Sustainable Fashion is a pretty simple yet not so simple concept. However, its upcoming Omnipresence in the industry is going to be for the 2020’s as jeans were for the 1960’s and beyond.
Sustainability by definition is not a trend. It is simply the balance between people, the planet, and making money.
But see it’s a lot more complicated than that simply because there are many factors at play here. You have ethical fashion, cruelty-free fashion, practical fashion, minimalistic fashion, style over fashion, and even gluten free jeans. People in the industry don’t know what end is up, let alone everyone else.
Here, we dive a little into what sustainability means and how it applies to fashion
1. Balancing between the economy, the planet, and the rights of people is vital for Sustainable Fashion
Sustainable fashion is all about balance. If you focused too much on one of the three at the expense of the others, you’d not be sustainable.
For the past century (and longer), society as a whole has been focused entirely on economic incentives. This has naturally been a disaster because it oppresses people and exploits our planet’s resources.
There is no singular solution to solving the world’s problems, and no one individual can do it alone. It will take a society-wide effort to fix these problems. It just takes time, effort, and dedication to something greater than monetary gains.
I dedicated myself to sustainable fashion simply because it was something that interested me greatly, and no one else I knew was focusing on it. Sustainability and sustainable fashion will happen in due time. The main factor that is up for debate is who is going to be at the forefront? Who will lose out?
2. Maintaining profit incentive without exploiting workers and communities
Sustainable fashion is just another commodity if you think of it from a business standpoint. People see value in fashion. They buy it, use it and sell it. Repeat cycle.
We will always need clothing. Our expression of ourselves is tied to our ego, and our egos absolutely love pretty things. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. Fashion isn’t going anywhere and sustainable fashion is here to at least help reduce our impact.
We all hear about sweatshops in foreign countries. Nothing seems to get better in the world of mass-market clothing. We hear stories about Ivanka Trump’s clothing line exposed for being linked to manufacturers that harm the rights of workers. There are news stories summarizing atrocities, without giving any suggestions on how to fix it. It doesn’t seem to get any better.
And yet, on the other hand, we hear about how people like Emma Watson insisted on fair-wage workers to produce clothing for the beauty and the beast movie. There is hope. There are inspiring stories. It’s out there. We just have to find it, and we should support fair wages when we can.
3. Producing products while minimizing the extraction of non-renewable resources
sustainable fashion wouldn’t be sustainable if we didn’t talk about the environment. It’s hardly debatable that people are polluting the planet even though some might choose to argue about climate change. Pollution, though, is not going away, and it won’t unless we try to do something about it.
Except there is a weird distortion on why the way we view pollution and responsibility. Some businesses *cough* most of them *cough* up until this point have been profiting on solving problems that they create in the first place. Pollution is one of them.
In this video clip, Adam talks about why we have been shifting the blame of pollution and overspending from the producers onto the consumers. If only, people polluted less, maybe we will have a chance at saving the planet.
Except for that way of thinking is flawed.
We Can’t Shop Our Way out of Climate Change, but we Can’t Do Nothing Either.
Even if we were each able to perfectly choose the right products that “help the environment” we still wouldn’t be doing much of a dent on fixing them because these big problems require collective action. This is not something we can buy ourselves out of.
Except for that way of thinking is also a little bit flawed.
We can’t just do nothing and hope that the collective action will somehow save us. The demand shifts when we buy different products. Therefore if you are able to reduce your pollution, and use a product that is mildly more helpful for the environment, over time, the markets will shift to produce better products.
that’s where sustainable fashion comes into play:
By shifting trends over time, sustainable fashion has a chance at making a major impact on how we view and purchase clothing.
If we all practiced a little bit of mindfulness, we should be able to shift purchasing behavior and in turn the industry. It might not be a lot for now, but it’s something. Years from now, we are going to look back on this decade as the time that more sustainable products started picking up steam in the mainstream. I want to be a part of that movement and hope you do too. That’s why we’re here, to help understand the planet’s problems, and somehow make the planet a little greener.
Plus, fashion is just a fun topic. Sustainability doesn’t have to be so depressing. Let’s fix things, together.