Top 5 Ways To Make The Fashion Industry More Sustainable

The fashion industry, like any other industry, has been concerned with sustainability over the past decades. Since 2016, the term sustainable fashion on search engines has increased by 66%. It is estimated that by 2030, the fashion industry as a whole will increase its water consumption by 50%. Now more than ever, we need to be concerned about our planet, which means we should be concerned about what we are wearing.

The fashion industry has shown seriousness towards sustainability in the past couple of years, and this is due to the power of consumerism. This situation will definitely worsen if you don’t change our consumption patterns and start consuming more sustainability. So, without further ado, let’s dive into this blog and learn some of our tips to make the fashion industry more sustainable.

1. Second-hand shopping


Millennials and Gen Z are chasing second-hand shopping like never before, which has made retailers and brands move towards it. A recent report by ThredUp showed that the second-hand clothing market had been valued at roughly $24 billion as of 2018, and it is estimated that it will hit about $64 billion in the coming decade. Second-hand shopping has some pretty unique and vintage styles to stand out trends.

Smart shoppers and people who thrive on more sustainable lifestyles make deliberate choices by picking up second-hand accessories and clothes. In 2020, the second-hand clothing market had a staggering value of 32 billion dollars, which is set to reach $51 billion by 2023. This specific marketing is growing impressively across the world, and you can find a thrift shop almost anywhere you go.

2. On-demand and custom clothing

The current trend that you are almost on board with is custom clothing. More and more people are moving towards on-demand as it is pretty unique, customizable, and fashionable with amazing tips. Now, both brands and retailers are personalizing entire shopping experiences to get closer to their customers. In our era of consumerism, more and more customers are choosing the personalized route when it comes to their clothing.

The demand for custom clothes has shown immense growth in the past 2 to 3 years and is ready to boom in the coming years. Brand and designers are continuously working to improve their customers’ experience with customized shopping, and in doing so, they are making sure that you don’t buy too many clothes, as you will want to show your personalized pieces. Eco-conscious consumers are choosing more personalized clothing over mass production to save raw materials and natural resources and support ethical and sustainable fashion.

3. Ethical and fair fashion


Now more than ever, consumers are looking for and choosing fair and ethical fashion, and they work hand in hand. The fashion industry is known for its history of being exploitative toward human labor, animals, and our planet. Nowadays, the fashion industry is moving and choosing veganism, sustainability, Eco-friendliness, and socially right clothes. Brands are now finding ways to make fashion more ethical and cruelty-free. Consumers are also moving towards the brand that serves them the best quality without having to compromise on animals, humans, labor rights, and the planet during the manufacturing process.

Brands are making clothes with their customers’ choices in mind. With fair trade and ethical fashion, brands are moving towards veganism and sustainability. Consumers are opting for fair trade and ethical fashion to preserve traditional craftsmanship and make their clothes more sustainable. Brands, consumers, and even the government are taking many initiatives to make the fashion industry completely fair and ethical through a transparent supply chain. And in 2022, ethical fashion will be a fashion code.

4. Repairing, spicing up, and recycling fashion.

In an industry bursting with options, repairing and redesigning are the hottest trends. Not only consumers but brands and retailers are following the 5 Rs of fashion- reduce, recycle, repair, reuse, and reinvent. Brands are improving consumers’ overall experience by giving them tips on how to make their purchases last longer. Some brands offer repair services for their clothing. Beyond repair, they redesign. Garments that cannot be repaired can be recycled or redesigned. In recent years, brands have taken numerous redesign initiatives to give old garments a completely new look.

In this way, the fashion industry saves raw materials and natural resources. In addition, brands are also helping to eliminate fashion waste and make the industry more sustainable. Fashion upcycling involves using consumers’ upstream and downstream waste to create new products. This process allows old garments to be reused without going through the recycling process. This industry will become more sustainable with repaired, redesigned, and recycled garments.

5. Clean and green fashion


The fashion industry is among the most polluting industries in the world. From the planet to the animals, this industry harms everyone. It is therefore becoming vital to make production clean and green. In the age of consumerism, destructive fashion is no longer acceptable to consumers. Consumers are dressing for the planet by prioritizing environmentally friendly fashion. Sustainability focuses on the future. Green fashion helps keep the planet clean and makes it a better place to live. 

Consumers love green clothing that has minimal impact on the environment. Products made from renewable resources are usually considered green. As far as the term “clean” is concerned, it includes natural or synthetic products that are not harmful to health. Non-toxic products do not contain ingredients. And therefore, they can improve the earth’s health and its earthlings. Consumers are embracing clean and green fashion to make the industry more sustainable in the years to come.

Sound off in the comments section below and tell us what you want to read next and if you want to read more about making the fashion industry more sustainable.

Sustainable Fashion – What Can Consumers Do?

What can we do as individual customers to make our fashion behavior more sustainable? We can do several things as customers, starting with the choices we make when buying new clothes, from how we take care of the clothes we already have to what we do with the clothes we no longer need. Here are some steps to be more environmentally friendly in your clothing habits and save some money in the process:

1. Don’t buy new things unless you need them. Shopping should not become a habit but a thoughtful choice. Reducing our consumption is one of the most important first steps. It is essential to make careful choices before we decide to buy new clothes. Perhaps something as simple as taking an inventory of what we have before deciding to go to the store and get something. One of the best rules is the “one in, one out” rule, where if something new is bought, something old must go out of the closet.

2. Become familiar with the idea of a “curated closet. Try taking a closer look at your life and better understand what clothes you need and are likely to use. Do you need to have ten party dresses if the last time you went to a party, you wore jeans? The art of carefully selecting garments to create a flexible and organized wardrobe is reborn. There are several tutorials online that will help you put together a work and leisure wardrobe with garments that you can all mix and match. That way, you feel like you still have many options, that the clothes match, and that you need to own fewer pieces, which means you have more of the ones you do own.

How to Decipher “Sustainable Fashion” in 2020

3. Know where you store. Once you’ve decided to buy a new piece of clothing, it’s helpful to research whether you’re at least aware of the different, more environmentally friendly choices in clothing stores and clothing brands. I was surprised to discover that several clothing brands are being more responsible and making more significant efforts to support environmental initiatives and responsible clothing production as part of their business strategy. These clothing brands, such as Patagonia, often offer clothing at a similar price point to their less environmentally conscious competitors. It would be helpful to “vote with your wallet” and support the clothing brands that go the extra mile to be ecologically aware.

4. Buy second-hand clothing or ‘upcycled’ clothing. It takes 25 liters of water to make one t-shirt, so to be environmentally conscious, it makes more sense to reuse clothes for as long as possible: or at least the material the dresses are made of. There are many good second-hand clothing options. If size and style are critical, ‘up-cycled’ clothing, or clothing that has been remade from vintage/second-hand to get new techniques and a better fit, is an environmentally responsible choice.

5. Look at materials. Suppose one prefers to buy new clothes but does not have access to more environmentally friendly brands or cannot afford to store at a more expensive store. It would even help to make better environmental choices somewhere like H&M. You can buy a blouse made of organic cotton instead of one made of non-organic cotton or polyester. Looking for fabrics like bamboo or silk is another good step. Looking at dyes is another way to be more environmentally friendly when buying new clothes like bright fabrics that require more harmful dyes. Then buying a neutral color organic cotton blouse would be a better choice than a bright neon yellow one.

6. Ask the place you’re buying from “how is this made” and “is this environmentally friendly? Let the clothing brand know that you care about the environmental impact of the clothing.

7. Try to invest in fewer but higher quality garments so they last longer. Get familiar with the fit, stitching, and styles that will last a few years, not a few months.

EGYPT: "Vatrina", an application for sustainable fashion, launched by  students | Afrik 21

8. Once you have the new garment, be careful how you care for it. Don’t wash clothes more than necessary, because constant care of clothes also significantly impacts the environment. Learn how to care for clothes to keep them from breaking and make them last longer, such as not using too much detergent and drying flat instead of a clothes dryer. Learn how to hand wash silk, cashmere, and wool, so you don’t have to dry clean them – dry cleaning uses harsh chemicals that are bad for the earth and bad for the environment. Learn how to remove stains and how to repair clothing, so the pieces last longer.

9. If you feel that a clothing piece no longer fits in your closet, try to reuse it. If it is still in good condition, see if you can pass it on to a friend who can wear it. If not, try it at a consignment store or donate it to charity (but beware – many charity donations end up in the third world, where they can also end up in a landfill). You can also see if any reputable companies will accept the garment for recycling. If the clothing is in a bad state, use it for clean-up rugs, or turn it into scraps to stuff sofa cushions.

10. Realize that your choices do make a difference and help improve the situation. Tell your friends and anyone who will listen about how you make your clothing choices. Help others become informed. Change starts with education and small steps.

These simple steps will not only help reduce the environmental impact of clothing, but they will also save you money and free up space in your closet.

Fast Fashion: How Do My Clothes Affect the Planet?

When we buy new clothes, we are guided by fashion trends, if we look good or if the prices seem affordable. Very rarely do we buy our clothes thinking about where and how it was produced, if it affects the environment in any way or if it was manufactured, respecting workers’ rights, and paying fair wages. Fast fashion is at the forefront of fashion and provides low prices that make it accessible to many people. However, there is a history of environmental damage and social injustice that big brands are not telling us!

The Fashion Industry Contributes 10% of Global Emissions.

Life Beyond Plastics: How Fashion is Killing Our Rivers

The fashion industry is the second most polluting in the world, only behind the oil company. What is this about? To an accelerated and massive production of garments linked to overconsumption, fueled by the trends and new collections that appear every year. In other words, the big fast fashion brands use market strategies to keep us buying and consuming non-stop, and they can maximize their profits. An example of this is perceived obsolescence, which implies leading consumers to think that a product is obsolete, even if it is still functional, just because it does not comply with the fashion or dominant trend. This leads us to the fact that even though we already have two black skirts in perfect condition, we want to buy a new one just because that new design is in fashion. This excess consumption of products leads to environmental impacts such as:

  • Greater extraction of natural resources to continue manufacturing new garments and meet demand adds greenhouse gas emissions during the extraction of raw material, manufacturing, transportation, and product disposal. The UN indicates that the fashion industry contributes 10% of global emissions.

  • Extensive Water Pollution:  According to Greenpeace, the textile industry is one of the largest users of hazardous chemicals and one of the industries that pollute the most freshwater globally. Our garments’ production is behind multicolored rivers due to the spillage of water contaminated by the dyeing processes; the spilled substances are possible carcinogens and hormonal disruptors that can harm nearby communities’ health.

  • Release of Microplastics and Microfibers Into the Environment: Many of our garments are made from various plastic types. When they are washed, they can shed microplastics into our water bodies; the same happens with other synthetic or organic materials released as microfibers. According to research from the University of Toronto, a single pair of jeans sheds an average of 56,000 microfibers per wash cycle, and this massive amount of microscopic dirt seems to accumulate in the Arctic. Whenever a garment is washed, a small amount of lint is spilled and comes off with the clothes.

  • A Large Generation of Waste: In the last 15 years, the number of times we wear our garments again has fallen by 36%. That means that we reuse our clothes less and less. Motivated by changes in trends and new collections, many people overconsume low-quality garments that will quickly go out of style and be discarded when the new season arrives. According to this are the low recycling percentages, in Mexico of only 5% according to CEMDA data, nearly 80% of discarded clothing ends up in landfills or incinerated.Why Sustainable Fashion is the Only Way - SustyVibes

These data show that the clothes we wear are indeed harming the planet, in addition to the fact that many fast fashion brands sell garments produced by cheap labor from exploited people, including boys and girls, in developing countries. Every time you find a bargain at the mall, this low price reflects the fair wages that brands are not paying workers as well as the environmental damage that companies do and do not do.

Therefore, now that the Good End is coming and a time of excessive consumption begins (Black Friday, Christmas, Three Kings Day, etc.), try to look for clothes without this broad environmental and social footprint:

  • Who said we need new clothes to dress in style? Buying second-hand clothes is an excellent option to keep clothes in use and prevent them from reaching landfills;

  • If you have possibilities, look for Mexican brands of sustainable clothing, which offer carefully manufactured garments to reduce their environmental impacts and also are of higher quality and will last much longer;

  • Exchange, donate and give someone else the clothes you no longer want to have in your closet. You can exchange with your friends and family, donate clothes to organizations (of girls and boys, migrants, women) that need them, or look for online ventures that create barter and exchange communities;

  • Repair or renew the clothes you already have so that you can give them a new life. What is no longer useful to you will undoubtedly help someone else and be good for our planet.