Sustainable, Ethical, Slow, Circular, Recycling, Upcycling and Second-hand. All of these terms you may have heard referring to environmentally friendly fashions… but what do they all mean? Generally speaking, these terms refer to fashion that has been created without depleting natural resources or the exploitation of individuals and communities. Sustainable means to ensure the fashion industry both creates good and avoids harm, whether to people, the planet, or animals. The other terms speak to the process of sustainability.
Why is sustainability so important in our clothing? During Covid-19, emissions declined by 2.4 billion metric tons, however the fashion industry is still forecasted to overshoot the 1.5-degree goal set in the Paris Climate Agreement twofold. It takes approximately 2,700 liters of water to make one t-shirt which is enough drinking water for one person for 900 days. By comparison, it takes 10,000 liters of water to make a pair of jeans. It takes 148,000 liters of water to make a car. But there are only 92 million cars made world-wide per year, while there are over 6 billion pairs of jeans made every year – about a 65/1 ratio.
We purchase a pair of jeans and a t-shirt never giving a thought to the process of how they were made. Instead the first thing we typically think is “How much does this cost?” There used to be a time when we valued our clothing. We passed them down to other family members. We purchased quality pieces that would last a long time, we planned and budgeted for new purchases. Then came the advent of fast fashion, where they replicated runway trends and high fashion designs, mass producing them at a very low cost. However, it’s not too late as each of us can stop the fast fashion culprits. When you are buying clothing ask the brands if it was made in safe environment? Was everyone in the factory paid a living wage? Save money by buying less but buying better quality items. Shop local Charity shops, consignment shops and vintage shops. Donate to smaller local thrift, consignment stores and smaller independent charities instead of large charities where 85% of donations end up in the landfills or incinerated. eKlozet designer consignment, a locally women owned store, is one such store that is committed to doing their part to save the environment one garment at time. Try shopping consignment or ethically sourced clothing in the future. Any step you take, however small is a contribution. Simply take the step.
This article was written by Tanjuria Willis of eKlozet. Please visit www.eklozet.com to learn more.