In the modern era where climatic change has begun it’s retribution against the inhuman brutality that we have been constantly throwing at the environment for decades now. From smog in capital Delhi to cyclone Yaas and Tauktae hitting major cities like Kolkata and Mumbai respectively, mother nature has taken a deep sigh and marked a warning sign to the entire human race. It’s time that we stop the abuse once and for all.
According to a report by The Quantis International, it is found that the three main drivers of the industry’s global pollution impacts are dyeing and finishing (36%), yarn preparation (28%) and fiber production (15%). The report also established that fiber production has the largest impact on freshwater as the sewage are toxic and cannot be treated completely.
The manufactures emit greenhouse gases to the air and produce harmful sewage in abundance which results in the depletion of non-renewable sources.Eco-conscious fashion is the wave of the future and to make that possible, designers have come up with revolutionary ideas of collaborating ethics with aesthetics. Quoting Emma Watson, “As consumers, we have so much power to change the world by just being careful in what we buy.”
In modern times, most of the fashion brands have used Sustainability as Corporate social responsibility drive which might bring them into the light of somewhat “in-ward looking” however, the efforts are aknowledgeable. Fast Fashion brands like – Zara, H&M, Asos, Mango as well have taken initiatives towards sustainably by growing their Eco-conscious collections.
Bringing in the Green wave is not the responsibility of only the fashion brands, even the buyers should be aware of the depletion of the environment caused by fast fashion clothing. There have been times when animal skin and furs were considered as class detection assets which brings out different sets of problems of the society all together. Nonetheless, the changes are revers-able and here are few steps that can be taken to make the world are greener place.
1) Choose Eco-friendly Brands : Be a conscious consumer and an ethical buyer when it comes to fashion. Choose brands that promote sustainability and produce eco-friendly clothing line. A sustainable brand runs the entire business in an eco-friendly way, from sending and receiving goods and the materials, processes involved in your production and packaging of the products; everything is environment friendly.
2) Recycle and Reuse :
Recycling of textile and clothes is a potentially beneficial activity from environmental, social and economic points of view, as opposed to landfill or being used for energy. Recycling of clothes is highly beneficial to the environment since the process results in decrease of the use of virgin fibers, reduction in the consumption of energy and water, controls pollution and lessens the demand for dyes.
Some brands have introduced recycling schemes, repair services, or they encourage customers to up cycle their products, or give them to someone who likes to sew. We all want our garments to last but when it’s torn or losses it charm, one should be a responsible consumer and consider decomposing.
Another than that, on an personal level, when a clothing materials is no more top of the line, instead of discarding it, one can redesign it or style it in a trendy way.
3) Quality over Quantity :
“Buy less. Choose well. Make it last.”
High quality clothes of garment is as important as it’s fit, style and brand but is generally ignored by the customers. Instead of purchasing a lustrous clothing, one should invest in fabric that is more durable. High quality clothing are definitely costly but last longer, makes for a more enjoyable experience and are eco-friendly. Purchase fewer and more durable clothes and use them longer.
4) Normalize Second Hand Purchase :
Research by WRAP found that by extending the average life of clothes by just three months per item, from 2 years and 2 months to 2 years and 5 months, would lead to a 5–10% reduction in each of the carbon, water and waste footprints. It keeps clothes out of landfill, and prevents the production of new clothing items.
“Re-use and recycling offer some carbon savings because the lifetime of clothing that is re-used or recycled is extended. Where this displaces a sale of a new garment,10 the effects on the environment from fibre extraction and processing are avoided.” — WRAP report
Shopping from vintage and charity shops offer second-hand clothing is not only incredibly sustainable but can also be very affordable. Buying secondhand means one will be keeping plastic out of landfills and positively contributing to the decrease in worldwide textile demand and subsequent waste.
5) Say Goodbye to Fast Fashion/ Welcome Slow Fashion :
Slow fashion allocates the manufacturing of clothing in respect to people, animal and environment that we live in. It’s an awareness approach to fashion which empowers the consumers with a feeling of fulfillment by making more conscious choices.Fast fashion in contrast is cheap, procured in mass and degrades the environment at a rapid speed.
The fashion revolution demands the consumers to switch to slow fashion for the sake of well-being and comfort for all, in the bigger picture.
6) Support and Encourage Local Businesses :
Local clothing are far more environmentally friendly than the ones made in factory in abundance. Cotton woven clothes made in small-scale industries and local hand-loom stores lower carbon footprint. Apart from serving the ecological system, supporting local business can boost the economy which in needed in a developing country like India.
7) Organic Cotton Fabric : Organic cotton has less amount of pesticides. It’s better for the land that it grows it and is also healthier for the one’s who grow it. Organic cotton is not dyed and treated with toxic chemicals, hence it is skin friendly.
8) Go Green :
Choose eco-friendly fabrics like bamboo, hemp and organic denim. Organic clothing is not only safe for skin but also is not harsh to the nature.
Flip the tags, choose wisely before investing.
Anne Lappe said, “Every time you spend money, you’re casting a vote for the kind of world you want.” It’s time to make the right choice.
9) Vegan Fashion :
The use of animals furs, leather and exotic animal skins for clothes and fashion accessories had been a tragic trend over years. However, in the modern era, designer from all over the world are stepping forward to make a market which avoids cruelty and is animal free. Vegan clothes are committed to reducing the negative impacts on the wowhilst still wanting to bring style fit for the fashion world.
As a buyer one must avoid non vegan purchase as it encourages multi faced environmental issues.
10) Rent, Lease and Swap :
As fast fashion continues to dominate the market, retailers like Zara and H&M might as well adopt the slogan, “why wait for runway luxury, when you can have it in a month at a significant fraction of the cost.”
Renting, leasing and swapping at the most pocket friendly as well as effective ways to go sustainable when it comes to fashion. Renting and swapping also satisfies the desires of having a wardrobe full of outfits for every occasion and it is considered as an antidote to fast fashion. One does not need to worry about the hygiene of the clothes since they are dry cleaned and well sanitized.
The fact that fashion industry has a negative impact on our environment in particular and the ecological balance as a whole is not unknown. Sustainable fashion runs with an aim of reduction of death, destruction and pollution hence it should be held in higher regards for the longest of times for greater ecological integrity and social balance in the society.