Recently, sustainable clothing has been a growing topic of interest in the fashion industry, and for a good reason. The clothing and fashion industries have massive and unsustainable impact the environment. According to a report released by the UNECE, the clothing industry is responsible for 10% of greenhouse gas emissions and 20 % of global wastewater.
The fast fashion industry also accounts for the highest amounts of hazardous chemicals used compared to other industries. After the oil industry, the clothing production sector is the second largest industry that affects pollution.
Clothing production utilizes vast quantities of energy, water, and other resources. The disposal of clothes is another area that is just as damaging. Landfills sites are filled with discarded clothing, and the release of chemicals from synthetic fibers is toxic to the environment.
How Sustainable Clothing Has A Positive Environmental Impact
Conversely, sustainable clothing production uses environmentally friendly practices and materials that are biodegradable or easily recyclable. The production process uses less water, energy, and toxic chemicals, reducing the carbon footprint and the environmental impact.
Sustainable clothing brands incorporate sustainability into all areas of their business. They use green production methods that reduce waste and repurpose existing materials. In this way, they preserve natural resources.
Clothing companies that use more sustainable products in their production practices reduce the amount of toxic chemicals and plastics released into the environment.
Because of this, work staff in textile factories, dye houses, etc., are protected from the harmful effects of the chemicals used. Synthetic fibers used in fast fashion clothing release microplastics that can cause skin irritation and continued exposure to toxic chemicals harm their respiratory system.
Sustainable clothing is made from natural, non-toxic materials, reducing the risk of exposure to these harmful substances.
Sustainable clothing also involves fair labor practices, supports local communities, and promotes ethical working conditions. This benefits the workers and the environment because sustainable clothing is produced from locally sourced materials and produced with a reduced carbon footprint.
Consumers who purchase sustainable clothing are assured of quality manufactured goods that will last longer than fast fashion.
How You Can Help The Environment With Sustainable Clothing
By making small changes in how you shop for clothing, you can significantly impact the environment and support sustainable clothing.
Here are a few helpful ideas on how you can help the environment;
1. Buy Fewer Clothes
Try to reduce the number of clothes you buy and instead focus on buying high-quality, sustainable clothing that will last for years.
There are certain clothing pieces and fabrics that are timeless and classic. Consumers should instead invest in these pieces than continuously purchase clothing to fill their wardrobes.
2. Choose Natural Fibers
Look for clothing made from natural fibers like organic cotton, linen, bamboo, and hemp, which are biodegradable and much more environmentally friendly than synthetic fibers.
Biodegradable and renewable fabrics require less water and resources for production and therefore have a less environmental impact than synthetic fabrics.
3. Support Sustainable Brands
Research and support sustainable clothing brands that use environmentally friendly production practices and materials.
Consumers should be aware of companies’ greenwashing. Make it your duty to conduct meaningful research into sustainable brands before purchasing.
4. Wash Clothes Less Frequently
Washing clothes less frequently conserve water and energy and helps extend your clothes’ life. Reduced washing also means reduced amounts of toxic chemicals released into the ground and water system.
When you invest in good quality clothing in hardwearing fabrics like cotton, denim, or other natural fabrics, they last longer than clothing produced from synthetic or man-made fabrics.
5. Donate Or Recycle Old Clothes
Donate or recycle old clothes instead of throwing them away. Many communities have clothing recycling programs that can help reduce the impact of textile waste on the environment.
Before donating your clothing, you should also fix minor clothing damages, like replacing a lost button or loose thread.
6. Shop Secondhand
Secondhand clothes are a great way to reduce waste and support sustainable fashion. As the sustainable movement spreads, more people visit thrift shops to replenish their wardrobes.
Consumers will be surprised at their findings at thrift or secondhand clothing stores. Vintage clothing like designer gowns, handbags, etc., are classic, timeless pieces anyone can add to their sustainable clothing collection.
7. Vote With Your Wallet
Use your purchasing power to support environmentally friendly and ethical fashion brands. It would be best if you didn’t allow social media, advertisers, etc., to influence you; instead, make wise choices and support the environment.
Sustainable clothing offers a responsible and mindful alternative in an industry focused primarily on fast fashion and disposability. It encourages us to buy fewer clothes, choose natural fibers, and invest in high-quality, long-lasting pieces.
By making small changes in how we shop for clothing, we can significantly impact the environment and help create a greener, more sustainable future. So next time you’re shopping for clothes, consider the environmental impact of your purchases and choose sustainable clothing. Your actions, no matter how small, can make a difference.