Sustainability: Should it Extend to Fashion?

Sustainability: Should it Extend to Fashion?

Although I don’t blog much about it, I do try and be ethical in my purchasing habits and my recycling ones too. I take unwanted clothes to a charity shop instead of simply throwing them out and I use a refillable water bottle at work instead of buying lots of plastic ones but I want to do more. I’m going to be honest and admit that due to allergies going fully cruelty-free just isn’t an option for me as not all brands have stopped adding lemon additives to their skincare. This means I stick to the products that work for me and don’t make my skin red and blotchy. I was reading a post by Lucie about her visit to Glasgow’s Ethical Market which got me thinking I need to be more ethical about my fashion choices too?

There’s an also an argument that it shouldn’t just be up to consumers to be the ethical ones when it comes to fashion but that brands and companies should be making the first steps in helping us not only make ethical choices but that they should be using materials which are sustainable or at least finding new uses for byproducts rather than sending them to landfill. One concept that I heard of in the building industry which I love is that cast off denim that isn’t used for jeans or other products is actually used to make insulation for houses. From a sustainability point of view, it’s great but it’s also fab for the tradesmen installing it as there’s no fibreglass to deal with.

I spoke to Tom at Hawthorn, a clothing manufacturer based in London and asked his thoughts on sustainability in the fashion industry which gave me a better understanding of the topic at hand. He explained that it’s much better for the environment but it’s also better for your bank balance too. By buying a product which is sustainable it’s going to last longer and not need to be replaced as quickly. Check labels before you buy a jumper or t-shirt and look for 100% cotton wherever possible. It’s better for your skin as well as lasting longer.

Tom also explained a little more to me about organic cotton, and I hadn’t realised before just how damaging the common method of growing cotton can be. Farmers have been under a lot of pressure to grow at the highest capacity possible since the 90s when fast fashion started to really come about. This means they started using a lot of pesticides and toxic chemicals which although can help to grow more cotton, actually poison the water supply of the surrounding areas. This can be combated by growing cotton organically, without the use of pesticides and growth enhancers, however because not as much can be grown at the same rate, it does cost a little more.

Writing this post has definitely made me think about how my fashion choices can be more sustainable and I’m definitely going to be taking my own advice about sustainability in fashion going forward too.

What do you think about sustainability in fashion?

Featured Image by Laura Haley Photography

Disclaimer: This was a collaborative post and all thoughts and opinions are my own.

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