Fashion and Sustainability

Fashion and Sustainability – Why Buy Eco-Friendly Clothing?

Being eco-friendly also includes wearing eco clothing, in this post you will learn why we should relate fashion and sustainability.

In recent years, the sustainable fashion industry has taken off, with brands proudly declaring their dedication to the environment. Vintage stores too have become increasingly popular, as have thrift stores and “pre-loved” online clothing platforms.

While these four branches of eco-friendly clothing all offer more sustainable solutions, there are vast differences between them. For starters, there is a range in price, service, quality and eco-friendly practices.  

That being said, the primary aim of buying eco-friendly clothing is to play a role in reducing the environmental impact of consumerism…

Supporting Sustainability

Sustainable fashion has been crafted from environmentally-friendly materials, meaning that the fabrics were produced without causing much harm to the environment.

In order to be classified as “eco-friendly,” clothing fibers should either be made from recycled waste, or in a way that is sustainable. When the materials used to make clothing are eco-friendly, the item itself can be categorized as green.

That being said, it is always important to keep in mind the carbon emissions from transportation, as imported items lose their eco-friendly title.

There are many natural resources involved in the process of textile manufacturing. These include the resources used to make the fabric, as well as the energy used to produce it.

Factories in modern times are typically machine-operated, meaning that an abundance of electricity is required to make the clothing. For this reason, hand-made clothing is considered more sustainable, even if the item has been made with a sewing machine.

There is also a lot of water involved in the process of making materials, which is another natural resource we cannot live without.

Vintage is in Fashion

Vintage clothing is hand-selected clothing of the finest quality. A lot of vintage items were made to last, during the era before mass-produced fashion. The term “vintage” is rather vague but generally refers to clothing that is between 20 and 100 years old.

Buying vintage is a form of re-using, that prevents the manufacture of excess products. Vintage items are often of good value, providing high-quality fabrics at an affordable rate. These days, there are vintage stores in nearly all major cities, not to mention an array of online stores.

As an added bonus, vintage clothing is on-trend, meaning that you can dress in style at a fraction of the price. Although vintage is generally pricier than thrift or second-hand items, it is still cheaper than the mainstream fashion stores.

Vintage clothing is often focused on branded items, which have gained value over the years, and came back into fashion in the late 2010s.

However, in order to be trending now, the item should have been trending at the time of manufacture. At the end of the day, vintage clothing is beautiful, well-made, and more affordable than mainstream fashion.

Read: Best Eco Friendly Events in the World

Read: What is the Difference between Green and Sustainable?

Saving Money with Thrifting

Fashion and Sustainability

Although thrifting is considered a level below vintage, the practice is highly sustainable. Thrifting involves sifting through crowded second-hand clothing stores, in order to find desired items.

Of course, thrift stores offer a wide range in quality, and so the challenge of thrifting is to find brands or premium fabrics. That being said, thrifting is the best way to save money while caring for the environment at the same time. There are often high-quality, nearly-new items to be found at thrift stores, if only you take the time to look through.

The key to successful thrifting, is to target the stores in well-to-do areas. These stores are often full of branded items, not to mention that many of these have often only been worn once.

The second tip for successful thrifting is to constantly check different stores for new stock. Because thrift stores contain one-of-a-kind items, the stock is constantly in a state of ebb and flow.

For this reason it is a good idea to check your local store weekly, in order to be the first to get your hands on the eco-friendly new stock.  

Benefits to the Environment

Buying eco-friendly clothing benefits the environment in a number of ways. For starters, you can reduce your carbon footprint – given the number of greenhouse gases released by the fashion industry each year.

Another benefit is the preservation of petroleum-based natural resources used to make fabrics. In reality, materials like nylon, polyester and acrylic are made from fossil fuels – an ever-dwindling natural resource.

Additionally, fabrics such as these require considerably more energy during the production phase than recycled or natural materials.

Purchasing eco-friendly clothing is like investing in the health of the planet, a futuristic approach that is worth it’s weight in gold. Recycled or organic fabrics require little to no chemical treatments, as well as less water and energy.

The majority of sustainable fabrics like hemp, linen, and organic cotton are biodegradable. This means that the fabrics will eventually decompose naturally and could theoretically even be composted. These eco-friendly fabrics are beneficial to the planet and an incredibly sustainable alternative.

The Bottom Line

Buying eco-friendly clothing is a fun and sustainable way to maintain a sense of style, whilst caring for the environment. In the case of vintage and thrift clothing, there are amazing deals to be found and massive savings to be made.

Sustainable clothing itself (made from eco-friendly materials) is a little more high-end and could be viewed as an investment. Eco-friendly clothing is made to last, and with enough thought, you can collect a whole new “green” wardrobe.

By focusing on basics like underwear, socks, shoes and jeans; you can buy sustainable items for your every need. Tops, dresses, shirts and more can be found second-hand or vintage. But no matter where you choose to buy your eco-friendly clothing, you can be sure you’re doing the planet a favour.

The connection between fashion and sustainability is imperative and strong related.

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