Introduction to Sustainability

The importance of sustainable fashion is overlooked by many because quite frankly, not many people care to know where their clothes are coming from. The demand for clothing today speeds up by the minute, and there aren’t enough people aware of what they wear each day. There are many moving parts in this industry, and each one unfortunately is not ethically valued as much as they should. The way that we as consumers can be the change we need to see is by looking into the brands that we support. Some brands thrive on being current, others thrive on being affordable for what they offer. These very circumstances are the things that catapult our environment further into pollution, waste, and unconsciousness. Today, trends come and go at a rapid rate, and that only discourages these destructive companies from making any changes. One of the simplest ways to slow down the production and destruction of clothes is by valuing your dollar and each piece that it buys. Clothing takes not only a lot of effort, but also water, energy, and natural resources. Therefore it is important to remember that less is more, and that is fine. The ever-changing style trends are only happening because consumers buy into it. When the rate of demand changes, so will the rate of production. Invest in quality, long lasting, transcending pieces when you shop. Take a moment to think about your future self, and decide whether or not you’ll still love the piece that you waited an hour in line for. Growing out of our clothing literally, or in terms of style, is a natural thing. The way we can continue the agenda of sustainability then is to prolong the life of our clothing. There are so many resources today for upcycling, reselling, donations, etc. Goodwill, Thredup, Depop, Poshmark, Tradesy, and local thrift stores are all outlets for extending the life of your clothes, with the opportunity of repayment or a tax deduction. These simple, yet conscious efforts make a great difference in the environmental portion of sustainability. The next step is to be mindful of the materials we are buying. Many fabrics that make up our clothes are synthetic, made of plastics, and made with chemicals. A devastating sixty percent of our clothing contains plastic microfibers which create the commonly used polyester, nylon, and acrylic. The excessive manufacturing of these materials has ultimately led millions of tons of textiles to end up in landfills. Polyester, nylon, and acrylic can take anywhere from 20-200 years to fully break down. Fabrics that are naturally sustainable include organic cotton, organic hemp, organic linen, organic bamboo, TENCEL™ lyocell, and recycled materials. When building your sustainable wardrobe, look for these fabrics, as they are the most attainable. The mission of participating in fashion sustainably is a long one, but it is not impossible. The methods above are only the first steps to ensure that we as consumers are doing our part in keeping the environment clean and safe. Ultimately, the duty is up to fashion brands and manufacturers to make the necessary changes. 

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