What You Need to Know About Sustainable Fashion: A Summary
First, it's important to know what the word "sustainable" means. In short, it means that something is "able to be maintained at a certain rate or level" or fulfilling the needs of current generations without compromising the needs of future generations, while ensuring a balance between economic growth, environmental care and social well-being. Lately the term is thrown around a lot and is over used in marketing and at times is used to push products that are not worthy of the label. We use it here as a general term to include ethical and all around responsible practices in regards to fashion and clothing production. And we don't take the term lightly.
As we move into a new era of eco-friendly living, the need for sustainably made clothing is more pressing than ever. With fashion seeming to move towards responsible consumption and recycling, it’s important to know what to look for when shopping for sustainable clothing in 2023. In this article, we will explore the steps you can take to find the best ethical and sustainable clothing to add to your wardrobe when you need to. From conscious consumer buying tips to understanding certifications, you’ll gain a little more knowledge to invest in ethical and sustainable fashion pieces that are good for both people and planet.
What is Sustainable Clothing?
- Sustainable clothing is made from natural or recycled materials that have been grown or produced in an environmentally friendly, low impact way. Examples include natural organic cotton and post-consumer waste recycled polyester.
- Sustainable clothing is designed to last longer and be more durable than conventional mass-produced clothing or fast fashion.
- Sustainable clothing is often made from natural fibers like organic cotton, bamboo, or hemp. These are better for the environment than synthetic fibers like polyester or nylon.
- Sustainable clothing is made using eco-friendly methods such as low-impact dyes and energy-efficient production techniques.
- Sustainable clothing is usually more expensive than conventionally manufactured clothing, but can save you money in the long run by lasting longer and requiring less care.
- You can find sustainable clothing at many online retailers and in some brick-and-mortar stores but watch out for brands and retailers that use green washing in their marketing. Look for brands that pay living wages, don’t over produce and have more transparency. Not all brands that promote sustainability and eco-friendly practices are actually responsible in their production and supply chain.
- Keep in mind that the most sustainable clothing are the pieces already in your closet. When you do need to buy new wardrobe additions, do so with intention and necessity in mind.
Different Types of Sustainable Fabrics
There are many types of sustainable fabrics that can be used to make clothing. Some of the most sustainable fabrics include organic cotton, bamboo, wool, and hemp. Each of these fabrics has unique qualities that make it a good choice for sustainable clothing. And since all three are natural and plant-based, they can be broken down over time so their end of life impact is low.
- Organic cotton is grown without the use of harmful pesticides or chemicals. This makes it a safer choice for both the environment, the people working in the cotton fields and the people who wear the clothing made from it.
- Bamboo is a fast-growing, large, woody grass that requires very little water to grow. It is also biodegradable, making it a great choice for sustainable clothing. Bamboo is a natural fiber that is both durable and breathable. It is also hypoallergenic, making it an optimal choice for those with sensitive skin.
- Hemp is yet another natural fiber that is known for its durability. It is also absorbent and breathable, making it an ideal choice for natural fiber activewear.
How to Sustainably Care for Your Clothing
When it comes to caring for your clothing, there are a few things you can do to ensure that they will last longer and have a smaller impact on the environment. Here are a few tips:
- Wash your clothes less often. Washing your clothes less often will not only save water, but it will also save energy and extend the life of your clothes. Only wash your clothes when they are actually dirty and make sure to use cold water. Additionally, hang or air dry them instead of using a laundry dryer.
- Invest in higher-quality items. High-quality, responsibly made pieces may cost more up front, but they will last longer and save you money in the long run. Look for items made from natural materials that are constructed to last.
- Repair and mend when possible. If your clothing starts to show signs of wear and tear, don't throw it away! Try to repair or mend it to extend its life. Use a fabric shaver for pilling, hand stitch rips and tears, and learn the best ways to treat specific stains. Not only will you be keeping them out of landfills, but you’ll also be able to wear your most loved pieces longer.
Why Sustainable Fashion is Important
Sustainable fashion is important for a number of reasons. First, it is important for the environment. Truly sustainable fashion takes into account the entire lifecycle of a garment, from the sourcing of materials to its end-of-life disposal. This means that sustainable fashion considers the environmental impact at each step in the production process and works to minimize that impact.
Second, sustainability and ethics are important to the people who make our clothing. Sustainable fashion brands typically work with Fair Trade-certified factories and pay their workers a living wage. This ensures that the workers who make our clothing are treated fairly and paid fairly for their work.
Finally, sustainable fashion is also important for the consumer. When you buy sustainable fashion, you can be confident that you are buying clothing that was made in an ethical and environmentally responsible way. And, because sustainable fashion brands typically use higher quality materials and construction methods, your clothing will likely last longer, meaning you'll save money and peace of mind.
This is why ethics and sustainability are so important at LOVETRUST. We take every measure to consider the entire lifecycle of a garment – from the sourcing of materials to the working conditions of those who produce it, to the end-of-life disposal of the product. It also means creating clothing that is made to last, so you can wear it for years and years without having to replace it. And finally, it means making sure our prices are fair and accessible. We believe that sustainable clothing can be both affordable and fun. High quality and wearability are important factors when choosing clothing, and we take these into consideration when creating our pieces. Sustainability is at the heart of everything we do, and we think that’s something worth supporting.
With more people becoming aware of the damage done by fast fashion, now is the time to make conscious purchasing decisions that prioritize sustainability and ethical production. By understanding what materials are sustainable and researching where your clothes come from, you can ensure that you are making responsible purchases while also looking stylish!