Nowadays, it is easier to get your hands on fashion and clothing than at any other time. You can shop from the comfort of your home without physically visiting a shop. However, with the growing number of people who are more conscious about their environment, sustainable fashion is slowly becoming the norm. Sustainable fashion is a fashion that is specialized in using sustainable materials to create fashion.
Fashion is big business. In 2015, the clothing, footwear, and accessories industry generated 2,660 billion U.S. dollars in sales. However, this figure is predicted to rise to 3,400 billion U.S. dollars by 2020. This predicted growth is driven by changes in fashion. Cutting-edge technology has enabled designers to achieve previously impossible feats, resulting in fabrics with unusual textures and qualities.
When it comes to fashion, many people continue to purchase clothing, shoes, and accessories that end up in a landfill. As consumers, it’s important to remember that our buying choices are having a massive impact on the environment. Did you know that the fashion industry uses more resources than the entire transportation sector combined? And, in the fight to reduce pollution, clothing is by far the biggest culprit.
Unfortunately, many popular fashion items come from places that are not environmentally or socially sustainable, often at the expense of the people who make them. Finding clothing that is affordable, high quality, and sustainably made is not always easy, but the good news is that consumers can make a choice to support ethical fashion companies.
We all want to look good, but at what cost? While there are many aspects of our lives that impact our health, our choice of clothing is only one of them. However, clothing also has far-reaching effects, from polluting our oceans and rivers to hurting the workers that make our clothes to the high energy consumption needed to make synthetic materials in the first place. The good news is that the fashion world is shifting its focus towards sustainability. By 2020, it is predicted that 80% of clothing will be made from sustainable materials. And the industry is already making great strides towards this goal.
Sustainable fashion is beginning to take the fashion world by storm. As consumers, we can no longer ignore the impacts of our purchases, and the industry has begun to make changes. Retailers like H&M and Everlane have started to incorporate environmentally friendly production methods like using organic cotton and recycled materials. We’ve also seen a rise in small, independent fashion designers who are committed to using organic, sustainable materials in their designs. As consumers, we can make a positive impact by purchasing from sustainable brands, but we can also change our own habits to make sustainable living easier—like choosing items in neutral colors, which can be recycled for other uses.
2018 was a huge year for sustainable fashion. From major fashion players making headlines with innovative eco-friendly initiatives to consumer movements like #fashionrevolution encouraging better practices that address the exploitation of workers to more sustainable materials being released on the market, and sustainable fashion is no longer a niche interest. With consumer demand and awareness on the rise, sustainable fashion is becoming the norm, not the exception.
Sustainability has been in fashion for some time now. From conscious efforts at reducing the use of packaging to eco-friendly cotton and wool, designers are finding ways to support efforts that are good for people, the planet, and fashion. But as a population, we are becoming more conscious of the environmental impacts of our clothing choices. As a result, designers, retailers, and consumers are turning away from fast fashion in favor of more sustainable options—and this won’t change anytime soon.