3 Things You Can Do Today To Be More Smart-Fashion Forward
Fashion, and how we choose the clothes we wear, has always been in part up to what designers tell us is trendy. For centuries, women made their own garments and sewed their own clothes, but with the rise in industrialization, so too became the phenomenon known as fast fashion. Fast fashion is the mass production of clothing that often mimics designer styles (even before they have a chance to reach the market) and is destroying our environment. This clothing, in comparison to sustainable fashion, uses materials that are lower in quality and therefore don’t last as long - meaning they end up in the landfills much more quickly. Thankfully, over the past handful of years, fashion itself has become a symbol of the entire creation process - and for many, if it’s not sustainably made, we don’t want it.
Sustainable fashion is the incorporation of social (ethically made, a fair wage for the workers) and environmental (organic, plant-based, and custom made) responsibility while still providing the quality of clothing that consumers expect. Having a true environmental impact means providing sustainability that fosters this responsibility throughout the entire supply chain.
Unfortunately, it’s almost impossible for us to be 100% sustainable in our clothing, especially when we factor in the use of sulfate-filled laundry soap, water, and other environmentally hazardous materials. We can, however, make more informed decisions about the clothes we wear.
Here are three things you can do today to be more smart-fashion forward:
Check the tags.
Fabrics that are not grown naturally such as rayon, polyester, and nylon are actually made from chemicals and polymers. These products may be cheap and wrinkle-free, but they’re actually horrible for the environment. Look for organic, natural materials as well as innovative materials like washable paper, Pinatex, Cork, seacell, and mycoworks (mushroom skin).
By checking the tags before you buy, you can begin to develop a mindset that prefers natural products over cheap synthetics. Every polyester tank top you’ve worn three times and tossed in the garbage, they’re still sitting there in a landfill and will still be there even when your grandkids have passed on.
Try shopping at big brands less often.
Big brands (we won’t name them but you know who they are) who frequent malls and large parking lots often have mass piles of clothing developed through cost-effective outsourcing countries. This fast fashion is constantly duplicated and every girl in your college had the exact same pair of jeans. Shopping through sustainable channels, such as concept stores (that promote sustainable, ethical, eco fashion) and small businesses - or even vintage/thrift - can save a few penguins while ensuring you stand out from the crowd.
Ask the big questions.
Asking questions such as whether an item was ethically made can start building awareness about the issue. Seeing proof that a product is Fairtrade is the best indication, however, many smaller brands cannot afford certifications. If no one can answer your questions, check their website to find out the production process or consider going elsewhere to buy that sweater.
Just because a tag says a product is sustainable, doesn’t make it a binding contract. Your buying habits can make a direct impact on the world and other consumer habits. Ask retail clerks how their textiles are manufactured and if they’re committed to sustainability. If they claim to be “transparent,” get them to prove it.
Interested in learning more about slow fashion or to learn more about how our products are made, reach out for conversation today.