While the resources used to cater to fast fashion leave behind toxic waste, the sorry working conditions of the garment factories are a different story altogether! Clearly then, we the fashion forward millennial generation needs to take charge of the situation and do something. We can do our bit for the environment by revisiting our sartorial needs with a conscious mind.
Here is a simple 5-step plan to adapt sustainable fashion so everyone can continue their sartorial journeys with a clean conscience.
- Step 1: Opt for natural materials vs synthetic fabrics
- Step 2: Buy smart and invest in timeless pieces
- Step 3: Check the label
- Step 4: Support artisans and shop handmade crafts
- Step 5: Recycle
Step 1: Opt for natural materials vs synthetic fabrics
Steer clear of synthetic fabrics that need to be manufactured in the industries as their manufacturing process negatively impacts the environment.
Manufacturing synthetic fabrics like polyester, nylon, rayon, acrylic et al costs the earth massive quantities of natural resources like petroleum and fossil fuels. These synthetic fabrics also shed micro fibres into our oceans and seas thus polluting the environment.
So instead, use plant-based natural materials like organic cotton, linen and hemp that don’t need pesticides or fertilisers to grow and also require little water.
Non-organic cotton, although a natural fibre is really harmful for the environment as it needs a lot of pesticides, fertilisers and water to grow.
Step 2: Buy smart and invest in timeless pieces
Fast fashion has convened low prices and over-production of garments, both of which lead to over-consumption and prompt unsustainable fashion.
To adapt sustainable fashion however, is not all that difficult if you make a few changes in the way you shop. Before buying anything, ask yourself these basic questions:
Am I buying it only because it is cheap?
How many times will I wear this piece?
Do I really love this garment or I am buying it only because it is cheap?
Does it complement my existing wardrobe or will I have to shop more to wear this piece?
Step 3: Check the label
Be conscious about the labels you shop. Buy brands that are organic and believe in sustainable fashion. Just check the back label of the outfit for information on how and where it was made. You will be surprised to know that most brands are transparent about their sustainability approach.
Step 4: Support artisans and shop handmade crafts
Artisans and local handcrafts in India have been on a slow decline. Indian weavers and artisans who are masters of handcrafted fashion can’t compete with mass production and fast fashion brands with regard to cost. This in turn has threatened the very existence of traditional weaves and crafts. If this continues, we might see the death of so many traditional crafts and techniques.
So, buy handmade crafts over fast fashion brands to support artisans and help them keep the traditional weaves alive.
Step 5: Recycle
Don't just discard clothes because you've worn them thrice. If you have overgrown an outfit, give it away. Pass on clothes that are still in good condition. This way you will increase the life cycle of the piece.
Image Credit: stellamccartney.com