5 reasons why sustainable fashion matters
Cheap clothing is an affordable option for our pocket. But what is the real cost of that? The fashion industry is responsible for 10 percent of the annual CO2 emissions.
It is clear that the fashion industry lies at the center of various environmental issues. But there is hope. Thankfully, the sustainability trend in the apparel industry is gaining traction.
More and more brands are committing to sustainable clothing. And if you haven’t realized yet, so do we. Our goal is to become fully sustainable by 2025. Read further to find out why we've set this goal for ourselves.
What exactly is sustainable fashion?
Sustainable fashion refers to clothing that is designed, manufactured, distributed, and used in ways that are environmentally friendly. It is the opposite of fast fashion: a term used to describe (clothing) companies that respond quickly to the latest trends by changing collections regularly and mass-producing them at low cost.
A big misunderstanding is that many people think sustainability is all about low impact, recyclable materials and fabrics. And yes, that is important. However, a sustainable fashion brand also strives to minimize the amount of water and energy use from the manufacturing process.
The same goes for providing optimal working conditions and a safe environment for employees. Being sustainable implies much more than just using organic cotton.
Make no mistake, however. Many people tend to think that being sustainable and being ethical are the same thing. Although they’re often seen together, they are two different things.
Sustainable refers to a brand's impact on the environment, while ethical relates to wellbeing of any people and animals involved in the production process. Clothes consisting of leather or wool are sustainable, because they do not consist of microplastics and they do not pollute the environment.
Nevertheless, these fabrics have ethical considerations. Some people are vegan and wouldn’t buy these products anyhow, while others may be willing to buy as long as good animal welfare can be assured.
Why does sustainable fashion matter?
Reason 1: sustainable fashion saves natural resources
Did you know that about 1,800 gallons of water are needed to produce a pair of jeans? Just to give you an idea: 1,800 gallons of water equals 104 showers or 14,400 bottles of water. Not to mention other resources, like oil to produce synthetic fibres, fertilizers to make cotton and a limitless list of chemicals required to dye & finish the fabric.
Sustainable fashion brands on the other hand, try to save these natural resources in the first place by minimizing the amount of water and energy use from the manufacturing process.
Furthermore, they strive to use recycled, organic materials. Take organic cotton for example: it uses far less water than conventional cotton and it is not treated with pesticides and chemicals. It is a way better alternative for the environment.
Reason 2: sustainable fashion supports fair wages & working conditions
It is the year 2021 and still too many brands use so-called sweatshops: a workplace in which workers are employed at low wages and under unhealthy or oppressive conditions.
Sustainable clothing brands do not support this at all. They support fair wages and humane working conditions. This may sound obvious and it certainly is, but unfortunately people are still heavily exploited in the fashion industry.
They often have to work 80 hours a week for extremely low wages. As if low wages and long days weren't bad enough, the employees also work under very poor conditions. That means no unions and no ability to call in sick.
Also child labor is absolutely a no-go. Again this sounds logical, but unfortunately child labor is still very much prevalent in the fashion industry. In fact, child labor is one of the most common features of fast fashion.
Reason 3: sustainable fashion means less textile waste
The problems of the fast fashion industry have become much clearer in recent years. Clothing is generally made at breakneck speed in the most extreme of circumstances, with the aim of being able to respond to the latest trends.
As a customer you might think this is great, but unfortunately it is not. In fact, it is destroying our planet: it uses up a lot of natural resources, only to be thrown away once the trend has passed.
Taking that into account, it is much better to invest in timeless basics you can wear all year round and will never go out of style. Because if there’s anything we know about basic wardrobe essentials, it’s that you will wear them on repeat.
And that is exactly what sustainable clothing brands do: investing in timeless collections, with the aim of wasting less textile. Don't buy more, buy smart.
Reason 4: sustainable fashion reduces your environmental footprint
While the environmental impact of flying is well known, fashion sucks up more energy than both aviation and shipping combined. To be precise: the fashion industry accounts for about 10% of global carbon emissions, and nearly 20% of wastewater.
Not to mention the pesticides and chemicals that are often used, only to be dumped; with devastating effects on aquatic life and drinking water as a result. Buying your clothes from a sustainable fashion brand therefore helps to further reduce the carbon footprint of your wardrobe.
Reason 5: the quality of sustainable fashion clothing is often much better
You might think: okay, but what’s really in it for me? Well, a lot. Sustainable fashion is made from mostly organic materials, like organic cotton, linen, and TENCEL™. In the first place, these are meant to not harm the environment. But they are also meant to last long.
Fast fashion clothing on the other hand, focuses on being on-trend. And as you already know trends flux. What's trending today might no longer be trending tomorrow. So why invest in long-lasting materials, right?
It is clear that investing in higher-quality clothing, wearing them more often and holding onto them for longer, is the secret weapon for combating global warming. And it benefits you too. A win-win!
We still have a long way to go, but luckily the slow and sustainable fashion movement is on the rise. Enter: fair fashion.
At Haze&Finn we have committed to becoming fully sustainable by 2025. In the journey to that destination, we need your help. We encourage you not only to buy, but to consume sustainably as well. At Haze&Finn, we give you the opportunity to do the first, the latter is up to you.
Do you still have questions about sustainability? Or would you like more information about Haze&Finn as a sustainable clothing brand? Feel free to contact us. We will be happy to assist you.