People are obsessed with their clothes these days. For some, clothes project their personalities and for some, the clothes define their status. We buy clothes for different occasions and places. But we forget that our clothes have a social and environmental impact too. Worldwide, millions of workers are forced to work in inhuman conditions and are trapped and exploited in clothes manufacturing units.
Clothing dyes contain heavy metals and many clothing companies use toxic finishes to make their clothes or fabrics fire-resistant and wrinkle and stain-resistant.
The petroleum-based polyester, which is used by many clothing lines has a high carbon footprint
A toxic chemical soup is used to turn wood pulp into rayon
What Is Sustainable fashion:
In times when the neverending demand for clothes has reached an all-time high, sustainable fashion has come up like a movement that has brought change to fashion products and the fashion system. It is a revolutionary step towards ecological integrity and social justice. Sustainable fashion is not limited to fashion textiles or products only but it also involves the whole fashion system. It deals with dealing with social, cultural, ecological and financial aspects of the fashion world and making clothes and clothes production more environment-friendly.
Some Sustainable Fabrics:
Though not many, but some fabrics are sustainable as they are not biodegradable and organic but can be recycled too. Example of such fabrics are:
Lyocell Fiber or Tencel is not only 100% biodegradable fiber but it is also produced in an environmentally-friendly manner from cellulose.
Organic Cotton Fiber is produced by cotton which is grown without the use of artificial chemicals
Organic Jute, the most affordable natural fabric is recyclable
Organic Hemp Fiber is not only grown without pesticides and with minimal water use but its long roots also prevent erosion.
Organic-Linen Fiber is made from the organically-grown flax plant.
"Soy silk" or "vegetable cashmere" is made from soy protein.
Sasawashi fabric is made from paper and Kumazasa, a plant with natural antibacterial and deodorant effects.
The Other Ways For Sustainable Clothing
Resell or give-away clothes to pass them on. You can easily do that in places like eBay and other consignment stores. The trend of give-away or online freecycle sites is growing now.
Rent high-end fashion clothing and accessories.
Upcycling excess textiles by creating clothes from textile waste.
Upcycling Fashion: creating new outfits out of unwanted items
Recycling textiles and use them to make new garments and accessories.
Apart from the above steps, we should also make it a point to buy clothes according to our needs. We should remember that everything is coming from nature and our unnecessary consumption is leading to an imbalance in the environment.