Sustainable clothing or low-waste clothing or ethical clothing and organic clothing are the terms that are often used to describe what people are looking for when they want to shop responsibly for their clothing items. There are a lot of reasons to opt for sustainable clothing brands. Sustainable clothing brands are the best option to avoid and overcome common fashion industry issues such as:
- Production Pollution and Resource Waste – you should opt for fabrics derived from crops that require minimum pesticide use, water use, energy, etc.
- Material Waste – you should minimize post-production excess fabric waste and choose materials that are biodegradable (e.g. organic cotton, hemp, or linen)
- High Turnover Production Lifecycle – always focus on slower production cycles and high-quality materials that are made to last for much longer than just one season
- Fair and safe working conditions – opt for the brands keeping in mind fair wages, safe working conditions, no child labor
WHY CHOOSE SUSTAINABLE CLOTHING OPTIONS?
This thing is very true that what we wear is a representation of what we want to showcase about ourselves to the world. What better way to make a positive statement by choosing to wear brands that stress fair working wages, safe working conditions for the labor, responsible material sourcing, and produce elements of charitable giving into their business models?
WHAT ARE THE MOST SUSTAINABLE CLOTHING FABRICS?
According to One Green Planet, people should focus on shopping for clothing material made from the following sustainable fabric options:
Pre-Used – The most sustainable and easiest option for clothing is pre-used or second-hand. Any production of new clothing items is going to have a negative environmental impact. So if you are positively looking to reduce your carbon footprint, check your local thrift shops first. Check out the tips on the internet for shopping thrift clothing if you’re not experienced with second-hand shopping!
Organic Cotton – Organic cotton is an important exception as conventionally grown cotton crops are heavily sprayed with chemicals. In a Refinery 29 interview with Dr. Ed Barnes of Cotton Inc., he was quoted stating that conventional cotton farming consumes about 6% of the world’s pesticides while some other sources state as much as 16%. Concerns resulting from these methods include dangerous levels of pesticide chemicals penetrating into fabrics as well as the health of the cotton farmers and field workers regularly interacting with pesticide chemicals.
Hemp – It is a plant-based fabric that requires similar water and energy resources just like organic cotton.
Silk – If silk is produced responsibly, silk can result to be a very low-waste fabric. With that said, the same chemicals can be incorporated in the cleaning and degumming of silkworm cocoons as well as in the bleaching and dyeing processes. So it is suggested to choose your silks very carefully!
Linen – This is a plant-based fabric made up of flax and when un-dyed, is one of the most biodegradable fabrics present. The only disadvantage to linen fabric is its production cost. Because of the very laborious process needed to spin linen fabrics, linen has become an expensive fabric.