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According to The Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) – a charity that works with governments, businesses and communities to improve resource efficiency – approximately £140m worth of clothing goes into landfill each year. But this has largely been ignored when environmental consequences of global warming or degradation are considered until now.
The fashion industry emits more carbon dioxide than international flights and maritime shipping combined. However, with the world facing environmental issues like deforestation, loss of biodiversity, increase pollution, climate change etc disposable 'fast fashion' is now firmly in the spotlight. Yes, it is certainly glamorous from the outside, but it is point blank putting the future of our planet at risk.
Some luxury fashion brands are so focussed on protecting their brand, that heavy discounts are not an option. Instead, many luxury brands still choose to burn unsold items. However, you can choose sustainable luxury fashion and do your bit to reduce the effects on the environment.
Sustainable fashion is considerate of nature, humanity and helping to reduce carbon footprint. The culprit today is fast fashion that has a large carbon footprint.
Sustainable fashion is a movement and process of fostering change to fashion products and the fashion system towards greater ecological integrity and social justice. Using sustainable materials enables environmentally eco-friendly clothing brands to improve the life of clothes so that they last much longer by using natural materials in place of other artificial clothing materials. Choosing natural materials helps to protect the environment in the long run. There are many advantages to choosing sustainable eco-friendly fashion over fast fashion. Here’s how to break the cycle.
When it comes to environmental action, one of the most effective ways people can individually have a positive impact on the planet is to choose fabrics that are sustainable and or eco-friendly clothing. A sustainable luxury fashion brand uses quality products that helps clothes to last longer. The fast-fashion brands only use materials like polyester and nylon that creates more wastage than natural fibres. The focus of sustainable clothing is quality products or quantity. Making clothing that last longer and reducing the need for people to buy more frequently. A shift in consumer spending would result in less demand for fast fashion, thus, cutting down fast fashion manufacturing and consequently reducing waste. Today, Sustainability is a hot topic for the fashion industry, as people are waking up.
The fashion industry is responsible for 10 % of annual global carbon emissions, more than all international flights and maritime shipping combined. At this pace, the fashion industry's greenhouse gas emissions will surge more than 50 % by 2030. The fast fashion products are manufactured using petroleum and fossil fuel-based materials like polyester, acrylic and nylon. These materials use a large amount of natural energy, thus contributing to the depletion of natural resources. On the other hand, sustainable clothing is chiefly made using materials like cotton, hemp, linen etc. that doesn’t use as much water, chemical treatments and consumes much less energy.
It's also worth mentioning that fashion, by definition, is ever changing, whereas to be truly sustainable, you would not buy anything new at all. As such a balance is truly what is needed. Each product you see in Societal's catalog is made on-demand, which means once you place the order, we start working to get it to you. It takes time for us to create and send out the product, but making each order on-demand allows us to avoid overproduction.
Leather is a multi-billion dollar global industry. Demand for leather goods is growing – but so is criticism of its severe environmental impact, which is driving a keen interest in sustainable alternatives. It may be surprising to read that the fashion industry kills to make a living. According to research, about 430 million animals are killed every year in order to manufacture clothes. The leather industry is a popular fashion staple, but the atrocities that happen in the name of fashion cannot be ignored. Leather has the greatest impact on eutrophication, a serious ecological problem in which runoff waste creates an overgrowth of plant life in water systems, which suffocates animals by depleting oxygen levels in the water and is the leading cause of hypoxic zones, also known as “dead zones. If the leather industry keeps manufacturing the same pace every year, more animals will be slaughtered and our environment will suffer. The only ones who really benefit are people who profit from the misery and suffering of others. Thankfully, there are plenty of sustainable vegan leather options to choose from today that mimic the properties of leather without the cruelty to animals or environmental devastation. There are also a selection of recycled products available today made from ocean waste, plant-based material and other recycled materials. If you choose to buy these recycled products, you are contributing to a healthier environment and protecting natural resources as well.
It’s the toxic relationship too many of us can’t quit. An impulse purchase here, a pick-me-up there. A quick scroll, a flirty click, a casual add-to-basket. Who are we hurting? Well, research says that over 17 million children all over the world are involved in the garment manufacturing industry. It will give you nightmares when you see the poor conditions that these children are made to work within. Most of them are vulnerable and below the age of 18 but with no other option, they are made to work in hazardous conditions. It is extremely selfish to see that children are involved in making clothes to meet the industry demands of the world. While we enjoy the ease, speed and abundance, it’s they who are paying the price. On the other hand, most sustainable brands are transparent about their manufacturing techniques and workplace conditions and use ethical methods in the production of products. When you choose to buy sustainable clothing, you are saying no to child labour.
When you buy fast fashion, you are following the advertising norms. But, when you choose sustainable clothing, you are saying yes to the future. You must become well versed with the story behind sustainable brands and choose high-quality clothing over low-quality cheap brands. In the immortal words of Dua Lipa, you need new rules. The #30Wears rule coined by Livia Firth, founder of sustainability consultancy Eco-Age, is a benchmark to help you make savvier choices and give your clothes the lifespan they deserve. Before buying anything, ask: will I wear this at least 30 times? If the answer is no, don’t buy. This way, you can keep the clothes for a longer period of time before discarding them, thus reducing the effects on the natural environment. When you buy less, you save money and help preserve natural resources of the world.
Just like deleting your ex’s number and blocking their Facebook profile, a fast fashion breakup involves admin. So go through your inbox and unsubscribe from all shopping emails. Then, fillet your social media feeds. Unfollow all the influencers whose pastel-hued grids exist to seduce you into buying things, and replace them with slow fashion advocates such as @wearesocietal, @societalstore. Cute baby animal accounts would work, too.