Sustainable Fashion

Sophie Leigh, Contributor

What is sustainable fashion?

Sustainable fashion (also known as eco-fashion) is a movement and process of fostering change to fashion products and the fashion system towards greater ecological integrity and social justice. Sustainable fashion is one of my favorite things because you can pull off your favorite looks without spending a lot of money and helping the environment.

Why is sustainable fashion important?

Global clothing consumption has doubled in the last 15 years, and it has had a huge effect on pollution. 20% industrial water pollution comes from the clothing industry. If we push sustainable fashion the people who make these garments will get fairer pay, better working conditions and reduction of illegal sweatshops.

How does sustainable fashion help our environment?

The clothing industry is responsible for 10% of global carbon emissions. That is more than all of the international flights and marine shipping combined. If people bought their clothes sustainably, we may be able to reduce that to about half. 

Also 85% of all clothing made ends up in landfills, for the reason they are cheaply made and easily disposable. The clothing industry is also responsible for a large amount of water used and wasted. One t-shirt takes 700 gallons of water to produce.

  97% of material used to make clothing is new material and only 3% is recycled. That adds up to around 98 tons of annual supplies, which includes oils to make synthetic fabrics, fertilizers to make cotton, and an endless amount of chemicals for dyes and finishing fabric.

Lastly, the fashion industry is guilty of killing animals. We all may think that the fashion industry uses the by-products from the meat industry to make leather  but that is not always true. They are guilty of killing over 430 million animals a year for leather alone.

How can you buy sustainably?

Buying sustainable clothes may not seem like the best thing for budget but in the long run it is. Some sustainable clothing brands may charge a lot more for a t-shirt than maybe Old Navy or Target, but it will last you years to come. A big controversy when it comes to sustainable clothing is, why should I buy these expensive clothes for my kids if they are just going to grow out of it?

The answer is you don’t have too. Poshmark, ebay and other online thrift stores and used clothing sites are perfect for your kids because it is cheap and it is being reused. My favorite way to shop sustainably is thrift shops or hand me downs. More than half of my closet is hand me downs from my neighbor. When she grows out of her clothes they go to me, and when I grow out of them they go down to someone else. But if you are looking for a way to make some money on your child’s old clothes try selling them to a thrift shop or any other online platform.

Shopping for clothes sustainably is a great way to help the environment and your wallet if you are interested in shopping sustainably make sure to check out the websites below.