Photo by Keagan Henman
The fashion industry is one of the biggest industries to threaten the environment. With a fast-changing throw away culture and high levels of production, it’s not hard to see why. The figures are astounding!! Clothing alone, for example, accounts for 3% of all CO2 in the earth’s atmosphere. But, with increased demand for more sustainable fashion things are slowly changing for the better.
In fact, here are the top five ways that fashion is becoming more sustainable:
1. More sustainable material is being used
Recognizing the shift in public opinion, more and more companies are now using sustainable materials to make their clothing.
One example is ‘Better Cotton’, which is a more sustainable alternative to ordinary cotton due to its strict water management. They also maintain stringent ethical standards in their production farms.
2. Designing for the future, not just right now
One of the big problems with the fashion industry is that most clothing is designed to look good right now. But in a few months… It’s old, outdated and no longer worn.
Some companies are fighting back on this, creating clothing that is designed to last and be loved for years, not weeks. There are now more personalized options, for example, with companies such as Nike or Converse allowing you to ‘build’ your own shoe.
Although a little pricey, these contributions show that customers are willing to buy something that they will truly cherish and keep for longer.
3. A fight for more ethical working conditions
When fashion companies want to cut costs, they outsource their production processes overseas. But a lot of the time, these workers are treated inhumanely and severely overworked for little or even no pay.
Luckily, there are several companies out there, including Clean Clothes Campaign, who are working to help ensure that these people have access to their basic human rights and are paid a fair and living wage.
4. Recycling is increasing
Due to increased awareness, the amount of clothing that’s thrown away in landfills is decreasing year by year. Instead, people are recycling their clothing at local recycling centers, or donating them to charities or clothing banks. This gives a chance for pre-loved clothing to get a second home or be made into something new rather than going to waste.
This is particularly true of the younger generation, who are also making use of technology to rehome their clothing through apps like Depop or Thredup.
5. Brands are willing to make a change
Many big brands are coming forward and announcing their own plans to ensure their fashion is more sustainable. Take H&M for instance, who announced in April 2017 that they will become 100% circular by 2030, meaning that they will only use recycled or other sustainably-sourced materials for their clothing.
That’s a big achievement – and shows that brands are willing to make a change for a better future. You can support efforts such as these by making sure you shop sustainably (and ethically) where possible.