What Is Sustainable Fashion?
What is Sustainable Fashion?
From consumption to disposal, the clothing and garments you buy influence more than just your style but the environment.
‘Green Strategy’ says sustainable fashion "clothing, shoes, and accessories that are manufactured, marketed and used in the most sustainable manner possible, taking into account both environmental and socio-economic aspects."
With America making a stand towards establishing a larger green foot-print to promote a healthier environment, it is important that designers and consumers follow-suit. The world is suffering at the expense of our buying and spending habits.
Consumers and designers alike are being asked to reframe from old approaches to buying and disposing of clothing to concentrate on implementing a frame of the belief that is more conscious and creative.
[ Brands & Shops ]
After reading Daniel C Etsy and Andrew S Winstons book Green to Gold (Wiley,2009) we learn that the brand has "5 C’s" it needs to achieve that go beyond the scale of reduce, reuse, and recycle. Green to Gold teaches us our brands should be [ Competitive, Consumer conscious, Confident in their core beliefs, Conversational, & Credible ]
1 | Competitive: Our brands should strive to be innovative, and constantly thinking up new sustainability strategies. Putting quality first, our brands shouldn’t be afraid to make and marketing green products without charging premiums.
2 | Consumer Conscious: Our brands should be able to take into account the needs, the wants, and concerns of the consumer. Similar to how Instagram quickly repealed it’s new ‘tap’ feed interface due to the options and voices of the users, we too can create the standards for what is produced.
3 | A Confident Core: Our brands should remain confident that their ‘green practices’ coincide with their business strategy. This means if they sell us shirts, then they should be looking to give us the same quality as eco-friendly manufacturing.
4 | Conversational: We should aim to hold a transparent relationship with the brands we shop with. This means that our brands should be willing to disclose how their clothes are made and with what they were made. This level of transparency gives rise to trust between the shop and the consumer.
5 | Credible: Taking into account that trust is what brings a customer coming back, it is best that our brands practice what they preach. We can only hope that brands are remaining honest with us and their initiatives.
[ The Consumer ]
Consumers we share half the battle in this war of sustainable fashion. We are the foot on the gas pedal that drives design and steers how businesses manufacture products.
Although shopping is inevitable, and at the moment all the items we love may not be 'eco-friendly’, that’s ok as long as you limit how often you do. Let’s try to aim for these 5 tips when shopping for garments and clothing.
1 | Buy it, if you Love it: If you grab an item and you can only see yourself wearing it once, then don’t by it. I like to think that if I can’t get at least 5 wears out of an item, then I don’t love it enough to buy it.
2 | Shop Quality: Sustainability doesn’t mean buying cheap but quality. If the items you buy are of great textures such as cotton, silk, or wool, you will see a difference in its longevity.
[ Also, I know when my clothes are of better quality, I tend to take better care of them ]
3 | Shop Vintage: Thrifting is a great way to score great statement pieces for a great price. It’s also a way to donate back to the community and combat Americas greater issue of overconsumption in the process
4 | Repair, Redesign, and Style: When you love your products, you will take better care of them. Therefore, when your favorite tee shirt rips, rather than throwing it away, find a new way to style it or stitch it up to lengthen its lifespan. The end is never the end…until it is truly the end.
5 | Speak up: If you haven’t realized, our current generation has been able to make mountains move when we come together to tackle an issue. therefore it also a duty to care that our clothes are being made in healthy environments and with non-harmful materials and substances.
Get in your Bag with this Vocab : Sustainable Terms
Conscious – usually used with consumerism where conscious consumerism is a movement of people who seek out ways to make positive decisions about what to buy and look for a solution to the negative impact consumerism is having on our world.
Fast fashion – a term used for fashionable and trendy clothing that is designed and manufactured quickly and inexpensively. Retailers such as H&M, Zara and Forever 21 are well known as fast fashion brands.
Sustainable fashion – Sustainable fashion, also called eco fashion, is a part of the growing design philosophy and trend of sustainability, the goal of which is to create a system which can be supported indefinitely in terms of human impact on the environment and social responsibility
Slow fashion – Slow Fashion is the movement of designing, creating, and buying garments for quality and longevity. It encourages slower production schedules, fair wages, lower carbon footprints, and (ideally) zero waste. – Study NY
Fashion revolution – a global movement that believes in a fashion industry that values people, the environment, creativity and profit in equal measure. Read more
Eco friendly – not harmful to the environment; refers to products that contribute to “green” living or practices that help conserve resources like water and energy. Eco-friendly products also prevent contributions to air, water and land pollution.
Grab More Eco - Friendly Vocabulary from sustainable fashion blogger Shae Burns!