Conscious consumers or not, almost everyone has heard of terms like "slow fashion," "eco-friendly fashion," "ethical fashion," "fair fashion," "vegan fashion," "sustainable fashion," and "cruelty-free fashion." And you should realize the fact that they have become more and more misused and mistreated in modern society. Given how frequently these phrases are used now, their true definition and vision have moved away from their real meaning.
Sustainable, ethical and slow-fashion brands design clothing with people and the environment in mind, limiting negative environmental impact whenever possible. The ultimate goal is to create a system that works without leaving a trail of massively harmful chemicals, carbon footprints and textile waste behind. While also connecting the global community and environment via its uniqueness, passion, and traditional means.
What does sustainable fashion mean?
Sustainable fashion is for everyone who wants fair, organic, skin-friendly, and environmentally responsible fashion that also shows compassion for the earth and all of its inhabitants.
To put it another words, it is ethically created and environmentally responsible fashion. It is a method through which brands create garments that not only have a low environmental impact but also value the artisans who work to make them. All of this isn’t as simple as it seems because sustainability entails higher overhead costs and lower profit margins. For the industry as a whole to change, consumers should be ready to spend a little bit more or, at the very least, avoid brands that don't care about the environment. The slow fashion movement's influence on younger and more responsible consumers is said to be a contributing factor to the transformation in the current fast fashion industry, which is also changing the market demographics.
Apart from producing eco-friendly clothing, there are a few well-known categories that emphasizes different aspects of sustainable fashion:
- Slow fashion
- Ethical fashion
- Conscious fashion
- Circular fashion
However, they all share a commitment to eco-friendly and socially responsible practices such as fair trade, an emphasis on durability and timelessness over trends, and ensuring that no humans or animals were harmed during the manufacturing process. Additionally, these words are meant to persuade consumers to support the green fashion movement by buying more environmentally friendly clothes from brands that offer transparency and honesty.
Why is sustainability important in fashion?
The fact that the fashion industry has a terrible impact on the environment is not a secret. The sector is one of the biggest global pollutants, coming in second only to oil industry.
If you do your research, you might be astonished to find out that the majority of clothing is actually made of synthetic plastic materials, creating a microplastic disaster and a huge pile of textile landfills that might take up to 200 years to degrade or even include fibers that are non-biodegradable. On top of that, the current fashion industry takes advantage of its employees by paying pitiful wages, making them work long hours, and denying many of them a secure, pleasant workplace. Animals are equally abused by fashion, up until the point where they are abducted, put in cages, and killed.
The much-needed reform in the fast fashion world that we were hoping to see arrived in the form of sustainable and slow-made fashion. The environment, people, and animals are all consistently taken into account in this sector. It is a more holistic, collective approach to fashion that does it complete justice. Simply put, it demands that fashion place value on the environment, people, natural resources, and animals, giving them first priority above profit and business.
One way that slow and sustainable fashion is connecting the global community and nature together is by promoting the use of natural and organic materials, such as organic cotton and natural dyes. These materials are grown without the use of harmful pesticides and chemicals through organic farming, which reduces their impact on the environment and on the health of workers in the supply chain. Using natural and organic materials also encourages the preservation of biodiversity and the use of renewable resources. It also promotes local and traditional textile production methods. By using local resources and skills, communities can preserve their cultural heritage and support their local economies. This can also reduce the carbon footprint of fashion production by reducing the need for long-distance transportation of materials and products.
In summary, whatever ethical brands take from nature, eventually returns to nature without disrupting its balance and harmony.
What can you do?
Be the change—all that's you have to do!
You, as a consumer, can make a positive impact through your buying choices. We all have the power to influence change in the industry by educating ourselves and creating awareness about the impact of clothing production and consumption. Creating a sustainable and timeless wardrobe does not happen overnight. You need to understand that even if you buy just one piece of clothing made using sustainable materials, whether it's an organic cotton kurti or a naturally dyed skater dress. Even so, it will make a significant difference in terms of things like offering you a product that will last longer, encouraging local artists, and reducing your carbon footprint. Although the cost may seem a little higher than for regular clothing, you’ll be sure that the brand is transparent, eco-friendly, honest and pays its craftspeople fairly.
By choosing sustainable and environmentally friendly materials and non-toxic dyes, you can help reduce the negative impact of the fashion industry on the environment and contribute to a cleaner and healthier world. Not only are these materials and dyes safer for human health, but they also have a positive impact on our marine life, land, and environment. By understanding who made our clothes, what materials they're made of, and how they affect people and the environment, we can make more informed choices when it comes to buying and disposing of clothing.
Here at Apanakah, we're dedicated to working towards a sustainable future for the industry. We try to lessen the demand on resources by utilizing as much upcycled, organic, natural dyes, and recycled materials as we can in order to reestablish the harmony between people and the world in terms of fashion.