Is Fashion Sustainable?
Today’s fashion industry is one of the largest pollutants in the world – this has to change.
As the world starts to become more focused on suitability, the fashion industry has finally begun to follow suit. It’s incredibly important that all of us make adjustments to the way we shop, to make sure we do our part in making fashion eco-friendly.
People do not wear 50% of their clothes.
There’s nothing quiet like a new outfit to make us feel good about ourselves, but the constant buying has become a habit. It’s hard to avoid the temptation to click that proceed-to-basket button when we’re browsing online. We know we can have whatever pair of shoes, clothes, or that ‘it’ handbag on our doorstep within 24 hours. But we are all shopping too much even though we are well aware that fast fashion is killing the planet.
We want to be part of fashion, and we can! The thing is – when you know how to dress for your body shape, and dress according to your style personality and colouring, you’ll feel confident in the clothes you have and be less inclined to rush out and buy new fashion pieces at the drop of a hat. So let’s try and make an effort from here on to re-wear what we have.
Shopping habits are changing! I have a lot of people tell me they’ve started to think about sustainability after seeing information on social media. They want to know where the garment is made and if they trust that the brand is making it the right way. So we are beginning to change our behaviour.
Scroll down for some tips on how to live a more sustainable life and reduce our contribution to climate change.
What is Sustainable Fashion?
Sustainable fashion is a huge and increasingly popular movement that aims to change the way we shop.
Not only does eco-friendly fashion reduce environmental impact, but it’s also a cause for social and economic justice. It aims to help relieve labour violations caused by the fast fashion industry, such as when Bangladesh’s Rana Plaza collapsed and killed over 1000 garment workers.
Sustainable fashion brands have begun sourcing materials manufactured with natural ingredients. They are made from biodegradable and recycled materials that massively reduce global environmental impact.
Is Fashion Bad for the Environment?
The fashion industry is one of the largest pollutants in the world. Your basic cotton T-shirt took about 3,000 litres of water to make. Every year, the fashion industry uses approximately 93 billion cubic meters of water – which could save about five million people around the world who go without clean and safe water every day. As of 2019, 62 million metric tonnes of clothing were consumed across the globe.
Arguably one of the worst culprits causing detrimental effects on the environment is Viscose. Viscose is sourced using toxic chemicals such as Carbon Disulphide, which is responsible for the death of animals and decrease in plant growth.
The fashion industry needs to change its ways.
It’s true, in recent years, a lot of fashion brands have taken notice of the detrimental effects that their manufacturing has on the planet. Some designers are opting for sustainable fashion sourcing. For example, companies can now make sustainable clothing made from bananas, pineapples, oranges and even potatoes.
5 Brands That Are Pioneering Ethical Fashion
The following are the top eco-friendly brands that are leading the way to a more sustainable (and fashionable) future.
1. STABLE of Ireland
Stable of Ireland is a sustainable fashion brand based in Dublin.
Not only are their collections beautiful, but they’re eco-friendly due to lack of transportation.
Stable of Ireland works exclusively with Ireland-based weavers and knitters with a variety of styles.
Find out more about Stable of Ireland’s sustainability here.
2. Against the Tide
Against the Tide have strong values as sea lovers. They aim to create sustainable fashion for swimmers, surfers and beachgoers.
They are passionate about bringing people in their community together while helping take care of and connecting with their beloved ocean.
Against the Tide sources all of its fabrics in Ireland, and hopes to minimise environmental impact while ensuring their workers receive a fair wage.
Feri believes in responsible fashion. Their collections are hand-made from natural, organic materials and repurposed fabrics.
Feri stays local in Ireland but also works with an ethically accredited manufacturer in India.
Their prints are beautiful and uniquely hand-designed by an experienced and ethical fashion designer.
4. 31 Chapel Lane
31 Chapel Lane is a family-run Irish fashion brand that uses natural materials.
Each design is uniquely hand-crafted with local pure wool, Donegal and tweed.
“OUR APPROACH IS PROFESSIONAL, ETHICAL AND CONSIDERATE, THROUGH BEING SOCIALLY AND ENVIRONMENTALLY RESPONSIBLE”
5. Katie Ann McGuigan
Katie Ann Mcguigan lives for colour, patterns, individuality, and ingenuity. She’s worked with the greats, such as Alexander McQueen and Marc Jacobs.
Find out more about Katie here
12 Ways to Become Sustainably Fashionable
from a Personal Stylist point of view.
An eco-friendly wardrobe doesn’t have to be expensive and time-consuming. Retailers and Instagram can make us feel like we need to stay ‘on trend’ and keep buying more and more, but there’s no need to throw away our good clothes. Here are my tips that will help you shop affordably and sustainably:
- Take inspiration from your favourite Instagram accounts. You’ll be surprised at how many looks you’ll be able tn recreate with clothes you already own.
- Choose the right colours for your complexion
- Carefully consider the pieces you buy
- Avoid random purchases
- When updating your wardrobe, understand what works best for your shape and style personality, and stick to it.
- Good investments are key.
- Save up an try to buy better quality, love-forever pieces that can easily be dressed up or down and never go out of fashion.
- Shop your wardrobe – Before you buy any new purchases, look through your wardrobe to remind yourself of what you already have and ask yourself “do you really need it?”. There are items in every wardrobe that haven’t been worn in years.
- Mend or upcycle an old garment
- Buy second-hand. You’d be surprised how many brand-new clothes, with the tags on, are sold in charity shops. 70% of the items on THRIFTIFY (founded by Rónan Ó Dálaigh) are listed as “new with tags”. Or, consider hiring items for events or one-time-wears.
- Make friends with your local charity staff and they’ll give you a heads up on any new donations.
- Unsubscribe from everything. It’s so easy to treat yourself to a €29 Zara jacket and get that instant kick when their newsletter hits your inbox. Learn to delete, delete, delete.
“I like trends, but I value timelessness”
When buying something new, consider these 4 elements of style:
- Style personality
Ethical and Sustainable Fashion: The Future of Style
If we truly want to reduce our impact on the planet, we all must do our part in showing the fashion industry that ethical clothing is what we want – and they will give it to us.
There needs to be a shift in the way the fashion industry works. Trends change week after week, meaning clothing is disregarded more and more frequently.
Let’s help make ethical clothing the biggest trend.
Now you’ve got some tips from a personal stylist; you can embark on your journey to leading a more sustainable lifestyle and build a more eco-friendly and ethically sourced wardrobe.