This world around us is rapidly changing; and so are the adjacent worlds attached to it. The fashion world is one such horizon which changes faster than our imagination. So, as the world deals with the environmental crisis, fashion deals with it too.
Our eco-system is changing, it is depleting day-by-day, and in the wake of it, the fashion world has decided to evolve with it. When we count the ever-growing population and their demands, we often neglect our wardrobes.
Most of our upbringing was not done to be eco-conscious and especially when it comes to our own closet. Nobody ever thought that even the fashion world could contribute anything to the environment, but the fashion game is changing now.
If the data and figures are anything to go by, the fashion industry has a huge impact on the environment, in terms of the resources it uses and what it leaves behind. A 2018 survey of 2,000 British women discovered that the ordinary piece of dress or cloth was worn just six times before being thrown away. On the other hand, there are the working conditions of the garment factories that make the clothes we wear.
The need of the hour is to take more aware, considered decisions about what and how we buy.
The hidden side of fast fashion
The clothing industry is, according to a survey, the second biggest polluter after oil.
Also, the fashion world is one of the largest pollutants of water in the world.
The hidden side of fast fashion which pollution, forced labour, exploitation, chemical exposure, health and safety concerns, low wages and nonbiodegradable waste. The glamorous part has dwarfed this ugly side, and the sense of pride that comes with owning some brands is blinding us to the dirty side of the industry.
We are encouraged to think that if it’s out there for buying, it makes us look good and we can afford it, just buy it without asking questions.
Unlearning certain consumption habits while adopting sane ones can be a tough task, especially when the issue at hand is something as complicated and irreversible as the fragility of our environment. It’s really time we get off and get learning if we still want to be around in 2050.
After coming to terms with how the fashion industry often pollutes the planet, wastes water, and underpays labourers, don’t you now wonder, how are we supposed to feel good about our fit today if it means something bad for our planet tomorrow?
Thankfully, it’s not all hopeless
The fashion world is having its own revolution, and there exist fashion-forward revolutionaries who are creating awareness and speaking up, using their styling skills to encourage people to look at fashion in a whole new way. These eco-fashion styles prove that looking stylish needn’t cost the earth or cause human suffering.
Ways to master sustainable fashion without compromising style
The best part about eco-friendly fashion is that you don’t need a separate store, a separate stylist to nail this and again, this is not a new trend that needs blind herd mentality behind it. This is something revolutionary done in order to save the environment. If you wonder how to up your styling game in a sustainable manner, here are some tips:
1. Ask yourself these three questions
How long will it last! How many times are you going to wear it? Are you putting your money into a forever piece? Buy with your pre-existing wardrobe in mind and complement what you already have to create new looks.
2. Read the labels
Any messages related to how it is made, perhaps regarding the fabrics, anything recycled or organic, will be found on the care label. Also, check if there is an online address for more information. You would be surprised to know how many brands actually give information about their sustainability approach and more responsible ways of producing fashion in general.
3. Avoid synthetic fabrics
It is better to stay away from synthetics (rayon, spandex, nylon, acrylic, modal, polyester) unless it’s important for the functionality of a garment, (for example, if you need it to be waterproof) as they have a high environmental impact in the production phase. They also contribute to the microplastics into the ocean and our water supplies when they’re washed.
4. Don’t forget to recycle
Do a clear-out about twice a year, give away clothes to others to increase the life cycle of these pieces. Change of infrastructure of fashion is required for a circular economy; designing out waste and pollution, keeping products and materials in use and regenerating natural systems.
5. Style what you own, in different ways
You can style a single scarf and a t-shirt in 10 different ways. Experiment, get creative, try to have fun with your clothes while you save the environment.
6. Change your mindset and develop a sense of individuality
Fashion is not about running behind trends, and sadly, people don’t understand that. They can wear and follow absolutely anything without even giving a second thought to it, jut because its trendy and fashionable. It’s better to develop your own individuality and own your style. Also, try and be more aware of the environment, and it automatically stops you from ruining the earth.
Demand creates supply, and fast fashion is extremely harmful to the environment in a number of ways. It’s time we made more mindful purchases and started choosing clothes that we can identify with, not just in terms of aesthetics but also ethics.
“At the end of the day, what you need to carry off any piece of clothing is confidence and sense.”