We all love fashion. No matter how overrated the prices are and how bad the quality is. If it looks crazy on you, you will want it. So sustainable fashion is not about changing the way you dress, it is about what you wear, where you buy it from and do you really need what you are buying.
Sustainable fashion can be defined as a movement where people are making fashion choices that has a better ecological ending and social impact.
In other words, don’t make fashion statements that are not environmental friendly.
The concept of sustainable fashion was introduced in the early 1990s by Nike after a huge scam that involved poor labor conditions in some of its Indonesian factories. They tried to fix it after one of their Bangladesh warehouses broke down causing serious workplace issues for factory workers. Since then the revolution began to work towards the sustainable fashion industry.
The fashion industry includes everything starting from the fields they get their fiber until they make a fabric out of it and then a clothing piece. The labor, machinery and the management required is all a part of the fashion industry. Hence, if we wish to move towards sustainable development in the same, the input-process-output, all the three parts should be environmentally friendly.
If you walk into a cotton field, pluck a few cotton flowers, and bring it back to your home you have successfully completed level one of being environment-friendly. Now, try to comb the cotton to clean it and spin it on a mini charka. Then twist it and spin it again. You can add dye to it if you wish it to be colorful. Use this yarn to weave it into a small piece of fabric. You have successfully leveled up in the game without losing any lives.
Now, imagine this on a large scale and let’s say you made a bag out of it. Use the bag and reuse it till it’s worn out. Congratulations! You have come to the final stage of the game. Most people throw away the bag, if you do so you lose a life (the heart that strikes out in video games) and can be eliminated from the game. This is where you have to use your brains to optimize how the worn-out bag can be reused into something smaller and useful. If you do not wish to do it, hand it down to someone less fortunate who cannot afford your eco-friendly worn out bag. If you are successful in staying ‘green’ by the end of the game, well-done buddy you have nailed sustainability compared to 3/4th of the nation.
“It is challenging to change your lifestyle and fashion choices, so whenever you find yourself in doubt, ask yourself, what choice would you make to stay alive in the game.“
Sustainable fashion sounds exactly that simple. It is challenging to change your lifestyle and fashion choices, so whenever you find yourself in doubt, ask yourself, what choice would you make to stay alive in the game. You may be at any level, but your choices can make a difference.
You can choose a plastic-based fiber or you can throw the dress that has become old into the landfills and roll out of the game. When you are unsure of the material, ask someone or google and find out the best eco-friendly fabric in the market and stick to your goal of being sustainable.
We have a million reasons to let go but a million more to stay in. Staying in fashion is important, but staying sustainably fashionable is cooler and green. So next time you be a producer or a consumer and wish to make a fashion statement, choose(to be) sustainable.
(Shraddha is an energy engineer working towards an interdisciplinary approach in sustainable development, energy optimization and green energy to solve climate change issues. She can be contacted on Twitter and Instagram)
(The views expressed in the article are the author’s own. Let Me Breathe neither endorses nor is responsible for them.)