As we move towards the advancement of science and technology, we slowly come to realize the mistakes that we have committed over the past centuries because of these advancements. We try to correct these mistakes by doing everything we can in order to change our ways. A good example of this is how we struggle to correct the adverse effects of our actions to the environment. We have encountered many problems because of this, like ozone depletion, global warming, and a lot more. We tried everything to solve these problems, and right now more and more people advocate “going green” as a solution.
Going green is a back-to-basics set of solutions which involve using natural products. From food items, to architectural designs, more and more people choose to incorporate the natural way of things. And now, we try to incorporate the idea of “going green” into fashion, and this is thru the development of sustainable fashion. Sustainable fashion aims to use natural items into various aspects of human lifestyle. These include the clothes you wear, the accessories that you use, and your choice of whatever material that could be used for one’s style.
The idea of sustainable fashion is to help maintain the environment while keeping up with the latest trend and style that is out in the market. Going green in fashion does not necessarily mean wearing green clothes; it encompasses fashion practices that will reduce the harm to the environment. This fashion trend is expected to last because it doesn’t mean it has a strict style that it follows. Designers who advocate sustainable fashion have innovative designs that could match different personalities and occasions, and it does not limit the people’s creativity in whatever they want to wear and however they want to look.
Sustainable fashion defined Sustainable fashion is a design philosophy which came up as one of the solutions to the current environmental problems that we are facing. It is an aspect of sustainability because it aims to create a system which balances the importance of the environment, economics, and the social responsibility (Lovejoy). It is included in the aspect of sustainable design wherein products are created while taking into consideration how long it will last, and how that product affects the planet.
Previously, advocates of the environment in the fashion industry can only support by donating a percentage of their sales to charitable institutions for the environment. Now, fashion designers are able to help reduce the negative effects to the environment by using materials in the products that they create which are environmentally friendly and are produced through socially responsible methods (Makeyourmarkinfashion. com). The production of the clothes we wear contributes to the destruction of the planet because of the chemicals used in order to turn the raw materials into textile.
These chemicals have adverse effects in the environment after they are used. Sustainable fashion aims to reduce the use of these chemicals by turning to other means of production other than using such chemicals. Another practice in clothing production that harms the environment is the use of pesticides for growing non-organic cotton. The pesticide use of these non-organic cotton fields account for 25% of the total pesticide use in the world. Sustainable fashion advocates the use of organic farming methods in growing cotton in order to reduce the use of pesticides.
Organic farming methods does not use fertilizers, instead they use natural means, including biological control of the pests. Different Aspects of Sustainable Fashion Sustainable fashion is not only limited to the materials used in the production of clothing and other apparel. There are also other aspects to consider so that we can say certain fashion is sustainable or not. One aspect to consider is whether the clothing is organic or not. Organic fashion means that clothing is made with the minimal use of chemicals, either in planting or in textile production.
Most of the present day clothing is made from synthetic materials, which are generally harmful to the environments and potential pollutants. It is because these synthetic fabrics doesn’t biodegrade easily, making them difficult to dispose of, including fabrics like nylon and polyester (Makeyourmarkinfashion. com). Organic fashion also use organic crops, meaning, they did not utilize pesticides or chemicals in planting crops used for clothing. Organic fashion also considers using natural dyes and materials. These dyes are vegetable based, and are extracted naturally.
Another aspect of Sustainable fashion is the use of recycled or recyclable materials. Nearly a million tonnes of clothing are thrown every year, wherein most of these end up in a landfill (Makeyourmarkinfashion. com). Landfills are major hazards to the environment as it can cause leaching of the chemicals and dyes from the clothing dumped in the area. The washed out chemicals may seep to the ground and can pollute waterways. By using recycled or recyclable materials, landfill problems such as these can be avoided. Another aspect of sustainable fashion is that it should also be animal friendly.
More and more fashion designers choose not to use skins of animals in creating new clothing designs. Animal cruelty is also being avoided by sustainable fashion as it tries to do away with animal fur and skin in whatever product they create. Sustainable fashion also advocates the use of fair-trade certified cotton. This is to guarantee an agreed and stable price for small cotton farmers coming from developing countries, thus assuring that their efforts in growing organic crops are compensated accordingly (Organicclothing. blogs. com). Positive aspects of sustainable fashion
Most of the positive points of the sustainable fashion are directed to the environment. One of its main purposes is to reduce the adverse effects that the fashion industry have on the environment. This would encompass reduction of pollution as well as decreased use of possible pollutants in the environment (Green Living Ideas). Sustainable fashion would also give new opportunities to small scale farmers from around the world. The need for organic products would increase, and producers would outsource their needs for raw materials to small scale producers from developing countries.
Sustainable fashion would also open a new market for fashion designers and producers alike. New methods would be needed for creating new materials, which is why the expertise of these fashion designers are required. It is a challenge for them to be able to come up with innovative designs utilizing sustainable fashion. Sustainable fashion indeed balances environmentalism, social responsibility, and economics. Negative aspects and criticisms of sustainable fashion Despite the number of positive points of sustainable fashion, there are still those who do not believe in it.
Critics point out several negative points of the sustainable fashion. One of the criticisms is that sustainable fashion ends up producing less affordable, pricey products. Indeed compared to the conventional means of producing textiles and clothing, organic clothing costs a little more. This is because there are still a few producers who venture in this type of business. But as more people notice and advocate sustainable fashion, the demand for such goods will increase, and eventually the price would decrease and be at the level of the conventionally produced clothing.
Critics point out that sustainable fashion trend is all about high-priced luxury goods (Eartheasy. com). This may be so because just like what was mentioned above, there are still a few who engage in this business, so the supply would be low, and that would mean a higher price. Another major criticism is the sustainable fashion creates clothes which are not meant to be worn until they are not useful, since they do disintegrate over time, because they are biodegradable. But nowadays, people don’t use clothes to their fullest potential; instead use them according to the trend or the season.
Another problem would be for the designers, since there are limited colors because of the natural fibers being used. This is a challenge to the designers, and I believe that as time pass by, more and more innovations regarding the use of sustainable fashion would be discovered. In terms of farming, there are also some problems. Since there are no pesticides or other chemicals used, then the yield would be lower. Farmlands wouldn’t be used to their fullest so the profit that these farmers get will be less. This is why there are fair-trade agreements wherein these farmers are compensated accordingly.
Lastly, another problem that critics point out is that the sustainable fashion trend will not last. They base this on the number of people who will be able to access the product considering its current prices. But again, as more and more people patronize or advocate sustainable fashion, the prices will tend to go down because of the increase in demand. Also, sustainable fashion designers are there to innovate and present new “fresh” ideas that would attract more people, enabling the sustainable fashion trend to last.