The fashion industry is a business that is more than just about clothing. It has a huge impact on the economy and on the environment. The fashion industry is worth 300 billion dollars.
While the fashion sector is booming, increasing attention has been brought to the impressive range of negative environmental impacts that the industry is responsible for.
According to UNEP, Fashion production makes up 8% of humanity’s carbon emissions and 85% of all textiles go to the dump each year.
The fashion industry is riddled with problems, harmful practices, and ethical abuses. We also know climate change has a negative impact on nature and human life.
This negative impact is amplified by other societal and environmental factors related to fashion such as unsustainable consumption, land degradation, and poverty.
It has come under criticism for its negative impact on the environment. The fashion industry has been shown to be wasteful and polluting. Its growth has also been shown to be responsible for the destruction of much of the rainforest in Brazil and in China.
What is the issue with the fashion industry?
Fashion industry is heavily reliant on fossil fuels. The vast majority of clothing — nearly 70% is made from polyester or other synthetic fabrics from non-renewables like crude oil.
While there may be cases where a small percentage of virgin synthetic fibers are necessary for adding some stretch to things like socks, fashion companies largely use synthetic fabrics because they’re cheap to source.
For categories like swimwear, performance synthetics may be necessary — at least at the moment — but brands can still use recycled synthetics to reduce the demand for fossil fuel extraction.
The global fashion industry emits a hefty amount of greenhouse gasses per year, thus contributing massively and actively to global warming.
One of the reasons is that the vast majority of our beloved clothes are petroleum-based and made from fossil fuels, including polyester, acrylic & nylon (check your clothing labels, you may be surprised). These materials require significantly more energy in the production phase than natural or recycled fibers.
How slow fashion can help?
Slow fashion often consists of durable products, traditional production techniques, or design concepts that strive to be season-less or last aesthetically and materially for longer periods of time.
The impact of slowness aims to affect many points of the production chain. For workers in the textile industry in developing countries, slow fashion means higher wages.
For end-users, slow fashion means that the goods are designed and manufactured with greater care and high-quality products.
From an environmental point of view, it means that there is less clothing and industrial waste that is removed from use following transient trends.
Emphasis is put on durability; emotionally, materially, aesthetically, or through services that prolong the use-life of garments.
Slow fashion can be seen as an alternative approach against fast fashion, based on principles of the slow food movement.
Characteristics of sustainable fashion match the philosophies of “slow fashion” in that emotional, ecological and ethical qualities are favored over uniform and bland convenience with minimal friction.
It requires a changed infrastructure and a reduced through-put of goods. Categorically, slow fashion is neither business-as-usual nor just involving design classics. Nor is it production-as-usual but with long lead times. Slow fashion is a vision of the fashion sector built from a different starting point.
What is a sustainable fashion movement?
Followers of the sustainable fashion movement believe that the fashion industry has a clear opportunity to act differently, pursuing profit and growth while also creating new value and deeper wealth for society and therefore for the world economy.
They believe that clothing companies ought to place environmental, social, and ethical improvements on management’s agenda. The goal of sustainable fashion is to create flourishing ecosystems and communities through its activity.
This may include: increasing the value of local production and products; prolonging the life cycle of materials; increasing the value of timeless garments; reducing the amount of waste; and reducing the harm to the environment created as a result of production and consumption Fashion is one of the major industries but it is also the main cause of pollution and overexploitation of natural resources.
However, with a minimalist approach on the rise, sustainable fashion (also known as eco-fashion) is now an emerging concept that not only fulfills the needs of those looking for trendy clothing, footwear, and accessories but also ensure that the processes involved in the production of articles leave no negative impacts on social and environmental wellbeing.
Several clothing brands around the world have declared themselves as sustainable and are championing the idea of ethical clothing by adopting a sustainable supply chain.
Sustainable fashion is important because it is environmentally friendly and socially responsible. It is important to consider the environmental and social impacts of the fashion industry, and sustainable fashion is the solution. There are many sustainable fashion brands out there, and it is important to support them.