“We cannot hope to create a sustainable culture with any but sustainable souls.”
― Derrick Jensen
Hope you are all well up! For me a new chapter is about to start and therefore, the last wintery look. Promised! However, a thoughtful and critical post 🙂 Hope you like it!
Are you a conscious consumer and by any means do you care about sustainability? Is the fashion industry really as bad as it’s reputation lately? What do companies do in regards to environment friendly production? And how can we make a difference?
Fair fashion, organic, sustainable or alternative leather have become more popular topics and probably you have read or investigated a bit too? Let me tell you, as a fashion lover myself, I used to buy always the latest fashion trend or just generally consuming a lot – well, I loved shopping. But as a student I didn’t have much money to care about fair production or sustainability at all.
But as environmental questions are getting a lot of attention in various industries lately. It is more and more relevant to realize that we have to change our habits to save our planet. Step one is therefore reducing our consumption too. The question is: Are we really willing to do so? And what are the reasons do make a change?
Fair, conscious and ethical fashion is about shopping with eyes wide open and knowing where your product comes from. Who made them and how they are produced and what effects does it have on the environment? Nobody wants to support an industry that exploits our planet and the society. But that’s what we are actually doing every time we buy at a fast fashion store (H&M, Zara, Mango etc.). With every purchase that we make we can have a bigger impact than we can imagine.
Lately, I have been consuming a lot less, decluttering my wardrobe immensely without the intention to stock it up again unnecessarily. However, it this overcrowded jungle called Fashion industry it’s not easy to gain an overview. Here are 5 principles that make a pretty good start when evaluating if you should support the brand.
Looking at the production process and the quality of the clothes are already a first hint on the environmental sustainability. Cheap clothing is of short durability and usually produced in cheap labor countries (developing countries) where fair trade and human rights are not taken into consideration. Fast Fashion companies (H&M, Zara etc.) have started with “sustainable” collections, however it is to say that it’s more greenwashing than a real game changer. BUT it’s definitely the first step into the right direction towards sustainability.
Often the mass production conditions are executed using a lot of chemicals and unhealthy materials. Not only to the workers in the factories undergo a terrible threat for their health. But also we as consumers do wear the clothing full of invisible chemicals. Some times this can even trigger allergies and skin reactions…
Waste reduction & lower expenditures
Ethical companies find innovative ways to produce products in a sustainable way. For example, I own a backpack made of 100% recycled plastic bottles. Or other brands optimize the production cycle. This jumper was produced with a pre-order system. Therefore, only the quantity of clothes is produced that is really requested by the customer. No overstock, no waste. (Ultimately this will cost a lot less for the brand)
Instead of ordering always products from all over the world, it’s nice to support local companies or innovative start-ups. Not only is this valuable for fostering new creative forces but also lowers the environmental impact and transport emissions. The jumper here was designed and produced in Portugal, therefore no need for overseas transport 🙂
Human and animal rights
How often do we hear about inhuman working circumstances? Fair fashion labels do not only critically analyze the production process but also look for a fair involvement and that workers earn enough for a living. By using alternative methods and goods fair fashion labels often do barely or not at all use include any animal products. Minimizing harm is essential and I believe is the future for a successful business.
Of course it’s not possible to cut all your consumption from 100 to zero percent. But starting small and becoming more aware of what you consume and why is the first step. By implementing principles like minimalism it’s a huge benefit to first declutter and then only add new items if they really add value to your life and if you really “need” them. (Not just “wanting” but is it serving an essential purpose?)
Are you interested in Fair Fashion? Do you care about the environment also regarding your clothing? Let me know your experience and opinion on this subject!
“Consume less; share better.”
― Hervé Kempf
photos by the lovely Romana