Sustainable Fashion – What is it and Why Does It Matter?

The current state of Fashion is typically dominated by “fast fashion” which refers to clothing that is designed to be consumed quickly at cheap prices.  Fast fashion clothing is often only worn a few times and discarded for the newest trend.

Fast Fashion is harmful and the fast fashion industry is far from sustainable. It is known to exploit workers around the world, results in an overwhelming amount of waste and depletes the Earth’s natural resources. Think of seasonal clothing collections where they may introduce a few new collections in a single month and then they quickly fizzle out.

Sustainable fashion is a long term approach to clothing that is designed, manufactured, distributed, and used in ways that are ethically made and environmentally friendly. The goal is for the fashion industry to work toward reducing its environmental impact. Creating clothing you can feel good about!

Giving up fast fashion does not mean you have to give up buying clothes, it simply means being a more informed buyer and making better choices.  We all want to look and feel great in our clothing and that is absolutely possible with Sustainable Fashion!

But how do you know if a brand or piece of clothing is considered sustainable fashion?

The first thing to do is check the label. Sustainable clothing is typically vintage, upcycled, recycled, or made from renewable materials like hemp, linen, tencel, organic cotton (different from ‘normal’ cotton) or silk. When it comes to the dyes used, it’s harder to determine the origins of dyes used, however you can look for brands that state their dyes are natural.

Next, consider where the clothing is made. The further away the clothing travels the more pollutants emitted. Many overseas companies turn a blind eye to environmental regulations to help keep their prices low. Plus, in certain countries we know that many are not being paid a fair wage and some resort to child labor.

There are other things to consider regarding sustainable fashion, but this gives you a good starting point. If you want to learn more I encourage you to do some more research. Sustainability doesn’t mean you have to give up buying fun new outfits, it’s about making more thoughtful choices.