There's no question whether or not clothes are emotional goods. No matter the style we prefer to adopt, clothes reflect our moods, states of mind, or could even give an insight into one's personality. We purchase fashion items primarily because we need to keep our bodies warm, but also because we want to relax, socialize or make ourselves feel better through the process of shopping.
However, as you may have heard already, a thing that brings so many benefits into someone's life, could also produce damage on a much higher level. Fashion is the second most polluted industry I the world, right after the oil industry. As a consequence, in 2017, sustainable fashion is a hot and everlasting topic discussed by both fashion consumers and fashion producers.
What are the best ways to reduce waste?
How can we decrease the consumption of fast-fashion?
Is there any alternative fabric that we could use?
Where can we buy ethical fashion?
I am a fashion lover, does this mean I damage the environment?
And these are only a few examples of questions that generate debates on a regular basis. We can all agree that waste is so last season, but the one question that still hunts everyone is:
Is sustainable fashion really sustainable?
Well, we can definitely argue about this, but what we can't actually ignore are the following sustainable fashion facts that every fashion lover should be aware of:
- There will always be fashion waste
Of course, 'always' is a pretty strong word, but as long as we can't download, wear and store our clothes on an USB, we have to accept the reality. What has been proven though, is that if we manage to extend the life of our clothes by 9 months, we could reduce the carbon, water consumption and waste footprints by 20-30%.
- Technically speaking, fashion is not ready to be sustainable yet.
Current mechanical methods can't really process the blended fiber garments. In this case, designers play an important role, since in order to drive the change, they have to find new ways around the technical restrictions. At the same time, popular brands could be the ones that have the power to change the reputation of recycled materials.
- The 'fast' trend is one major issue
Let's say that we have found the perfect way to recycle clothes of all kind. If we purchase low quality garments, consequently, we will obtain low quality recycled items. There goes the vicious circle.
- A mind set change is highly required
Ethical fashion has been associated for a long time now with the desire to go green and to improve the lives of the plant workers in Asia. However, this end goal doesn't show any cues about how we can actually reach it. Maybe we should associate the word 'sustainable' with exciting, innovative and fashionable- maybe this is how ethical fashion should be like.