After a challenging summer, real fashion icons have returned to the cities to conquer its streets and hearts of passers-by: they wear eye-catching accessories and never miss the latest fashion trends. They not afraid to visit second-hand clothing shops and to wide open the closets of mothers and grandmas. The secret of their success and wonderful appearance does not depend on the widest smiles or salon-like hair: their real talent is a sense of style and ability to match unmatchable clothing items together. Modern fashion icons care not only about the breathtaking image but also about the environment: as 13 million tons of textile waste is dumped in landfills every year, sustainable fashion is becoming the major highlight of any clothing combination.
What’s wrong with fast fashion?
Fast fashion is a term used to describe fashion retailers capturing current fashion trends and filling clothing stores with fashionable items similar to the ones seen at Fashion Week. Even if it allows people from all around the world to quickly adopt their wardrobes to fit ongoing trends, fast fashion has more cons rather than pros.
The current fashion industry is built on several different collections presented throughout the year, and millions of people buying at least one new item every season. The sales increase several times a year when prices are chopped massively to empty shopping racks for new items. As low prices lure customers, they are also forced to come back to the same clothing shopping centres over and over again due to fast fashion items also being fast to wear out and rip apart.
For this, you may say thank you to fashion retailers who only care about lowering the manufacturing cost and increasing revenue. This goal is achieved in several ways: firstly, fashion companies use cheaper textiles and sewing materials; secondly, they pay suppliers very small amounts of money for the materials received. Here fast fashion’s problems do not end: the majority of retailers sew their clothes in Asian countries – in factories where children work long hours and get only pennies.
Fast fashion is dependent on acquiring materials as cheaply as possible. As it can take as much as 2 700 litres of water to produce enough cotton material to make a single t-shirt, retailers often choose fake versions of expensive textiles and suppliers, which are known for using harmful chemicals. Of course, some well-known high street fashion shops offer their customers items made from eco-friendly materials and manufactured responsibly. However, these kinds of items are more expensive, from special collections only, and they make up only a small part of all clothes.
Fashion sustainability and us
Sustainable fashion is a social movement encouraging both customers and retailers to transform their habits and businesses towards a greater goal – ecological integrity and environmental awareness. Even though the term sustainable fashion itself concerns clothing as such, it actually has two meanings, including responsible use of already existing clothing items to prevent them from being dumped in landfills and sustainable production of new things to conserve nature and natural resources.
Responsible wearing does not mean being extremely careful not to ruin your clothes with dirt. It stands for choosing second-handed items rather than buying new ones and giving up beloved but not fitting or boring things by handing them over to new people rather than dumping them. Considering the fact that fashion trends come around once every few decades, second-hand clothing shops are a real gold mine, where vigilant buyers may find a designer or never worn items for extremely low prices. There are a few innovative ways allowing customers easier to transfer, donate, or sell their clothing items, which are still in a good shape. Responsible fashion not only saves money but also reduces one’s carbon footprint.
When old clothing items are too worn out and no longer suitable for wearing, some types of materials can be recycled back into clothing fibres, thus, being returned back into stores as new clothing items. As it saves resources, there are plenty of ways and materials, which can be used to produce more sustainable, society, and nature-friendly clothes.
Hemp clothing is conquering the industry of sustainable fashion as it requires little water to grow and is resistant to most pests and diseases. Hemp’s advantages do not end here as other parts of the hemp plant also have a use; for example, seeds are often processed into oil and praised for its health increasing abilities. Hemp material itself is not only sustainable and versatile but durable and long-lasting; clothes are comfortable to wear, do not cause allergic reactions to the touching skin, and are easily washable.
Why being sustainable is the new black?
With each year, the number of sustainable clothes in stores increases prompting the growing demand: knowing that high fashion houses are fashion trendsetters, they welcome and adapt the sustainability approach influencing high street retailers and people to do the same.
Most popular brands advocate not only for inclusivity and ethnic diversity but also for high fashion sustainability as Paris, Milan, and New York fashion weeks’ catwalks are driven by themes of consumerism, ecology, and global warming. For example, one American fashion designer ensures the sustainability of her clothes by keeper her production small – the physical journey from sketch to garment does not exceed 20 kilometres radius. Other designers ensure they use responsibly sourced and recycled materials, create small runs of each collection to fight against fast fashion, or hires locals to help with the manufacturing process and reduces unemployment. Soon from catwalks, sustainable fashion ideas reach our homes and wardrobes: we gladly buy items that do not harm our planet and contribute to nature’s preservation. Of course, selling such clothes adds up to the brand’s reliability and popularity - as every little help matters, sustainability becomes more and more fashionable.
As a sustainable approach encourages consumers to say that ‘less is more’, capsule wardrobes are the number one thing any person should be doing to actually live by those words; this method allows people to wear different styles by combining basic clothing items. Such an approach should not mean wearing only boring and earthy-colours as sustainable fashion includes using natural dyes and improving the overall look by putting on long-lasting accessories. Also, responsible clothing does not mean wearing thin fabrics processed as little as possible - technologies let manufacturers create thicker fabrics suitable for colder climates, hemp material being one of them.
Sustainable thinking takes over our thoughts and lives – as it saves the planet, it also saves us. We must reduce the amount of textile being dumped, reuse still wearable items, and recycle one’s that are not suitable for wearing. As the popularity of hemp clothing is only growing, it is nice to be your own trendsetter and choose responsibly – we will soon offer quality hemp clothing to suit your body and your needs, so be patient and friendly to nature!