Words Matter: Sustainable Fashion
“Sustainable fashion. Sustainable fashion is a movement and process of fostering change to fashion products and the fashion system towards greater ecological integrity and social justice. Sustainable fashion concerns more than addressing fashion textiles or products.”
Unfortunately, completely sustainable fashion is an inconceivable concept. Washing clothes infuses the environment with microfibers and the water, electricity, and detergent used during this process are mostly likely not too eco friendly. Nevertheless, there are still ways to make sustainable fashion more of a pragmatic and accessible alternative.
Brands can be sustainable by being intentional with the materials they use to create their products, as well as by being considerate to not harm the environment and humanity. For consumers, being sustainable consists of understanding the philosophies they are upholding when purchasing from a certain brand. It is also important to consider the number of times a piece of clothing can be worn. The manner and extent to which you make your wardrobe sustainable is totally up to you! If everyone chose to be slightly more conscious of their vogue, we would all be working together to make the world a better place, and who wouldn’t want that?
There are many ways to live a fashionable and sustainable lifestyle. Here are a few suggestions:
Not only is swapping clothes more economical, but it allows you to share a piece you once loved with someone else who can now share that same love you did! But wait, it gets better: when you swap clothes, you are keeping them out of landfills, bringing new life into your closet, and preventing clothes you do not wear from piling up in your room.
Second Hand Shopping aka Thrifting
In recent years, thrift shopping has gained much popularity. While thrifting may be considered analogous to “swapping” in some ways, this practice consists of purchasing previously owned clothes rather than swapping with someone for free. Do not worry! Thrifting is still an approach to sustainable fashion and allows you to get creative with your style—on a budget!
Slow fashion could be considered one of the simplest, but most arduous approaches to sustainable fashion. This approach consists of sticking with a piece for a long time. This meansnot just buying a top to wear one time for that party on Saturday, but considering one you will be able to wear on multiple occasions. The key to being sustainable by way of slow fashion is to pick pieces with great quality. Yes, it may be a little more expensive than what we would like, but at the end of the day, you would have the piece for a longer time and be helping the environment at the same time!
You can also perpetuate sustainability by considering fair fashion and vegan alternatives!
Fair fashion means companies are ensuring their employees receive appropriate wages and are actively working to improve their employees’ quality of life. Before swiping your card for those jeans, think about the ethical considerations of supporting the brand that it belongs to. Sadly, some companies may be misleading in their messages, so be sure to verify their certifications and to do your research if you have questions!
Vegan fashion is great for the environment because it lessens the negative environmental impact caused by animals. Moreover, when you choose to purchase vegan clothes, you are supporting companies that find alternative methods to fashion that do not require endangering the lives of animals.
There are a plethora of ways to improve the environment, and sustainable fashion is just one of them. Within the realm of sustainable fashion, there are numerous ways that everyone can participate. Do not forget, the manner and extent to which you make your wardrobe sustainable is totally up to you! Sustainable fashion is constantly evolving and is the perfect medium for allowing people to be expressive, while also working to better the environment.
If everyone chose to be slightly more conscious of their vogue, we would all be working together to make the world a better place, and I think we would all love that!
Written by: Kourtney Bobb
Edited by: Janelle Tengco, Evie Fitzpatrick
Graphic by: Teju Calambakkam