Why Sustainability in Fashion Matters
In a society in which the environment and living conditions are getting more concerning, we’ve seen the impact of many industry sectors. Fashion too has its fair share of environmental impact. The Geneva Environmental Network states that the fashion industry contributes to 10% of the world’s global emissions.
Yet, the industry growth is not getting any slower. So it is up to us as a part of the industry to take a step and reduce our environmental impact, as well as increasing the living conditions of communities around us. At everyday, we do this through our product development and program initiatives to create clothes that are of good quality and reflect our commitment to be more responsible.
We are doing this to keep the balance of industry growth and keep ourselves cautious of every impact we create in each and every step to bring your favourite everyday wear to you.
As for you, here are a few reasons for you to consider the responsibly made products for your next purchase.
The process of making clothes wastes vast amounts of energy. From water, to fuel, to electricity. But mostly water, as it is one of the biggest energy sources required to produce fabrics, especially the process of dyeing and finishing.
It takes 2,720 litres of water to make one cotton shirt and 7,000 litres of water to make your favourite pair of jeans. Not only does the process use a lot of water, but clothing production also contributes to polluting fresh water as toxic chemicals are used to quickly produce clothes.
Sustainable brands use fabrics such as linen, hemp and organic cotton which usually has little to no use of water in the process. They also cap their water by using a “water budget'' so that they may not go over the needed amount.
Reduces Carbon Footprint
With every energy used, it will be emitted back to the atmosphere in the form of carbon emission. Naturally, our planet has its mechanism to absorb these emissions as a living source for other beings such as plants and a few kinds of insects. The problem is, we are now emitted way more carbon into the atmosphere than the earth’s capacity to absorb.
Now, the goal is not to create literally zero emission. Rather it is to balance out the emission by reducing our carbon footprint while at the same time increasing the ability of our planet to absorb carbons by protecting and recovering the natural ecosystem.
In the context of the fashion industry, there are a lot of initiatives taken by brands & companies to reduce their own carbon footprints. One of the most popular ones is to replace the fabrics with the ones that use less energy to make as well as be more eco-friendly. Other alternatives are done by experimenting with natural fibres, upcycling, and/or using the surplus fabrics as their source material.
Supports Fair and Safe Working Labour
The issue of low wage high risk working conditions in fashion—especially in fast fashion sweatshops—has been the industry’s walk of shame since a decade ago. Way before the term ‘sustainable fashion’ was coined and people’s attention was drawn into fashion’s environmental impact, many were already pointing out the problem of unethical employment in fashion.
Now, with the rise of sustainability discourse, people are slowly realising that it is not only about the environment and keeping the earth green. Rather it is also related to the people and their living conditions as a whole.
With this conscience, many brands and companies are making sure they are providing the workers a decent living/working conditions such as healthcare, social security, fair wages, and allowing them to unionise.
At the end of the day, we want to feel safe and feel great about the clothes we wear, but most of all, we should know that the people who made them should feel the same way.