Whether we realize it or not, the fashion industry is a big part of our lives. It caters to the very universal human desire to present ourselves in the best possible way. Whether we dress to express ourselves or to impress the world, it is fashion we turn to.
Unfortunately though, the fashion industry is also one of the largest polluters in the world. It is the second largest consumer of freshwater and contributes to 10% of global carbon emissions, and almost 20% of global water waste.
Sustainable Fashion is fashion that has been manufactured, distributed, and used in a manner that minimizes any undesirable effects on the environment and society.
Manufacturers and fashion brands are slowly waking up to the rising environmental and socio-economic concerns, and taking a variety of steps to make themselves more eco-friendly and ethical. But as the consumers who drive this industry, there is so much that we can do.
Here are some ideas on how we can make fashion more sustainable.
Life was easy before — we simply browsed through a store/catalog and purchased the items that we liked best. But in order to be truly sustainable, we must learn about where those items came from, what they’re made of, how they were manufactured, and what happens when we dispose of them. Yes, this can be a lot of work, but making informed and sustainable fashion choices has become the need of the hour.
Favor Sustainable Brands
When you have a purchasing decision to make, prioritize brands and products that use natural or recycled materials, eco-friendly dyes, low-waste designs, and renewable energy for their manufacturing process.
Long supply chains lead to large carbon footprints. By shopping from brands that source materials locally and manufacture close to where their products will be sold, you can help reduce the impact and cost of shipping. This also helps boost the local economy, which is a great socio-economic bonus.
Embrace Minimalism and Slow Fashion
Reduce consumption as much as possible. Take good care of the things you already own and try mending them when they get damaged. If you must buy something, choose something durable and high-quality that’ll last you a long time. Consider buying vintage and pre-loved or second-hand items. Choose products that have already been or can be recycled easily.
Sustainable Fashion with Paper Sweetly
Paper Sweetly as a brand is highly committed to sustainability. We have a zero-waste philosophy, so every inch of paper is used to create either art or jewelry. We use 60% recycled paper for all our creations. And when our creations reach the end of their lives, they can be composted!
Bonus: Paper Sweetly Jewelry are great (and sustainably produced) accessories that can be mixed and matched with a minimalist wardrobe to style the same outfits differently every time you wear them!
What are your ideas for making fashion more sustainable? Tell us in the comments!