Climate Change: The Basics Explained
What is Sustainable Fashion?
The sustainable fashion movement is one that fosters change in fashion products toward greater ecological integrity and social justice.
The movement commits itself to not using more natural resources than the planet can naturally replenish, and commits to not producing anything (in terms of products, fumes, etc.) that the planet cannot naturally reabsorb without harm to us.
The sustainable fashion movement is one that stands in direct opposition to fast fashion, the form of fashion that currently dominates our markets today.
What is fast fashion? Fast fashion is the fashion we are surrounded by every day. It is the business model of replicating catwalk trends and high-fashion designs.
This is done by mass-production at the lowest possible costs and bringing these products to stores when demands are at their highest. These trends are rapidly changing, aided by social media.
Fast fashion is a non-sustainable, dangerous practice that harms us in a lot of different aspects.
Firstly, the products created in fast fashion have poor structural integrity and are low-low quality because fast fashion brands are constantly attempting to keep up with the latest trends and keep prices as low as possible. Thus, they invest as little money as possible so that their profit margins remain high.
Second, the social practices of fast fashion brands are extremely unethical. Workers are forced to work in sweatshops where the conditions are extremely poor, they must work long hours, and there is little job security.
Workers often complain about dangerous working conditions in cramped areas. They are paid meager wages, that are way below what they deserve for the grueling work they perform.
Thirdly, the fast fashion industry has greatly accelerated the degradation of the environment. The fabrics and materials used in the production of fast fashion clothes are dangerous and release toxic chemicals into our air and water.
Additionally, because they are poorly produced, there is a high turnover rate of fast fashion items. This means that a large volume of fast fashion clothes ends up in landfills every day, polluting our environment even further.
What is the difference between sustainable fashion and fast fashion?
They are, in fact, completely opposite. While fast fashion encourages trendy clothes at cheap prices for poor quality, sustainable fashion encourages timeless pieces at slightly higher prices for far better quality.
However, the most important difference between the two is the amount of waste they both produce. Sustainable fashion decreases the amount of waste that is produced in its industry by making clothes of significantly better quality so that it lasts longer.
Fast fashion, on the other hand, produces clothes that are made of non-natural materials that take a long time to decompose and are discarded constantly because of their poor quality.
Ethically, fast fashion neglects its workers. The sustainable fashion industry, on the other hand, understands the value of its laborers and prioritizes them. They are also able to pay higher wages to their workers and provide better-quality working environments because they prioritize sustainability over immediate profits.
Some sustainable fashion brands:
Here are some sustainable fashion brands, that prioprioritize ideals of the industry:
- Mara Hoffman
- People Tree