Until now, fashion was synonymous to change – after all, if you’re considered fashionable, it implies that you are not always wearing the same old thing, and that you are continously updating your wardrobe to stay on trend, to stay in fashion.
But fashion can strive to be sustainable – we can choose our garments from producers who are conscious of the environment. They will use natural or recycled materials; plant-based fabrics that, through responsible production and environmentanl growing practices, do not deplete the soil. Or again, artificial plant-based fabrics that through the production process contribute to the reduction of waste, water conservation, and carbon emissions. And now some brands are even making fabrics out of recycled water bottles!
So the first step towards contributing to sustainable fashion is to be aware, to make informed choices, and to try to encourage the brands that make the effort to make sure that the products they sell are ethically produced.
ETHICALLY MADE GARMENTS
Everyone has heard of child labor, and of forced labor. In certain countries where the level of education may be minimal, the only way a worker can feed his or her family is to work in a garment factory. As much as we may have heard horror stories, there are many factory owners in India and China that not only pay decent wages, but also contribute to the education of workers and their families. So we can make sure that the garments we buy are made in factories that treat their workers with dignity.
Cotton remains a fiber of choice in our apparel, especially in summer. But cotton is very thirsty, and requires thousands of liters of water to grow. If we are to wear cotton garments, then we can at least make sure that it is organic cotton, which does not use chemical fertilizer or weed or pest killer which poisons the ground and pollutes the environment.
Of course, we are seeing more of the plant-based artificial fabrics, such as viscose made from bamboo, or modal, which is viscose made from beechwood or eucalytus. All of these plants replenish extremely quickly and do not deplete the soil.