Defining Sustainable Fashion:
Updated: Dec 5, 2022
6 reasons why sustainable fashion is important
We’ve all heard the phrase “sustainable fashion,” but what exactly does it mean? Why is it important? Broadly speaking, the sustainable fashion movement aims to improve the environmental and social impacts of the fashion industry.
On the production side, this can range everywhere from improving supply chain processes and factory working conditions to transforming material sourcing and fabric recycling. On the consumer side, it includes the conscious choice to buy less, but better quality clothing—aka, mindful consumption.
If you’re still curious about what sustainable fashion is and its importance, continue reading to learn 6 reasons why sustainable fashion is important.
#1: The fashion industry is one of the most polluting industries in the world.
According to research released by Bloomberg earlier this year, the U.S. alone creates “up to 11.3 million tons of textile waste each year—around 2,150 pieces of clothing each second.”
#2: Starting a sustainable fashion journey means completely cutting out fast fashion brands.
An article in Columbia Climate School's “Sustainable Living” series explains global fashion is estimated to consume 93 billion metric tons of clean water each year. To put this into context, this amount is nearly half of the water amount Americans drink annually. Similarly, the fabric dyeing process often uses toxic chemicals and is consequently responsible for 17 to 20 percent of global industrial water pollution.
#3: The waste created by fast fashion is accelerating climate change
A MacArthur Foundation study revealed that the fashion industry produces 1.2 million metric tons of CO2 each year. Polyester, a plastic made from fossil fuels used for about 65 percent of all clothing, consumes 70 million barrels of oil each year.
#4: Sustainable fashion is ethical fashion
While these terms technically have unique definitions, they work in a complementary manner. One of the key reasons sustainable clothing tends to have higher price tags is because of the implementation of better factory conditions and wages for garment workers.
#5: Sustainable fashion is designed to last
Sustainable fashion is made from sustainably sourced and/or organic materials like organic linen or recycled from pre-existing materials. It's also constructed better than fast fashion pieces which mean not only will the sizing be more accurate but it will also be more durable than fast fashion. As a result, you'll be able to wear your clothes longer before they need replacing.
#6: Sustainable fashion means better consumption choices
Sustainable fashion is the conscious choice to buy less but better quality clothing and accessories. The goal of sustainable consumerism is to reduce waste by buying fewer items but ones that last longer than usual or are made from recycled materials rather than new materials.
To sum it up: sustainable fashion is a movement that's taking off in a big way!
In addition to buying less and making clothes from recycled materials, it's about improving our relationship with the environment around us. So whether you're looking to make a difference in your life or just trying out some new eco-friendly practices at home, there's no better time than now to join the sustainable fashion revolution!