There are genuine, world-changing reasons we could all help with by reducing fashion harm. Fashion is an amazing industry to be part of, with thousands of dedicated people all over the world. But its sustainability track record isn’t the best. Here are some ways to help improve the industry as a consumer or enthusiast while keeping your style, personality and sense of style.
Science and technology aren’t what you might think of when you talk about fashion. However, modern advancements have been and are being made to make the industry healthier overall. No more so than providing alternatives to controversial materials. For example, conflict diamonds are almost eradicated because of man-made diamond producers like J’evar. There are 99.8% less conflict diamonds available. If the diamond industry can change, pretty much anything can.
Fashion doesn’t need to be expensive, but the lower something costs, there is often a reason why. And more often than not, that reason isn’t any good. Of course, that doesn’t mean higher-cost garments are any better when it comes to human rights issues and poor practices. A good pair of designer shoes costs 85% more on average. Yet some are produced in appalling conditions. Consider the humanity of the brand before buying from it and the impact it makes.
You may be a dedicated follower of fashion, as they say. But that doesn’t mean wearing and doing the things that everyone else does. The most fashionable people blaze their own trail, and that’s how you make an impact and stand out. Of course, there are also environmental concerns where being yourself can help. Consider that around half of our wardrobe goes unused. That’s a lot of extra work, material and pollution that can be eliminated with sustainable fashion trends.
It is an open secret that the fashion industry, and indeed others (such as electronics), uses cheap labour to produce some of the highest-priced consumer goods. Yet the impact these can have on the places they are produced can be devastating. For instance, the rivers of Bangladesh are polluted by over 22,000 litres of waste every day. It can help to check what your favourite brands are doing to reduce the environmental impact they have at their sites.
You may or may not be aware that most people wash their clothes in the wrong way, and this reduces the lifespan of a garment. The longer you can make something last, the lower your environmental impact. An older garment that becomes degraded contributes up to 300 million microparticles to the immediate environment per year. Always wash your clothes according to the label, and help reduce energy waste by washing at 30° in your washing machine.
You can source alternatives when reducing fashion harm, such as lab-grown diamonds. Following trends will also encourage you to buy much more clothing than you will wear and more often. Looking after your garments will help lower pollution and improve energy usage.