fashion,  sustainability

The Rise Of Sustainable Fashion

In a world where seasonal trends and cost-competitive pricing are often the norm, it’s a refreshing surprise to see sustainable and eco-friendly fashion on the rise.

Consumers are becoming more conscientious of the clothing they purchase and where it comes from. Sustainable fashion is no longer simply a “niche” market, but a widely adopted movement that is here to stay.

And rightfully so. The fast fashion industry is one of the most pollutive in the world—the third, in fact. This industry is so destructive that it releases 1.2 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.

While sustainable fashion is slowly making its presence known to the mainstream public, there’s still a lot of ground for this industry to cover as a whole. Let’s learn more about it.

Photo by Artem Beliaikin: https://www.pexels.com/photo/white-and-black-floral-cap-sleeved-shirt-994523/

What is sustainable fashion?

Sustainable fashion is a term used to describe clothing that has been manufactured, sourced, and produced with sustainable/ethical practices in mind.

This isn’t only limited to ethically-sourced materials, although that practice is a huge part of sustainable fashion. The entire supply chain, from start to finish, must be taken into consideration.

This includes farming and harvesting of raw materials, the working conditions that all employees are put under, as well as the core values of the company itself.

In essence, sustainable fashion revolves around socially and environmentally sustainable practices that do not exploit people or harm the planet.

Why is sustainable fashion becoming more popular?

According to the Vogue Audience & Sustainable Fashion Tracker, sustainability is growing to become of larger importance to customers when making a purchasing decision around fashion.

In the aforementioned study, the percentage of people putting sustainability as an important factor is 65 percent back in October 2020. In May 2021, that figure grew and became 69 per cent.

Nowadays, the general trend is that people are loyal to their favourite brands whether they’re currently exercising sustainable practices or not. But analysts believe that this trend is expected to undergo an upheaval in the near future, with sustainable fashion becoming the new norm in the next decade.

The reason for this is not deep: people are becoming more aware of the drastic effects that the fashion industry has on the planet, and they want change to curb the advancement of climate change on an individual level.

The rise of sustainable fashion can be attributed to a few key factors, one of which is the increased accessibility to information. The pandemic has contributed to the growing exposure of sustainable fashion, with 38% of consumers in one survey saying that they have only heard about it when they were holed up indoors.

However, despite this notable positive customer sentiment toward sustainable fashion, the industry is still lagging behind.

Photo by Alejandro Peralta: https://www.pexels.com/photo/woman-wearing-head-wrap-and-red-long-sleeve-shirt-7361052/

Why does fast fashion still reign?

As mentioned earlier, sustainable fashion is still playing catch-up to fast fashion in terms of overall market share.

There are a variety of reasons why this is the case, including:

  • Ease of accessibility
  • Competitive prices
  • Fast shipping times
  • Unwavering brand loyalty
  • Large range of offerings

There’s no doubt that sustainable fashion is on the rise. However, it still has a long way to go before it can completely dethrone fast fashion as the leading industry trend.

This is due to a combination of various factors, including the high cost of sustainable clothing, lack of public awareness, and difficulty of sustainable production at scale.

But with the right amount of exposure and education, sustainable fashion can only continue to grow in popularity in the years to come.

Ways to promote sustainability in the fashion industry

People love the idea of supporting sustainable fashion brands. After all, supporting things that don’t contribute to the destruction of the environment is a good thing, right?

But unfortunately, sustainable fashion is still struggling to find its footing in the industry. For sustainable fashion to truly take off, there needs to be a concerted effort to promote it.

Here are a few ways to do just that:

  1. Continuously educate yourself and others on sustainable fashion: One of the biggest barriers to sustainable fashion is the apathy towards an ecological lifestyle. When you think of a global clothing brand, the first couple of stores that come to mind are probably not sustainable. This is because sustainable fashion is often produced at a lower scale. To combat this, it’s imperative to be in the loop of the latest sustainable fashion brands and products.
  2. Avoid hoarding clothes: On a consumer level, one way to sustainable fashion is to simply stop purchasing clothes so frequently. In 2018, 17 million pounds of textile waste were thrown away in landfills. Instead of constantly throwing away clothes and buying new ones, try to repair the clothes you already have, or buy 2nd-hand.
  3. Support sustainable fashion brands: Another great way to promote sustainable fashion is by supporting the brands that don’t contribute to unethical practices. For sustainable fashion to stick around, they’ll need support from their customers. Show your support for ethical consumerism by buying sustainable t-shirts from brands like Patagonia.
  4. Shop Sustainable Brands
    There are more sustainable fashion brands now than there were even a few years ago. One brand that puts a big focus on sustainability and has been growing quickly is Fair Indigo. They use pima cotton for their clothing, which most people regard as the best cotton there is. They have so many amazing high quality, fashionable, and comfortable clothing options to choose from.

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