The times have changed, and so has the way we talk. As the second largest polluter, next to big oil, the fashion industry is due for a much-needed overhaul.
Slower style is the antithesis to fast fashion. Sustainability is the Balance between The Environment, The Economy, and Social Justice
If you can’t explain it to a six-year-old, you don’t understand it yourself. Sustainability doesn’t start with impressive technology. It begins with knowledge.Contrary to popular belief, following your passion doesn’t guarantee life satisfaction or happiness. Instead, follow your talent and MAKE it your passion. Passion doesn’t always meet people’s needs, but meeting needs can become a passion.
Sustainability by definition is not a trend. It is simply the balance between people, the planet, and making money. Sustainable = Balanced. If you focused too much on one of the three at the expense of the others, you’d not be sustainable. Maintaining profit incentive without exploiting workers and communities. Producing products while minimizing the extraction of non-renewable resources
We can’t just do nothing and hope that the collective action will somehow save us. By shifting trends over time, sustainable fashion has a chance at making a major impact on how we view and purchase clothing.
Sustainable fashion is eco-friendly, but eco-friendly fashion is not always sustainable. If a child slave made a garment with 100% organic cotton in a carbon-neutral factory, it is still unsustainable. Truly sustainable fashion can balance worker’s rights with affordability to make eco-friendly fashion. Green is not always Ethical, therefore not always sustainable. Affordability is by far the most challenging part of sustainable fashion.
Organic means that the clothing produced without the use of pesticides. A pair of polyester yoga pants is technically organic, even though it’s not Eco-Friendly. There are no standards or ratings on Eco Friendly Fashion. Ethical Fashion is a Subcategory of Sustainability. If a product is truly sustainable, it would have to balance three different factors: Ethics, The Environment, and the Economy. This is called the Triple Bottom Line. If the fashion is both Ethically sourced and Environmentally Friendly, but not affordable, it is not sustainable.
We don’t Understand True Cost vs Perceived Cost in Ethical Fashion. The sustainable fashion movement is gradually moving towards ethical-economical-environmental fashion instead of fast fashion. Sustainable fashion will not be sustainable until it is affordable. It cannot be affordable until we have enough companies sizing up profitable production of ethical-environmental products at a low cost. Companies cannot size up production until the public shows an interest in sustainable fashion, and they cannot do that until sustainable fashion is not more affordable. You see the catch 22?
So to fix this, we need to embrace the true cost production instead of perceived cost production. Mainstream companies need to see that charging more for sustainable products will be profitable over time than the current fast-fashion trend. We need to embrace minimalist fashion and slower style to stop buying so much and focus on the things that matter. Sustainable fashion by default is affordable and here are three reasons.
We are used to Fast Fashion prices. Once we start becoming more comfortable with higher prices for truly sustainable clothing, will we start to see them as more affordable?
We are used to buying way more than we need. We don’t have to throw away all our clothing and replace it with 5 super expensive articles of clothing that we wear all day and every day. It’s about realizing that we need to invest more in fewer articles of clothing. Until we take a good hard look at ourselves, the outrageous cost of fast fashion will seem more affordable than genuine affordable, sustainable fashion.
Affordable sustainable fashion isn’t mainstream. You don’t have to treat your workers like garbage to still have an assembly line. Fashion is a Change Maker for Other Industries. We are Always Going to Need Clothing.
Fashion has Influenced over our Spending Habits. Businesses base decisions off business trends. Celebrity Endorsement Overlaps with Activism
Sustainable Fashion Mistakes
Buying A More “Sustainable Alternative” Duplicate
A lot of things you have are just as fine. Focus more on what you have and practice minimalism in your wardrobe. Stick to a style plan, and repurpose or give away all the things you aren’t going to use.
Covering Up Your Sustainable Fashion Mistakes by Purchasing More Unsustainable Clothing
Guilt is a fickle emotion. Sometimes, when we have too much of it, we develop this belief that we aren’t good enough and we will never be good enough.
Going for Things That Are Simply Labeled “Eco Friendly”
“Eco Friendly” is not always “Sustainable.” focus on your own experience and how clothes make you feel. Buy less. Buy better. Research your Products. Have a solid Style Plan. Stick to your Fashion Goals. Don’t follow the trends for the sake of them being trends.
Going for the Cheap but Greener Option
The goal you should have in mind with sustainable fashion is quality over quantity. Green junk is still junk… Sustainable fashion is rooted in minimalism and anti-consumerism.
Not Having a Plan for your Wardrobe
Focus instead on minimizing your wardrobe to a few staple pieces and then replace your staple pieces with more sustainable options when they wear out.
Sustainability starts with solving long-term problems, not bandaging short term “eco-friendly” solutions. Fashion seems to be the last thing on people’s minds when they think about sustainability, but it’s in every part of our lives. The best way to reduce your clothing waste is to pick items that specifically go together with everything else. Monochromes are Minimal Chic. The easiest thing when it comes to clothing is to get caught up in is color matching. The key here is to use less and stick to a color scheme that suits you. Shoes are an Asset, not an Accessory. Invest in Quality, not Quantity.
Organic cotton is a prime sustainable fabric. Practically, anything that is organic is better for the environment. Recycled polyester is my personal favorite sustainable fabric because of its versatility and renewability. Hemp is going to be the next big thing for fashion, and global production as a whole. Fabric made out of Bamboo has a lot of sustainable vibes, but just like organic cotton, it may not always be sustainable. Vegan fabric to me feels like saying the fabric is gluten-free. Vegan simply means “no animals,”
Trading overseas can be just as sustainable, ethical, and even more affordable than domestic based products. The only really good thing about domestically made fabric is that it cuts down on the carbon footprint. the transportation emissions and affordability factor may not make fair trade sustainable by nature. Organic fabric comes in many varieties, and they are not always sustainable. Organic means that a product did not use pesticides while making the said product.
cotton will become even less expensive because of newer, cheaper, sustainable methods of production. Bamboo is a fabric that is starting to become more popular for its cooling properties, and it increases in production, making it more affordable. Hemp is not grown on a massive scale, yet, but it’s expected to grow drastically within the next 20 years. Silk is super luxurious, but also super expensive compared to other fabrics.
Eco Fashion Can Ignore Human Rights Violations
When it comes to cruelty-free fashion, it falls more on the side of Ethical Fashion and not always Eco Fashion. Cruelty-free focuses more on the welfare and ethics of animal rights. Sometimes it includes the rights of workers and distributors, but that usually involves another certification.
Fair Trade Fashion is for the most part associated with the Ethical side of sustainability. This does not mean, by default that ethical fashion or Fair-Trade Fashion has to be eco-friendly. Sustainable Fashion is Fair Trade, but Fair Trade Fashion Doesn’t Have to Be Sustainable. Fair Trade Fashion Isn’t Always Affordable. Fair Trade Fashion Isn’t Always Accessible
H&M, for all their labor wage disputes and contributions to climate change, have been at least trying to recycle old garments through their exchange program. The little initiatives the trade in program at H&M does is to test the market and see if we are willing to spend. slightly more on sustainable clothing. It’s called Incrementalism, and it is what shapes the future of fashion and sustainability. Fair Trade Fashion will be mainstream someday when the market (us) demands it.
The Fair-Trade Certification may cover the Supplies, but not the Labor. The future is medium because small to medium-sized companies will lead it. There is a great opportunity for business owners and fashion designers to shape the industry, but only through education and understanding.
Understand that Less is More. Sustainability is the balance between people, the planet, and the environment. It’s not all about being “eco-friendly.” Follow minimalists movements. Reduce your clutter, and stop buying as much. This will be WAY more sustainable than simply consuming more and more things that are labeled sustainable.
Wear Clothing that Fits
People buy clothing that they WANT to look good in, and not just because they DO look good in it. Know what is in Your Closet. Knowing what is in your closet will allow you to know what you actually need, so you can stop buying duplicates of things you already have. Eliminate Clothing You Know You’ll Never Wear. Visualize Yourself As More Sustainably Fashionable. Come Up With a Style Game Plan. Purchase Clothing that You Know You Will Wear in Many Ways. Buying and using garments that go with other garments in your closet will allow you to reduce your overall spending. Don’t buy things simply because they are just attractive. Slow Down Your Spending Cycle. Practice Mindfulness of the Things You Buy
Understanding that you buy things in response to emotional unrest is a huge step towards being more sustainably fashionable. Research Research Research. online shopping gives me a tremendous advantage on finding a wider variety of clothing that I know exactly where it came from. I was reading an article about an MIT grad who made the company Third Love and the “perfect fit bra.”
Why Bottle Thread Clothing is Made out of Recycled Plastic Bottles: Recycled Polyester or Polyester made from recycled plastic bottles, is not a new concept. Recycled Plastic Bottles are Way More Sustainable. The Shirt is Way More Comfortable. It Actually Fits People. So the nice part of making this design out of a recycled polyester blend is that it is made to fit better without being baggy. That’s why I decided to size the women’s shirt through relative bra sizes instead of the typical S-M-L scale. there is an extra set of invisible “boob buttons” on the women’s shirt to make sure everything stays in place without being noticeable. The Shirt Can Be The Most Minimalist Garment. base the entire clothing line on a wrinkle resistant, a minimalist garment that (oh by the way…) is sustainable and made from recycled plastic. It’s Very Cost Effective. Cotton clothing doesn’t stretch while the high-quality recycled polyester does. Because the fabric stretches appropriately, we were able to take out a lot of decorative seam lines, thereby reducing the cost per unit significantly.
Where to Even Find Sustainable Fashion Manufactures
Determine Your Ideal Manufacturing Country or Region. Research Manufacturers Online. Ask about children’s clothing manufacturers. Another great resource is Thomasnet where I ended up finding my manufacturer. Look for Minimum Order Quantities. Find Sustainable Fashion Suppliers That Offer Product Development Packages. Identifying Truly Sustainable Businesses. Truly Sustainable Fashion MUST Be Eco-Friendly. The Rights of Workers, Customers, and Community NEED to Be Accounted for. Truly Sustainable Fashion NEEDS to be Affordable to Consumers, and Profitable for Business. The Previous Factors Must be Balanced Effectively.