August 01, 2022 4 min read
With several problems going on in the modern age - plastic pollution, climate change, loss of coral reefs & biodiversity, deforestation, and water scarcity, to name a few - understanding the basics of eco friendly clothes is not on top of mind for people as either a solution or problem. Unfortunately, we've got some bad news for you. The clothing industry is a significant contributor to human and environmental damage. However, the good news is that sustainable and eco-friendly fashion addresses most of such issues in ways you might not expect.
Sustainable fashion brands design and produce fashion in a way that’s most considerate of the environment and humanity, alleviating the environmental impact whenever and wherever possible. The ultimate objective is an industry that works without abandoning a negative footprint. There’s more to it! Keep reading to learn eight reasons why eco friendly clothes matter.
A research piece states that nearly 97% of what goes into manufacturing clothes are new resources, with a mere 3% recycled materials. Doesn’t this add up to the annual resource input of 98 million tons? This also comprises oil to produce synthetic fibers, an endless list of chemicals required to dye & finish fabric, and fertilizers to grow cotton.
On the other hand, recycled fibers are much more sustainable since they decrease pressure on virgin resources.
The global fashion market emits a significant amount of yearly greenhouse gasses, which eventually contribute actively and massively to global warming. One of such reasons is that most of your beloved apparel is made from fossil fuels and petroleum-based, consisting of acrylic & nylon, and polyester. Check the labels, and you will be surprised how uninformed you have been all your life.
Besides, eco friendly women clothes or eco friendly clothes brands, for that matter, use materials made from recycled or natural fabrics that need significantly less chemical treatment, less energy, little water, and no pesticides or fertilizers to grow. Most organic fabrics like hemp and linen are even biodegradable.
This might not be the news you’re searching for, but the fashion industry likes to kill for new products and introduce new fashion. A typical misconception is that leather is one of the by-products of meat. But, this isn’t the case. It has been estimated that this industry is killing and slaughtering more than400 million animals yearly. Does this surprise you?
Consequently, sustainable fashion brands have begun to embrace cruelty-free alternatives and options significantly. Besides, there’s one for every piece of apparel, polyester crafted with trash from the oceans, bags produced from recycled seatbelts, silk created from yeast, plant-based compostable sneakers, and bio-fabricated vegan wool! Does that sound familiar to you? In the end, did you know that the most in-demand leather options in the modern age come from pineapples? This fabric is produced through the fruit leaves, wherein it’s made a part of the process, providing the by-product waste a whole new purpose.
Water is a substantial resource for such an industry. Besides, it is utilized in the finishing and dyeing process for nearly all clothes. Did you know it takes around2,700 liters of waterto craft a single T-shirt? Cotton, in particular, is highly dependent on water but is typically grown in dry and hot areas where this resource is scarce already.
On the other hand, organic cotton canreduce water consumption by approximately 91% compared to conventional cotton. But, only a single percent of global cotton production is organic these days.
Modern-day slavery still exists. Minimum wages, unacceptable health & safety conditions, endless working hours, and the prohibition of workers' unions, are what reality for most workers in the fast industry looks like. Furthermore, physical and verbal abuse is still common in several parts of the industry.
Eco-ethical brands tend to advocate for offering health care, humane working conditions, and fair wages for their respective workers, typically above average. Besides, there are brands that create eco friendly running clothes for both men and women alike.
Fast fashion often undergoes an intense and long chemical process before making our hangers. Approximately8,000 synthetic chemicals are utilized to bleach, dye, and wet process garments. Such chemicals can also lead to diseases or deaths among farmers and cause adverse congenital disabilities in their kids. In addition, these chemicals can pose a real threat to our health, as our skills absorb anything we put on them, including clothes chemicals.
Close to160 million children are engaged in several forms of fashion work. UNICEF has made it clear that work for which children are either too young or work conducted below the minimum age – or work that, because of its adverse conditions or nature, is altogether unacceptable for children is prohibited. This is one of the massive red flags. Did you know that children are sent to factories to operate machinery to meet the fashion needs of the western world? Isn’t this ethically unacceptable? What goes into the production of eco friendly clothes condemns such movements.
It’s as easy as it gets to check the finished product hanging in a store and think about the process it has undergone to make it here. The truth is, we are so detached that even the fashion industry wants us to be like that. However, awareness of the demerits and downsides will lead to more apparent consumerism. One that is animal, planet, and people friendly. There are healthy alternatives even if you are looking for tracksuits, shorts, or yoga pants.
One can easily buy eco friendly yoga clothes from some brands without considering the cruelty the product brings.
When it comes to eco friendly clothes, it has to be sustainable and educational. The fashion industry is a seed sown by massive personalities and names that indirectly and unconsciously support the harm. However, by using upcycled, recycled, organic, and eco friendly clothes, you won’t be putting pressure on natural resources. You would restore the much-needed balance between the planet and its people.