Fashion Revolution week is over, but we do not want to stop talking about this. This week in April, which marks the Rana Plaza clothing factory collapse in Bangladesh, is a reminder to all of us about our buying habits and how our choices influence the demand. We wanted cheap clothes, no matter who pays the price. But the good news is, that the market is slowly shifting and consumers start asking more questions about their clothing, who made them and at what cost.
It would be hard to disagree that the trend of sustainable clothing is growing. In fact, it is really becoming more popular. Many people find the idea of sustainable clothing really useful to the environment while others just support it because it is trendy nowadays. More and more brands use word ‘sustainability’, however, just few of them really apply sustainable practices in their processes. Sadly, most brands just see the sustainable fashion as a trend and an opportunity to greewash their customers. And we can’t say that it is a bad trend. If we all followed such trends, we would be able to do so much more good to our environment. However, following the trend of sustainable clothing just because it sounds and looks good is not enough. We need to take a look at the deeper meaning and ask ourselves why and how can we really contribute to this idea of sustainable fashion.
First of all, sustainable fashion might sometimes be more expensive than the clothes offered by the fast fashion brands. You might ask if it is worth investing and you would be completely right to have this doubt. However, it is so important to see a bigger picture than only the price. It is crucial to realize what stands behind every decision that we make and what exact values are we supporting with our choices. Buying sustainable speeds up a natural reorientation from fast to so called “slow” fashion. It most likely means that people who produced it were paid fairly and the quality of the garment is better.
What is more, it is important to ask yourself, once you made a choice to buy a piece of clothing you like – where is your money going to? Is it landing in the pockets of a big corporation, who produce clothing for one and only reason – to get your money? Or is it a small local business that strives to make special garments that you could wear forever and would not harm the environment? Supporting local businesses makes a huge change in the economy, companies function in a more circular way and instead of transporting products from lands far far away, we cut down on transportation and invest our money to a transparent brand that will use it to improve its values.
Sustainability can be implemented in many different ways. Some brands choose to work with the slow fashion concept – creating styles without following the trends. Some choose sustainable textiles, some apply different upcycling techniques, some do local production. Those are people behind the brands, who strive to make it easier for you, as a consumer! It takes a long time and research to find the right materials, develop a concept, find a fair production place. It all costs money and time. Though at the end the product price might be higher, but it is only because it was a long and expensive process to bring a value to you. Then you can be sure, that the brand you are supporting has done its job to create a beautiful special garment, having the least effect on the environment.
All in all, there are so many reasons to buy sustainable and it would take a while to list all of them here. The bottom line is that choosing sustainable clothing and supporting sustainable clothing brands makes a big difference. It is because sustainable clothing is not only about you and your sense of fashion – it is about all of us and about our environment. It is all about the right choices. Being conscious in every aspect of our lives resonates with our overall feeling of wellbeing individually and as a community. Buying sustainable is the easiest way of becoming a part of a global community of those who do not only care about the future, but take action to make it is a great as possible to all of us.