Sustainable fashion, also known as “eco fashion,” is part of the growing trend of sustainable design. The idea is to create a product and/or system that can be supported indefinitely considering the environmental and its social impact.
You may be thinking: “It’s just fashion, how big an impact could the fashion industry have on the environment? ”
Well, according to Earth Pledge: “At least 8,000 chemicals are used to turn raw materials into textiles, and 25% of the world’s pesticides are used to grow non-organic cotton. This causes irreversible damage to people and the environment, and still two thirds of a garment’s carbon footprint will occur after it is purchased.” Now, that is just for one step of the production of one of many fabrics used in the fashion industry.
Your clothes may be making you sick.
Have you ever picked up a garment in a store and it just smelled toxic? Guess what, it probably was toxic. In 2012, Greenpeace released a report Toxic Threads: The Big Fashion Stitch-Up as part of Greenpeace’s Detox Campaign. The report presents the link between two harsh facts: textile manufacturing facilities using hazardous chemicals and the presence of those chemicals in the products of those facilities, meaning those chemicals end up in contact with the factory workers, and end up being dumped into rivers near those facilities.
Myriam Fallon, Greenpeace’s Media Officer, stated to Huffington Post: “Many chemicals that are used in the dying and processing of fabrics can become hormone disrupting and even cancer causing when they break down in nature.”
Since the Detox Campaign started in 2011, several companies have made the commitment to change into doing sustainable fashion, considering not only the ecological repercussions of toxic fashion, but also the social impacts their company polices have.
One example is H&M. The company has made several commitments to change into a sustainable way of working, including a fair living wage to all textile workers by 2018.
If you are wondering how to be fashionable in a sustainable way, here you can see 10 sustainable fashion brands, and below is an infographic by Bluegala Fashion Blog that will help you start on the path of becoming a sustainable fashion consumer.