You might not realize it at first, but the fashion industry is incredibly damaging to the environment. With the rise of fast fashion, this problem has only grown, making it more important than ever to turn to sustainable fashion brands instead. However, with the number of brands claiming to be “sustainable”, it can be difficult to see which are telling the truth and which are only touting sustainability for marketing purposes.
What is sustainable fashion and fast fashion?
But first, what is sustainable fashion and fast fashion?
Fast fashion is inexpensive clothing that happens very quickly according to current trends. As a result, fast fashion is often very unsustainable because clothes are disposable and made with little regard for environmental impact – the focus is simply on generating more profit by keeping up with rapidly changing trends.
On the other hand, sustainable fashion, also known as slow fashion, is any form of fashion that focuses on reducing environmental impact. It also includes fashion that focuses on animal welfare, social justice, and other important issues.
Why should you buy sustainable brands
Durable brands are higher quality and last longer
Sustainable brands are often of higher quality because they don’t rush to meet the demands of certain trends. As these brands also pay more attention to using sustainable materials like organic cotton, hemp, and linen, sustainable clothing tends to last longer in your closet, instead of wearing and wearing. tear easily until you can’t wear them anymore.
Sustainable clothing, unlike fast fashion, does not focus on trends.
While it can be nice to have clothes that match current trends, once the trend has passed, you might feel like you can’t wear that item of clothing anymore. With sustainable clothing, you can choose clothes that you know you want to wear no matter what. This way you can create your own fashion sense instead of just following current trends.
Sustainable brands are better for the environment
Sustainable brands focus on reducing environmental impact. As a result, the clothes of these brands help conserve natural resources. In particular, the fashion industry uses around 93 million metric tons of water every year, half the amount we consume every year – sustainable brands account for a much larger share of that number than fast fashion. . Millions of trees are felled each year to create many materials used in fast fashion, such as rayon, viscose and other fabrics. Beyond that, the fashion industry also contributes over 53 million metric tons of clothing to landfills every year. While durable materials like organic cotton degrade quickly, the synthetic fabrics used in most fast fashion clothing can take hundreds of years to degrade.
Sustainable brands are less likely to profit from underpaid workers or children.
To keep fast fashion cheap, many fast fashion brands rely on severely underpaid and overworked workers, including child laborers. The majority of these workers are also surrounded by very dangerous working conditions which contribute to health problems.
How to identify sustainable fashion brands?
Now you might be wondering which popular brands are sustainable and good for the environment. This can be complicated to sort out because so many fashion brands claim to be “sustainable” that it has become harder to tell which brands are genuinely sustainable.
However, finding fashionable yet durable brands to buy doesn’t have to be difficult. The most important things to pay attention to are the materials used in most clothes of a particular brand. Natural and organic materials use much less water to produce and degrade faster, so they don’t contribute as much to the fashion industry’s waste generation as synthetic materials. Clothing made of wool, bamboo silk, linen, etc. are a fantastic alternative to polyester or nylon garments.
What are the most popular sustainable fashion brands?
Now we’ve compiled a list of popular sustainable fashion brands – they sure won’t let you down!
Levi’s is a very popular denim brand that strives for durability (I love jeans, so Levi’s is one of my favorites). They have created a number of programs focused on reducing the impact they have on the environment. In particular, Levi’s has reduced the amount of water they use by 4.2 billion liters and has recycled 6 billion liters of water since 2011. Some of Levi’s goals for the future include 100% cotton from sustainably sourced and 100% renewable energy in facilities by 2025. To date, they have demonstrated dedication and transparency in the steps they are taking to increase sustainability.
Adidas, a very popular sportswear brand, has focused on eliminating plastic waste. They have partnered with Parley Ocean Plastic to use recycled plastic and natural fabrics in their clothing. Adidas also created the first running shoe that emits less than 3 kg of CO2. They launched the Made to Be Remade program, where customers can return products once they’ve been worn out and have them recycled into something new. In terms of future goals, they aim to replace virgin polyester with recycled polyester by 2024 and use sustainable materials in 9 of their 10 products.
Reform has been very transparent about working towards more sustainable practices, and they have a ton of on-trend clothing! Something I like about Reformation is the RefScale they include for every product on their website. The RefScale calculates the total environmental impact of a garment, including pounds of CO2 emitted, gallons of water used, and pounds of waste generated. Reformation has also given back the resources they use by installing water filters for homes in Honduras and supplying 140 million gallons of fresh water to rivers and wetlands in California and Colorado. Reformation has also been certified climate neutral, which means they are 100% carbon neutral.
Patagonia has also worked to increase product durability. They have created a number of programs, such as the Take-Back program, which recycles clothing, and the Living Wage program, which aims to provide a living wage for workers. Currently, 87% of fabrics are created with sustainable materials and 100% of virgin cotton is organically grown. In general, Patagonia has also been incredibly transparent with the materials they use and what they are working on in terms of improving durability.
It’s not easy to completely overhaul your clothing shopping habits, but these four sustainable fashion brands are a great place to start. The fashion industry has had a very negative impact on our environment for a long time, but by making changes in your own life, we can make a huge difference.