lose their natural habitats just so we can wear the latest couture.
What are the sustainable products available today?
As mentioned above, cotton is a resource-intensive clothing material. Given the water shortage and chemical pollution problems that we have, going for organic materials will minimise our environmental impact.
Some sustainable raw materials in the fashion industry include:
- Recycled polyester - Prevents old garments from going to the dump or polluting the ocean.
- Hemp - Produces more fibre than cotton and can be grown on marginal lands.
- Bamboo - Can grow without fertiliser and doesn’t require plenty of water.
- Linen - Breathable, biodegradable, and doesn’t compete with other crops.
- Jute - Sturdy, recyclable, and grows more quickly than cotton.
Why should we look up to more sustainable products?
Purchasing clothes from sustainable and ethical brands can greatly reduce the amount of pollution generated by ‘fashion waste’. One way of reducing waste is by buying thrift clothes or recycled fabrics.
The effort might look small and insignificant, but it will definitely make a difference in the long run. There will be less air and water pollution, resource depletion, and clothes that will be dumped in landfills.
Support local and small businesses
Unlike multi-million international companies that mass-produce clothes every season, sustainable fashion also supports local and small businesses. These entrepreneurs have a lesser carbon footprint since their products are sourced and sold in a smaller area.
More importantly, buying from local weavers, crafters, and artisans will help support fair-trade. It will encourage eco-friendly techniques in garment production.
Encourage intentional shopping
Fast fashion has fostered the idea of buying clothes according to the latest trends. Not only is this a wasteful practice but it also wastes your money.
By buying clothes that are timeless, versatile, and made from sustainable materials, you’re helping yourself and the environment. It encourages you only to buy what you truly love and what you would want to wear often.
In a nutshell
By supporting brands that encourage eco-consciousness in the fashion industry, you can still practice sustainability and remain stylish. Therefore, choose to buy clothes that are made from organic raw materials and produced ethically.
This post is sponsored by YK Art House, a Boutique Hotel and Vegan Restaurant, and Ardor SEO, Vegan Digital Growth Experts.