What is sustainable fashion?

What is sustainable fashion?

Let's talk about sustainable fashion, what it is and how all of us can be a part of it. 

Author of the article, Founder of Naturoti, Seeker of Solutions for Protecting the Earth and our future - Raimonda Valaikaitė

2020-08-07



Sustainable fashion aims to reduce water and energy consumption, avoids or even eliminates the use of chemicals and artificial paints in production. This industry actually has the power to change the environment if people start shopping in an eco-friendly way, so it is the answer to those who are looking for ways to consume responsibly.

Why should a consumer invest in eco-friendly goods?

Organic goods are often more expensive and seem to have no difference from cheaper options - so what is the benefit?

You are protecting Earth resources

Fashion industry is the second largest polluter in terms of CO2 emissions and freshwater consumption. However, with the help of organic production and its requirements in 2015 alone the production of organic cotton saved:

- As much fresh water as it would fit in 87 thousand Olympic pools;

- 288.7 million kilowatts of energy! With this much energy one 60W light bulb could produce light for 549,214 years;

- 92.5 million kilograms of carbon dioxide, or enough CO2 to drive an average car around the world 13,572 times. 
 

No harmful chemicals are used

Textiles used for non-organic cotton clothing are treated with chemicals, disperse dyes, which are strong allergens that can cause various skin reactions, dermatitis, and respiratory disorders. Formaldehyde is another alergen; it absorbs into textiles from resins that are used in the production process. It is a sensitizer that remains in clothing indefinitely and can weaken immune system. All of these chemicals can harm not only the worker who manufactures the fabric and sews the product, but also the consumer who wears the garment. A particularly sensitive group of consumers are children. Immune system develops in the growing body, their sensitive skin is just getting to know the environment, so children are way more vulnerable to toxic substances than adults.

Extends the life of the garment

One of the main goals of sustainable fashion is to buy less, but use longer. Products made from high quality materials are naturally more sustainable and can be used for much longer. This reduces pollution and depletion of the Earth's resources.

Pollution is reduced

According to the statistics, in 2016–2018 Lithuania had 31 861 tonnes of textile waste, of which only 160 tonnes were reused. Emissions from mass production per year would be enough to sew trousers and shirts to almost the entire human population. Sustainable fashion designers make clothes from eco-friendly materials, often by pre-order and in small quantities only, and spend a lot of time searching for the right materials. To prevent waste fashion designers create clothing and accessories from textile scraps and leftovers, giving second life to unused mass production products.

Sustainable agriculture is promoted

Conventional cotton is often grown using pesticides, insecticides, and other chemicals that harm not only the local environment but also the local community (by entering and contaminating drinking water). Farmers who grow organic fibers do not use the mentioned materials, so they protect not only themselves, but also their neighbors, land, water and consumers.

It is our social responsibility

Globally cotton production is responsible for the livelihood of approximately 250 million people. Some of these people, including children, not only work in harmful conditions, but are exploited as cheap labor. Organic farm workers (from cotton field workers to tailors) are protected from toxic substances and the diseases they cause, as well as receiving competitive salaries and equal working conditions.

 

Buyer’s contribution to sustainable fashion

Organic goods are the result of a sustainable process. In order for a product to be labeled 'organic' each production chain must meet certain standards (these will be discussed in another article on our blog). By purchasing an organic product we continue the process, meaning we foster an ecological lifestyle.

It also depends on the buyer whether the clothes will be sustainable. If the product is properly cared for, refurbished, donated, sold, repurposed, or recycled when it becomes completely unusable, then it can be said that one circle of sustainable fashion has closed and now it can continue to move forward to another circle.

 

Respect for nature and man

By deciding to be more sustainable you are choosing a healthier lifestyle and a more sustainable future for yourself and your children. Organic clothing and accessories are created from nature and come back to the nature when they break down. We hope that in the near future organic goods will no longer be an alternative, but a choice, because sustainable fashion goes hand in hand with nature and us.