What is Sustainable Fashion?
The meaning of “Sustainability” is the ability to continue for a longer period of time. Sustainability is acquired with the help of Environment, Economy and Social life.
Thus, Sustainable fashion includes apparel, shoes and accessories that are manufactured and marketed with the use of sustainable resources. Sustainable resources in fashion industry can be using viable natural resources, sufficient economy for the workers as well as farmers and nurturing community to make everyone feel inclusive in the production process. The main aim of Sustainable Fashion is actually to minimize the effects of fast fashion on the environment. This aim is obtained by using natural resources very judiciously; maintaining the optimum use of renewable energy and recycling.
How did it start?
After the Industrial revolution of 20th century, fashion became accessible to even middle class people and it no longer had the tag of ‘luxury’. Since everyone had access to such fashionable garments, the demand grew. With increasing demand, the production of the garments increased and the fabrics used became cheap. People from that generation started showing rebellion against this large scale production of clothing and using toxic chemicals.
In 1960’s the people started protesting against mass use toxic chemicals in the production of these clothes. The 1970’s held a huge fashion revolution by embracing the punk and goth movement, which supported using vintage clothes, unique second-hand clothes and mixing the styles with different garments.
Although 1980’s marked this fashion revolution by the mass protest that was supported from worldwide, to ban animal fur. Sustainable fashion actually marked its movement after the dreadful accident of the collapse of Rana Plaza in Bangladesh of 2013. It was after this that the real face of fast fashion was unveiled to the whole world.
What is the importance of it?
Sustainable fashion holds such huge importance in textile and fashion industry right now because it is Organic, Fair, Natural and Recyclable.
It is organic because the fabric that is used to make the garments is mainly bamboo, wool, cotton and other such renewable fabrics. The production process of these organic materials does not include toxic chemicals or pesticides, thus it does not harm the nature.
One thing that Sustainable fashion has changed is trade system. Sustainable Fashion has made a positive impact on the fashion industry with fair trade.
The trading system now gives equal rights to the farmers and workers, and not only the label. Since most of the fabrics used in Sustainable clothing are renewable, the fabric of the garment is recyclable.
What are the seven forms of Sustainable Fashion?
- The clothes made on demand and customized.
- The production process of clothes is clean and green.
- The clothes are made of high quality fabric and unique designs customized for you.
- It includes fair trade and ethical process.
- One can always repair, redesign and recycle.
- You can always rent or swap your clothes with friends or relatives.
- You can always pick unique clothes at thrift store or flaunt some vintage clothes.
How can we contribute to Sustainable Fashion?
- Research about the brands that produce such sustainable clothes, and buy clothes that can last longer.
- Remake vintage clothes. Try to showcase your fashion sense, by bringing back the lost trends.
- Always remember to choose “quality over quantity”, and buy clothes that can last longer and better.
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Written by: Vaishnavi Nagwekar