Get to know the sustainable fashion proposals

All human activity has a direct or indirect impact on the environment and on people’s lives. So, If we do not do something to achieve sustainable development, sooner rather than later we will have ended our future. The commitment to sustainability must mainly involve the industry, including the textile and fashion industry.

To contribute to sustainability, international firms and young entrepreneurs in this market are betting on sustainable fashion. Caring for the environment, respecting the labor rights of textile workers, and protecting their health and that of consumers matter.

Sustainable fashion in a sustainable world

What is sustainability?

In order to understand the concept of sustainability in fashion we must begin by understanding the concept of sustainable development. Because sustainable does not imply only harmonic development with the environment or economic growth. Sustainable also implies that the rights of all people and their social welfare are respected. And it also implies that all these objectives are achieved without compromising the well-being of future generations.

How sustainable has the textile and fashion industry been?

The textile and fashion industry is one of the more pollutants along with the oil industry. Trends such as fast fashion coupled with low cost generate a high environmental cost. These forms of accelerated consumption have made clothing almost “disposable” ending up in garbage dumps in a very short time.

Many of these textiles can take years to decompose, with the side effect of the emission of polluting gases. Today, 400% more new clothes are bought each year, compared to twenty years ago.

On the other hand, making clothing involves the use of highly toxic chemical dyes, which end up polluting seas and oceans, acidifying them and changing their entire ecology.

It is estimated that the textile industry produces 20% of the toxins that are discharged into the water. The abuse on water is also seen in the amount used for manufacturing. An estimate made by the Environmental Justice Foundation indicates that a pair of jeans requires between 10,000 and 17,000 liters of water. That is what is required to produce a kilo of cotton with which the jean is made.

And this is just what we see. The darker side of the textile industry is presented in a documentary called The true cost. It shows the social exploitation that exists in many countries behind this industry. In 2013, a factory collapsed in Bangladesh, leaving more than a thousand dead. This accident uncovered the existence of miserable wages and almost subhuman working conditions for textile workers in third world countries.

What is sustainable fashion?

It’s a new way of understanding the fashion industry. The Be Green label tries to be compatible with environmental conservation, social justice and poverty reduction. It even goes much further. It seeks the total transformation of the textile industry and its ecological and social impact. This is what has been called “responsible consumption”.

Along with these concepts, the one of «fair Trade». It is not a new concept, but it has only recently gained notoriety. Fair trade seeks to promote respect for the work of those who produce the garments, recognizing their true value. And stores selling second-hand clothing have also proliferated, as a way to give a second life to clothing that is still usable.

What are its principles and values

  • Use responsable of the natural resources needed in the textile and fashion industry.
  • Use of materials easily recyclable.
  • Reduction the use of non-natural materials and products in clothing.
  • Reduction of the contamination product of the confection.
  • Respect for the human rights of workers.
  • Good working conditions regarding payment, safety and occupational health.
  • Impulse to the social development of the geographical area of ​​influence of the textile industry.

Sustainable fashion, the latest fashion trend?

Designers like Lucy tamman Y Stella mccartney They have already signed up for fair trade without neglecting high couture. Design houses like Frock Los Angeles, Amour vert Y Edun –Bono’s business in Africa– have also accepted the commitment to sustainability. Models, like the American Summer rayne oakes, participate in advertising campaigns that seek to help people lead a healthier life.

Sustainable fashion is also beginning to spread through courses, festivals, insertion programs, blogs … For example, in the United States, the Portland Fashion Week it only accepts the presentation of eco-friendly products. You can find stores that sell sustainable clothing. Or participate in the Sustainable Fashion Conference, in which all the news related to slow fashion are presented. The Argentine online store Green Textile sells “zero environmental impact” and “100% social commitment” labels on its clothing.

A striking and moving example is that of Heavy Eco. This brand was founded in a prison in Estonia, where sustainable clothing pieces are made. Its commitment to sustainable development does not only include the reintegration of prisoners. Half of the profits obtained are destined to provide aid to the homeless and street children in the city of Tallinn, the Estonian capital.

Heavy Eco

The sustainable development is everyone’s responsibility. If we understand that it is the only one that can allow us to continue inhabiting this planet, we will have won a battle against barbarism. Already the textile and fashion industry has taken a first step with sustainable fashion. It remains for the rest of us to continue pointing in that same direction.

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