In just a few years’ time, our fashion habits have shifted. Our society, especially millennials, has assigned greater importance to green living and the sustainability movement. It is now commonplace to see consignment stores and sustainable brands reusing fabrics and items. But what is “sustainability”? It means sustaining the environment and recycling resources to maintain an ecological balance.
Consumers understand that healthy eating alone does not equal living a sustainable life—the clothes they wear are part of the lifestyle. Increasingly, consumers are seeking out pure materials in the clothing they buy. One of the main reasons buyers adopt an organic approach is to protect natural resources. Sustainable buyers want to know they are paying for good materials that will not harm the environment. The purchase of sustainable clothing also helps agriculture workers by reusing water and other resources.
Take a close look at fast fashion: The desire to pay less money for more clothing has had a detrimental effect on the fashion industry. Shoppers should educate themselves on the effects of buying clothing that is produced unethically. The majority of clothing sold by faceless, behemoth fast fashion corporations is produced using unethical practices. Monsanto, the world leader in cottonseed sales, is an example of a company that produces synthetic bed sheets and cotton shirts originate. Pimacott, on the other hand, is a farm cotton company that produces organic cotton and pima, a variety of cotton. Pimacott has been working closely with researchers at Applied DNA to integrate DNA into its cotton, thereby identifying a clothing product as organic.
As a consumer, I want to know what I am buying and whether my clothing comes from companies that use ethical practices. Another company that follows ethical practices is Everlane. Their corporate mantra is “transparency, know your factories, know your costs, and always ask why”. Companies understand the need of the customer and the importance of selling products that are not made in a sweatshop.
Responsible manufacturers understand the need to produce sustainable merchandise. A company such as Reformation believes in zero waste and recycles 85% of its materials. In elementary school we learned about recycling and the effects of global warming. Analyzing your closet and items is a good way to start your sustainable lifestyle.