The fashion industry is one of the biggest global polluters and is responsible for 10% of global carbon emissions. At the rate the fast fashion industry is growing, it’s predicted that it will use up an estimated quarter of the world’s carbon budget by 2050. The microfibers produced by washing clothes made with synthetic fibers and chemicals are also largely responsible for polluting the oceans and destroying the world’s coral reefs.
As a consumer this may be overwhelming. What can I do? How can this change?
Sustainable Fashion—An Answer to Minimizing the Impact of Fast Fashion
As the awareness of the environmental impact of fast fashion is increasing, sustainable fashion is moving from a fringe element of the industry to a mainstream fashion essential. Sustainable fashion is the process of making clothing and accessories from organic and recycled materials to reduce the waste of natural resources and combat the growing garment waste issue. Sustainable fashion brands value people and the planet over profits and provide a safer and eco-friendly option from fast fashion.
A Brief History of Sustainable Fashion
While it’s hard to pinpoint the exact origin of the sustainable fashion movement, it goes back around three or four decades when the environmental activism started gaining momentum. During the 1970s and 1980s, fast fashion rose in popularity as major fashion brands, in the pursuit of shareholder profits, needed to increase demand. This has been heightened in recent decades in the face of rapid globalization and the popularity of trend-driven clothing that can quickly mimic high fashion offerings at a much lower price point - with less quality.
The first use of the word ‘sustainable’ can be credited to the United Nations report in 1987 in response to the rapid depletion of natural resources.
By the early 2000s, some popular brands started offering sustainable options, and in the mid-2010s sustainable fashion started becoming mainstream. Many celebrities, such as Emma Watson, have started adopting and endorsing sustainable fashion to reduce the carbon footprint of the fast fashion industry. But these offerings have traditionally been expensive.
Characteristics of Sustainable Fashion Products
Certain characteristics set apart sustainable clothing from fast fashion and make it easier to identify sustainably produced clothing and accessories. Here are some of the key characteristics of sustainable fashion brands and designers:
- Clothing and accessories are made from natural, organic, and biodegradable fabrics.
- Products are made with repurposed or recycled clothing and materials.
- Fabrics are dyed using non-synthetic chemicals or non-toxic dyes.
- Plastic-free packaging.
- Limited collection and timeless pieces.
- Clothing and accessories produced using zero-waste pattern cutting methods.
- Clothing and accessories made using traditional techniques and local craftsmen.
- Cruelty-free fashions.
- Clothes produced by labor getting fair pay and good working conditions.
Save the Planet — Shop Sustainable Fashion!
Equal Hands is one of the leading ecologically sustainable lifestyle brand that offer unique and distinctive style clothing and accessories made with sustainable and eco-friendly materials. Many of the apparel items are recycled or upcycled. Others are handmade by artisans around the world using age old techniques that do not harm the environment. Equal Hands also believes in promoting social sustainability and have a charitable give back component with every purchase.
Take a step toward a more eco-conscious lifestyle today by shopping ethical clothing brands at Equal Hands!