Sustainable Fashion 101

The term sustainable fashion has become a huge buzzword, but what does it really mean? And why should it matter to you? Sustainable fashion refers to clothes and accessories that are sourced, manufactured, and distributed in an ethical and environmentally responsible way.

Sustainable fashion considers the entire life cycle of a garment. It aims to reduce waste and climate impact, and ensures fair treatment of workers down the supply chain. While fast fashion has given us the ability to access the latest trends at extremely low prices, the impact on our planet and garment workers has been detrimental. Fortunately, sustainable fashion is on the rise. More consumers around the world are demanding for an ethical and environmentally conscious fashion industry. You too can play a role by supporting brands that are dedicated to using sustainable practices in sourcing, creating, and distributing their products (The Business Research Company, 2020).

How do I find out if a piece of garment is sustainable?

Ask yourself a simple question: what are my clothes made of?

Sustainable fabrics are made from natural or earth-friendly materials and produced with the least impact on the environment.

Here’s a list of sustainable fabrics you can look out for next time you go shopping:

1. Hemp

Hemp is one of the most sustainable fabrics in the world. The hemp plant is extremely resilient, and the spinning process requires no chemicals.

2. Organic cotton

Unlike conventional cotton, organic cotton is grown without harmful pesticides and less water and lasts much longer.

3. Linen

Linen is a natural fabric made from the flax plant. Linen is known for its durability and ability to keep people cool and absorb water.

4. Modal

Modal is extracted from the fiber of a beechwood tree. The fabric is silky smooth and 50% more absorbent than cotton which makes it ideal for activewear.

5. Wool

Wool is renewable, durable and biodegradable. The strength and resilience of the fabric means that it lasts for a long time.

6. Bamboo

Bamboo fabric refers to several different textiles derived from the bamboo plant. Although the manufacturing process is chemically intensive, it’s a step up from polyester and conventional cotton.

7. Cork

Cork fabric, also known as cork leather, is a natural material harvested from the cork oak tree. Cork is perfect for making bags & wallets.

Fabrics to avoid...

These synthetic fabrics are made from plastic fibers which are non-biodegradable and harmful to the planet (Superego, 2018).

· Acrylic

· Elastane

· Nylon

· Polyamide

· Polyester

· Polyurethane

Guest Author: B. Harty - B.A,/Freelancer

The Business Research Company. (2020, October 28). Sustainable Fashion Market Analysis Shows The Market Progress In Attempt To Decrease Pollution In The Global Ethicalfashion Market 2020. GlobeNewswire News Room.

The Dangers of Synthetic Fibers and Fabrics on the Environment. Superego. (2018, February 19).

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