The last few years have seen a wave of change sweeping throughout the fashion industry, empowered by the facts about its implications on the planet and people living on it. A large number of brands have emerged accepting the principles of ethical and sustainable fashion journey.
Slow fashion is an approach towards sourcing, manufacturing, and designing clothes that maximizes the benefits to the industry and society at large, at the same time minimizes the impacts on the environment.
Ethical fashion is a movement that encourages people to buy fewer clothes of higher quality, through sustainable processes, and with high regard for the people who make them. It is at the intersection of ethical and environmentally-friendly fashion. It encompasses garments that are locally sourced, produced, and sold. Supporting slow fashion means selecting well-made, long-lasting garments that celebrate people and the planet.
“Sustainable fashion is not only about supporting slow fashion labels but also about giving new life to existing items and keeping clothing out of landfills.”
You switch to slow fashion or not it’s your choice. But these six reasons may urge you to ponder upon the impact of your small decisions to the mother earth.
According to a report by Mckinsey, about 60% of all clothing ends up in incinerators or landfills within a year of being made. Not only that, but according to the Global Fashion Agenda, 2017, the total amount of fashion waste is expected to reach 148 million tons by 2030—equivalent to 17.5 kg of waste per person, per year, across the planet. By buying less and choosing well before shopping, we can reduce the total amount of waste created by the fashion industry.
2.Lower your carbon footprint.
According to a report by Quantis, 2018, the global apparel and footwear industry accounts for 8% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, or 3,990 million metric tons of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere each year. Choosing locally made clothing is just one way to reduce your carbon footprint, by eliminating the fossil fuels required to transport that little black dress all the way from across the world.
3.Reduce exposure to toxic chemicals.
Of the 2,400 substances used in clothing manufacturing, researchers of Elle MacArthur Foundation, have found that approximately 30% of the identified substances pose a known risk to human health. Cotton farmers and factory workers face long-term exposure to pesticides, toxic dyes, and other harmful chemicals that have lead to vomiting, headaches, respiratory diseases, depression, seizures, and death, just to name a few. If you think these toxins don’t affect you, think again. Consumers also suffer from allergens and endocrine-disrupting chemicals found in clothing. And if you try washing them away, they can also pollute the water supply. Fortunately, by choosing garments made from natural or sustainable fibers and non-toxic dyes to mitigate these effects.
4.Support animal welfare.
Animal abuse in the fashion industry is rampant; animals are tortured to make use of their fur, skin, or hide. But that’s only half the story. Many more animals are harmed when pollution from the fashion industry destroys their habitats and disrupts food chains. Remember how those toxic chemicals from clothing production make their way into the water supply? Well, fish and other wildlife end up consuming the polluted water, which harms them, and ultimately us, as the toxins make their way up the food chain. Choose sustainably made clothing to support animal welfare, both directly and indirectly.
5.Support small businesses and independent designers.
Fast fashion is generally produced by mass-market retailers, whereas slow fashion favors smaller, independent labels. Smaller brands have more control over every step of the manufacturing process, and can more easily implement ethical and sustainable practices to produce high-quality clothing.Not only this they also support fair wages and working conditions for the artisans and daily wagers.
6. Save time.
Think about how much time you spend agonizing over what to wear. Having many items to choose from can make the decision-making process harder. It may seem counterintuitive, but having a smaller wardrobe actually means less time spent making a decision. And if all your clothes are of high quality, beautifully made pieces, you really can’t go wrong no matter what you choose to wear.