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Sustainable fashion is making waves as more and more people are waking up to the true cost of fast fashion. Fast fashion has a huge environmental impact. From water pollution, toxic chemicals and enormous amounts of waste sent to landfills, it’s time we all take a stand.
After watching documentaries like “The True Cost“, it really opens your eyes to whats really going on and exposes the truths about the fast fashion industry.
I personally believe corporate greed has created a society of hyper consumerism, where we are influenced into consuming without thought. This mindset and attitude has created poor systems and business models that greatly effect the sustainability of the planet.
If the terms fast fashion, ethical fashion and sustainable fashion are new to you, please check out our other post, What is Ethical Fashion and why should we care?
Fast Fashion Industry’s Impact on the Planet
Although the stats on the environmental impacts for the fast fashion industry is not clear, more research is required to determine the extent of the damage on the planet.
Fast fashion industry has been stated here as the 2nd biggest polluter in the world, next to big oil as mentioned by Eileen Fisher, a clothing industry magnate.
Textiles such as cotton, which is used in nearly 40% of our clothing uses a lot of water, consumes 10% of all farming chemicals and 25% of pesticides. Organic cotton is a much more sustainable alternative, which a lot of sustainable fashion labels have introduced to the industry. Through still needs a lot of water, more research is being undertaken to discover better processes to conserve water.
Clothing dyes are killing rivers and water systems in countries where textile factories operate. For example, the Citarum river is considered one of the most polluted rivers in the world due the pollution created by industry. The wasterwater, often untreated in poor countries, enters nearby rivers, moving into the sea and eventually spreading into the world ocean.
The other thing is most clothing is made in one part of the world and shipped around the globe, meaning cargo ships add to the pollution.
It has been noted in an article on the ABC’s war on waste than 6000 kg of clothing is dumped in landfill every 10 minutes.
That’s just crazy, at that rate that we are going, if we all don’t pitch in to do something about it. we’ll be sitting on a landfill
How to Help by Supporting Sustainable Fashion Labels
Do Your Research
First thing you need to do your research to find out the best ethical fashion brands for you. The best place to start here in Australia is by heading over to https://baptistworldaid.org.au/resources/2017-ethical-fashion-guide/ and download the 2017 Ethical Fashion Guide. This is handy guide to help you get familiar with sustainable fashion labels, with each label having a rating from A+ to D-.
Another good resource is downloading the app, Good on you, which can be downloaded here. This app helps you ratings on all your trusted sustainable fashion brands in the palm of your hands.
What you’ll notice more these days, is local clothing stores pop up that sell sustainable fashion labels. Get to know the shops and brands. You can be certain that shopping local will be sure to help the planet but also the buck stops here.
When it comes to recycling clothing, instead of throwing it out, up cycle, meaning re purposing into something else practical and useful.
If you can’t recycling/upcycle, your best bet is to donate it your favourite charity.
Some charities sell unsaleable clothing to companies that recycle textiles into industrial rags and other byproducts — find one in your area. Several fashion brands also offer clothes recycling services, including H&M, Patagonia and Nike
Stop buying unethical fashion labels and boycott fast fashion
Last thing is stop buying unethical fashion labels or retail outlets that don’t give a shit. Boycott fast fashion.
Look, I know what you’re thinking, I get asked all the time, “how can 1 person can’t save the world?”. Maybe one person can’t make a difference but if more and more people start buying sustainable fashion brands then, together we can help the planet and make a difference.
If you still think you can’t make a difference and help the planet, then let em leave you with a profound quote by the great Dai Lai Lama.
“If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito”
For more info, check out some other resources to help you make an informed decision and help the planet by buying sustainable fashion labels,