In this new series, we at Indie Republik want to shine a light on the other side of the coin: Sustainable fashion.
Sustainable fashion brings consciousness into the way that our clothing is designed, made, distributed and used in order to make it environmentally friendly and ethical. With vast amounts of information at our disposal, we can be more analytical about our decisions to make our choices count.
The fashion industry is one of the most polluting industries just after the petrol industry.
As an indie blog we value knowing what is going on around us so we can make better decisions. Within sustainable fashion, this means choosing actions that help us in creating and maintaining conditions that allow humans and nature to coexist in productive harmony for the benefit of current and future generations.
Sustainable Fashion brands are awesome because they:
Are Fair for the People
Having a safe work environment and paying people a living wage is non-negotiable. Most fashion production takes place in poverty-stricken parts of the world, where people are vulnerable to be taken advantage of by unscrupulous companies. We need to make sure the work is done in a safe environment and under hygienic conditions.
Produce Less Waste
More than 80% of the world’s fashion products are made with non-renewable materials or involve the use of toxic chemicals.
Most discarded items are often sent to landfills where it will take a very long time to degrade and end up polluting the environment.
It is not only that sustainable fashion brands are making a difference with their production process; they also encourage us to think about a garment’s lifecycle. From the production of the clothes all the way to its disposal.
What happens to the fabrics and fibres used in our clothing? Most of the fabrics and fibre in our clothing goes down the drain, into the sea, and has significant negative effects on the environment. By using environmentally friendly alternatives, this pollution goes way down.
Reduce carbon footprint
By choosing to use more environmentally friendly materials, sustainable fashion produces a reduced carbon footprint, also by increasing the use of sustainable transport and the materials used in their packages.
The colouring and processing of fabrics creates a huge amount of toxic waste that is then dumped untreated straight into waterways. Sustainable fashion brands employ factories that are aware of this problem and have addressed it by reducing the amount of water that it takes to dye a garment and by making sure that toxic waste is treated properly.
“Water is our most precious resource on this planet”
Save animal lives
Animals often spend their whole lives in cages and cruel methods are used in their upbringing and their eventual death.Most of our leather, wool, silk, fur comes from developing countries where there are no animal welfare laws.
Sustainable fashion labels bring awareness of animal welfare issues encountered in the textile supply chain. They have thorough and effective animal welfare policies where they cover the basics on animal welfare, a credible commitment to their plan and good monitoring systems to report risks and make necessary changes.
“Alternatives that do not harm animals do exist that are just as fashionable.”
And there we have it; 5 truly good reasons to shoot for sustainable fashion, so here are 3 more personal ones:
you live by your values
If we believe in honesty we vote for it by choosing to buy from a brand that is truly transparent with their practices.
You make your vote count
Every time we spend money we are casting a vote. I want my vote to say yes to people’s welfare, yes to caring for the environment, and yes to taking care of animals.
It is good for your pocket
Sustainable clothes will last longer. Not only because they are made differently but also because we are more mindful of their lifecycle. We took the time to choose them and we identify with them. That pretty pink jacket? Expresses your fun personality! So you will take better care of it and patch it up when needed. And when it no longer fits you it will go on to be loved by a friend as a gift, donated, exchanged at a second-hand store or transformed into another item.
There is no such thing as 100% sustainability but every step makes a difference. I know that for me it has been a challenge to implement as many sustainable practices into my life as possible, but research on the subject has opened new doors for self-expression, self-reflection, and lots of creativity. Before cutting back it is always better to expand.
In the next weeks I will be writing on ways you can participate in sustainability when it comes to your closet!