Sustainable Fashion: 3 Tips to Ethical Wardrobe Unstitched
What is ethical fashion? In a nutshell, it is fashion that aims to reduce negative impacts on communities of people and the environment. The awareness of being a responsible fashion enthusiast is not something that comes naturally. Some might even consider it a privilege or luxury because ethical fashion does come with a higher price. But the big question is - is ethical fashion really worth the price? Short answer, of course it is. Keep on reading to find out how you can contribute to sustainable fashion and the reason behind each method we’ve listed:
1. Be Selective with Your Choices of Brands
“As consumers, we have so much power to change the world
by just being careful in what we buy.”
– Emma Watson
This is probably the toughest one when we talk about ethical fashion. Believe it or not, big names in the fashion industry mostly employ the fast fashion practice - mass producing recent catwalk trends at low cost only for them to be discarded by consumers as soon as the trends end. And this eventually results in mountains of waste that create a byproduct of massive amounts of microplastics when sent to the landfill. Where did the microplastics come from, you wonder? It’s all thanks to synthetic fibers used by fast fashion companies in producing their fashion accessories.
So, what you can do to stop this from happening is to purchase from ethical brands that support sustainability such as your local handmade stores or even the more established brands such as Levi’s and Pact, to name a few. These eco-friendly brands emphasize longevity and comfort by being very particular with the types of materials used in their cloth-making processes. Most of them roll with natural fibers that are proven a much better choice for the planet.
2. Will You Wear it More than Once?
“Buy less. Choose well. Make it last.”
– Vivienne Westwood
You might not want to hear this but you should only consider buying things that you’ll still be able to wear/use for years to come and not just something you’ll put on for a single occasion in your lifetime (unless it’s your wedding dress, of course). Also, consider the quality of your desired accessories/fashion wear. Make sure it is made of durable and eco-friendly materials that will definitely last long through the endless cycles of washing and drying. Strong stitching, durable zippers and buttons are among a few aspects you should pay attention to aside from the types of fabrics used.
If you settle for fast fashion, you will end up having to throw away your garments sooner than planned, and as a result, you are already on the hunt for your next non-sustainable clothing/accessories. And this, my fellow fashion enthusiasts, is what the fast fashion industry wants - to keep you buying more in a short bout.
3. There is more to the Price
“Demand quality, not just in the products you buy, but in the life of the person who made it.”
– Orsola de Castro
If you’re new to sustainable fashion, it might surprise you how the price of sustainable wear is higher than that of the usual $15 clothes you’d get from the nearby mall downtown. And this difference in price is justified. Sustainable fashion takes into account the high quality manufacturing and fair worker wages throughout the production line. Therefore, everyone gets their fair share of reward, from cotton picking to delivery. If you opt for the cheaper non-sustainable ones, chances are the amount you pay goes straight into the brand’s bank account, where it is enjoyed by the top level management and little to none for the designers, tailors, and all blue-collared employees. On top of that, the materials and processes used in creating the products leave a much smaller carbon footprint.
Hence, if you do have an extra penny in your pocket, do make the choice of sustainability. Bear in mind that if a branded fashion product is selling at an unexpectedly low cost, someone out there actually pays the price, either with their blood and sweat, or even worse, their life.