Our Sustainable Series Started In Late 2022
Our readers will have noticed that we already started writing in the sustainable fashion category. Historically we’ve focused on energy, heating, transportation etc and now we’ve turned our attention to clothing which constitutes a huge product category that’s gotten a lot of bad industry rep for being wasteful and exploitative.
Sustainable Fashion Means Environment And Social Consciousness To Us
Sustainable fashion is the production of clothing and other fashion items in an environmentally friendly and socially conscious manner. This includes the utilization of renewable and recycled materials, along with ethical labor practices and efficient production processes. In recent years, there has been an increasing focus on the sustainability of the fashion industry, as the environmental and social impacts of fast fashion have become more widely known. Fashion extends to often ignored sustainable makeup, one topic of which we cover is plastic-free makeup.
Benefits Of Sustainable Fashion
The environmental benefits of sustainable fashion are numerous. Sustainable production practices reduce the amount of water, energy, and chemicals used during the manufacturing process, resulting in fewer carbon emissions and other pollutants. Furthermore, sustainable fashion often relies on the use of renewable and recycled materials, meaning fewer resources are being used up.
Sustainable fashion also has social benefits. By utilizing ethical labor practices, such as fair wages and safe working conditions, sustainable fashion helps to promote a more equitable industry. Additionally, sustainable fashion can help to preserve traditional techniques and skills, as well as support small businesses and communities.
Challenges To The Industry And Consumers
The first major challenge is the carbon accounting of fashion – especially fast fashion that emphasizes high turnover and low costs. Concomitant with that challenge is the measurement of the carbon cost of clothing. There’s virtually no standardization and its hard to compare products. Until we’re able to measure carbon emissions of fashion products or even brands, its very difficult to ask consumers to make choices.
The second big challenge to sustainable fashion is the cost of sustainable materials. Sustainable materials are often more expensive than traditional materials, making them inaccessible for many consumers. Additionally, the availability of sustainable materials is often limited, making it difficult for designers to source them. Finally, there is a lack of consumer awareness about sustainable fashion, as many people are unaware of the environmental and social impacts of their clothing purchases.
To classify if a store is fast fashion, you should consider the price, trendiness, speed, and quality. Fast fashion stores often have lower prices, focus on the latest trends, move quickly to produce new styles, and may sacrifice quality for speed. Traditional stores may have higher prices, a more timeless approach, take longer to restock, and have better quality. Sometimes its very clear but other times there’s bound to be controversy. We provide an answer for one example of whether American Eagle is fast fashion or not.
Solutions: Regulation, Awareness, Research
One potential solution to the challenges of sustainable fashion is governmental incentives. Governments can provide subsidies and tax breaks to designers and manufacturers who utilize sustainable materials and production methods. Furthermore, increased education and awareness of sustainable fashion can help to increase consumer demand for sustainable items. Finally, a greater availability of sustainable materials can be achieved through research and development into new sustainable materials and processes.
Organizations Working On Sustainable Fashion
Let’s take this chance to introduce our readers to sustainable fashion organizations which are dedicated to creating a more responsible, sustainable, and ethical fashion industry. These organizations advocate for solutions such as reducing pollution and waste, increasing transparency, and creating accountability in the fashion supply chain. They also work to educate and collaborate with industry professionals, fashion designers, influencers, and students to create a more sustainable fashion industry. Here are three that we like for their size and impact.
The Centre for Sustainable Fashion is an academic research centre based at London College of Fashion. It is dedicated to advancing creative, innovative and effective solutions to the challenge of making fashion more sustainable. It brings together people from a range of disciplines to develop research, design, education and advocacy projects that will enhance the way fashion is produced, distributed, consumed and experienced. The Centre seeks to raise awareness of the environmental, social and economic impacts of the fashion industry, increase knowledge of creative and innovative solutions, and promote the adoption of sustainable practices within the industry.
Founded in 2013, Fashion Revolution is an international non-profit organisation working to transform the fashion industry by increasing transparency and creating accountability for the entire supply chain. The organization advocates for a more sustainable, ethical and circular fashion industry, working to bring about systemic change through education and collaboration.
Global Fashion Exchange is a non-profit organization that works to promote a more responsible and sustainable fashion industry. The organization hosts events and workshops to bring together industry professionals, fashion designers, influencers, and students to exchange ideas and create solutions for a more sustainable fashion industry.
In conclusion, sustainable fashion offers numerous environmental and social benefits, but also faces several challenges. Governments, designers, and consumers all have a role to play in making sustainable fashion more accessible and widely adopted. By creating incentives, increasing awareness, and making sustainable materials more widely available, we can ensure a more sustainable future for the fashion industry. We look forward to engaging with our readers on this topic.
Anna Lauer is a writer, gardener, and homesteader living in rural Wisconsin. She has written for Mother Earth News, Grit, and Hobby Farms magazines. Anna is writing a new book about growing your food for free and an ultimate guide to producing food at little to no cost. When she’s not writing or gardening, Anna enjoys spending time with her husband and two young daughters.