Did you know that the average American throws away almost 82 pounds of clothing each year? That’s a lot of clothes! You may not realize it, but a lot of energy and resources go into making those clothes. The fashion industry is one of the world’s most polluting industries.
However, there are things we can do to offset our impact, like supporting sustainable fashion brands and educating ourselves about what sustainability really means. Keep reading for more tips on how to fight the fast fashion industry.
What is Fast Fashion?
Fast fashion is a type of clothing manufacturing that focuses on producing trendy, inexpensive clothing quickly in order to keep up with current fashion trends. This often leads to poor-quality garments that fall apart quickly and are typically made from low-cost materials with exploited labor.
According to Greenpeace, fabric production is the world’s second-largest pollution source, emitting the equivalent of 1.2 billion tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere. And that’s just the beginning; it also takes gallons of water and chemicals to produce synthetic fibers like polyester which is used in many different types of clothes.
Avoiding Fast Fashion
We each have an opportunity to take a stand against this unsustainable industry and support sustainable fashion instead. The easiest way to avoid fast fashion is to simply buy less clothing.
This might seem difficult, but it’s actually quite easy once you get used to it. Instead of buying a new outfit for every party or event, try wearing something you already have in your closet. You’d be surprised how many looks you can put together with the clothes you already own. Furthermore, creating new clothes from your old ones or producing new clothes altogether can be excellent ways to expand your wardrobe while staying conscious of your impact.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.
One way to avoid fast fashion is to shop secondhand. You can find great secondhand clothing at thrift stores, consignment shops, and online platforms like eBay and Poshmark. Buying used is not only better for the environment, but it also typically costs less than buying new.
You can also reuse clothing by donating it to a thrift store or giving it to someone who needs it when you no longer want it. Another option is to deconstruct the clothes and reuse the fabric. For example, you could make a quilt out of old clothes or make new clothes from the fabric.
Choose Sustainable Brands
Sustainable fashion brands can be challenging to identify, as not all brands that label themselves as such actually are. Here are a few tips for how to choose sustainable fashion brands:
- Look for companies with a commitment to using sustainable materials and practices throughout their entire supply chain, from sourcing materials to labor, production, and distribution.
- Pay attention to where the brand is based. A company that manufactures its clothes using unexploited labor has a much higher probability of aligning with its sustainable message.
- Check out the brand’s policies on things like fair labor practices and animal testing.
See if the brand has been certified by independent organizations like Fairtrade International or the Global Organic Textile Standard. This will give you further perspective into the legitimacy of a brands claims.
Sustainable fashion is essential for the environment and our economy. By choosing to buy sustainable fashion, we can reduce our environmental impact, support ethical labor practices, and create a demand for more sustainable clothing options.
If you’d like to hear more about sustainable choices for greener living, then be sure to check out our blog! We regularly share information on food, nature, and sustainable living practices.