As we become more aware of the impact of our fashion choices on the environment, sustainable fashion has become increasingly important. Sustainable fashion refers to clothing that is produced in a way that is environmentally and socially responsible. This includes using sustainable materials, reducing waste, minimizing carbon emissions, and ensuring fair labor practices. In this article, we’ll explore how to build a sustainable wardrobe and the benefits of recycling clothes.
Choosing Sustainable Materials:
One of the first steps to building a sustainable wardrobe is to choose clothes made from sustainable materials. Sustainable materials are eco-friendly, non-toxic, and biodegradable, meaning they have minimal impact on the environment. Here are some examples of sustainable materials to look out for:
Organic Cotton: Organic cotton is grown without the use of harmful pesticides or fertilizers, making it a more sustainable alternative to conventional cotton. However, its important to consider factors like where cotton is grown especially because it is a thirsty crop. For example, as an Australian ecologist, it is a pet hate of mine when brands tout that their products are Australian grown cotton or organic australian cotton. Australia is a drought ravaged country, it is our natural climate and cycle to have drought, making cotton farming a negative blight and drain on our precious resource of water that should be going to farmers and families – not cotton. Cotton is far more sustainable to be grown in parts of Asia where drought is not the norm and water and rain are reliable.
Hemp: Hemp is a durable and fast-growing crop that requires less water and pesticides than other crops. It’s also a renewable resource that can be used to make a range of products, including clothing, accessories, and even paper.
Tencel: Tencel is a sustainable fabric made from wood pulp that requires less water and energy to produce than cotton. It’s also biodegradable and has a low carbon footprint.
Recycled Polyester: Recycled polyester is made from post-consumer plastic bottles, reducing the amount of waste that ends up in landfills or the ocean.
By choosing clothes made from sustainable materials, you can reduce your impact on the environment and support ethical fashion practices.
The Importance of Recycling Clothes:
One of the best ways to be sustainable is to recycle clothes that already exist instead of contributing to the demand for new items. The fashion industry is a significant contributor to waste, with an estimated 92 million tons of textile waste generated annually. By recycling clothes, we can reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfills and the impact of fashion on the environment.
There are many ways to recycle clothes, including donating them to charities or thrift stores, selling them online or at consignment stores, or upcycling them into new items. Upcycling involves taking old clothes and turning them into something new, such as turning a t-shirt into a tote bag or a pair of jeans into shorts.
By recycling clothes, we can reduce waste, save resources, and support a more sustainable fashion industry.
Supporting Ethical Production:
Another crucial aspect of sustainable fashion is supporting ethical production practices. Ethical production means ensuring fair labor practices, safe working conditions, and fair wages for workers. Here are some ways to support ethical production:
Research Brands: Do your research and choose brands that have transparent and ethical production processes.
Look for Certifications: Look for certifications such as Fair Trade, Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), and Bluesign that ensure ethical and sustainable production.
Buy Local: Buying clothes from local designers and manufacturers supports local businesses and reduces the carbon footprint of transportation.
By supporting ethical production, we can help ensure that the clothes we wear are produced in a way that is socially responsible and environmentally sustainable.
Building a sustainable wardrobe is essential for reducing the impact of fashion on the environment and supporting ethical fashion practices. By choosing sustainable materials, recycling clothes, and supporting ethical production, we can all make a positive difference. Remember, small changes can have a big impact, and every little bit counts when it comes to creating a more sustainable future.
Blue Bower Art is releasing a collection of upcycled clothing in April 2023. these pieces are rescued from a fate in landfill and instead given new life by being adorned with original botanical and wildlife art. Each piece is made with love, passion for our environment and is one-off unique piece of wearable art. You can sign up to the waiting list now here and gain exclusive first access to the collection when it launches.