What is sustainable fashion?
Sustainable fashion is a movement and process of fostering change to fashion products and the fashion system towards greater ecological integrity and social justice. Sustainable fashion concerns more than addressing fashion textiles or products. It comprises addressing the whole system of fashion.
There are seven different routes to sustainable fashion. There’s more than one answer to be fashionably responsible. Not all of the methods to approaching sustainable fashion, suits all people equally, because we all have different needs and preferences.
There are seven different moving sections to sustainable fashion.
Sustainable Fashion can be broken down into seven categories:
- On Demand & Custom Made
- Made to order
- Tailor made
- Green & Clean
- Keeping a green and clean production process throughout the products life cycle
- High Quality & Timeless Design
- Traditional production
- Artisan crafts
- Animal rights
- Fair & Ethical Fashion
- Fair Trade: According to Fair Trade USA, products that get to bear the “Fair Trade” logo “come from farmers and workers who are justly compensated.”
- Ethical: The Ethical Fashion Forum says that “Ethical fashion represents an approach to the design, sourcing and manufacture of clothing which maximizes benefits to people and communities while minimizing impact on the environment.”
- Repair, Redesign & Upcycle
- Repair clothing so that you can give it a longer life
- You can redesign clothes to customize it into a unique piece
- If you don’t plan on wearing or using the clothing item, you can upcycle it into another use
- Rent, Lease & Swap
- Rent or lease formal wear, so you can keep your wardrobe quantity under control, and you’ll get to choose from more options
- Swap clothes with your neighbors, friends and family
- Secondhand & Vintage
- Shop at second hand stores or swap with neighbors, friends and and family.
These multiple methods to support a more sustainable fashion industry, and can be adopted by everyone. There really isn’t one “correct” method to the sustainable fashion route. I wanted to mention these seven methods, because I know I’ve written about creating my own DIY clothing from existing pieces, as well as shopping at thrift stores, but I’ve never listed all of the different methods to support a more sustainable fashion industry.
Under the accordance of sustainability, recycled clothing upholds the principle of the “Three R’s of the Environment”: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle, as well as the “Three Legs of Sustainability”: Economics, Ecology, and Social Equity. To change the existing fashion industry into a more sustainable system, we need to practice reducing waste, reusing textile materials, and recycling old textiles. The balance between the social, economic and environmental responsibilities needs to be taken into account as well.
Sustainable fashion takes a lot of self awareness from the entire fashion industry. It means actively working with the countries and farmers who take care of the materials we source, to create our textiles. We also need to make responsible decisions that won’t damage our resources or harm our environment. I buy a lot of clothing from thrift stores because I like the variety of options I can choose from. Walking into a thrift store, is like walking into a time capsule, and it’s a fun experience for me. I also upcycle a lot of my clothing pieces that have reached the end of their life. For clothes and textiles I want to keep, but I don’t want to wear, I will upcycle the items into something more useful for my life.
If you want to support a more sustainable fashion industry, consider adopting and practicing at least one of the seven methods that support the sustainable fashion industry. You can choose more than one method to support this much needed system. If possible, try to implement all seven methods into your wardrobe collection.