When we think of pollution, we think of cars, factories, and rivers being polluted by oil. It’s hard to picture clothes doing much harm to the environment. But in fact, the Danish Fashion Institution states that the Fashion Industry is the second-worst polluter of freshwater in the world (second only to oil!).
This title has been given to the fashion industry due to the way it produces its products. This means all the harmful chemicals used in dying and cultivating the materials they use and the high levels of water wastage. Pesticides like the ones to cultivate cotton are one of the top 10 pollutants. In addition to this, due to fast-fashion (ever-changing trends, from season to season), there is always a demand for new pieces to quickly be manufactured.
From the initial designing to making the garment to shipping and selling it. As a result, clothes are made rapidly and then thrown out when not ‘in’ fashion anymore. Unfortunately, this cycle seems doomed to continue unless acted upon fast.
However, more celebrities are getting involved with new innovative ways to help the environment and the fashion industry’s impact on it. For example actress Emma Watson, a UN Woman Goodwill Ambassador stated that no only do most fashion brands not make eco-friendly pieces, many factories that make the clothing exploit female workers.
“It’s not enough for me that that it is a beautiful piece, I want to know that it is not leaving a negative mark,” Watson told CNN earlier this year about the sustainable dress she wore to the MET Gala.
The dress she wore to the MET gala was made from recycled plastic. There were three elements to it (top, skirt, and trousers) that she intends to wear again and again. However, it’s not just the celebrities that are jumping on the bandwagon, now various fashion brands are also going eco-friendly!
This means it is now going to be easier and more accessible for everyone to own environmentally friendly clothes at affordable prices, rather than searching for expensive brands.
Across the board, from the catwalk to the high street more clothing companies are learning how important sustainable fashion is to the planet. So, what are these pieces actually made of? And what will they feel like on? Well, banish the itchy, ugly materials you have pictured in your mind.
These pieces look good and the quality doesn’t diminish either. You wouldn’t even know the difference between a sustainable item of clothing and one that isn’t. The brands that make sustainable fashion and practice fair trade at the moment are ASOS’s ‘eco-edit’, Minna (a wedding dress and ‘eco-luxe clothing shop), Monsoon, and Stella McCartney; to name a few.
To really make a change to the environment many more fashion brands need to act to help sustain our water and keep pollution to a minimum.
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