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What Does “Sustainable Fashion” Even Mean - and Why Does it Matter?

It’s 2020 (boy is it ever) and the term “sustainability” is everywhere. We know that shopping sustainably is important, but what does it even mean? What makes something “sustainable”?

While there is no one way to define sustainability, “sustainable fashion” is a term that includes the ethical treatment of  people and the planet in the process of making clothes. To put it simply, think “creation without exploitation”.

In fact, sustainable fashion is what most people assume they are already buying! 

But unless you are buying from a brand with a transparent supply chain (showing exactly where and how their clothes are made, as well as the source of the materials) and a public commitment to the fair treatment of people and natural resources, you are most likely giving your money to a company whose garment workers are underpaid, overworked, and in unsafe conditions- not to mention using materials that wreak havoc the Earth with toxic chemicals, a high carbon footprint, and the overuse of water.

While it isn’t fair that we have to be so vigilant with our purchases to make sure we aren’t supporting companies who pollute our planet or mistreat their workers, we all have the amazing opportunity to vote with our dollars! 

Every time you purchase something from a sustainable fashion brand, you prove that fashion isn’t the problem- in fact, it absolutely can be a driving force for positive change.

Here are a few simple ways to incorporate sustainable fashion into your wardrobe:

  1. Before you swipe your card or hand over your cash, make sure a brand is clear about what’s really going on behind the scenes. Look for a statement like this: https://tillerswim.com/pages/sustainability

  2. Flaunt what you’ve got! There’s nothing more sustainable than wearing what you already have. Use any new purchases to create brand-new outfits with your OG closet pieces.

  3. Take care of your clothes. It sounds simple, but it makes the BIGGEST difference when you prolong the life of everything you own!

If you’d like to learn even more about how to support sustainable fashion practices, check out these resources!

https://www.fashionrevolution.org/about/get-involved/

https://www.supportgarmentworkers.org/payup-fashion

https://remake.world/

 

by Rachel Burcham | July 23, 2020


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