What is Sustainable Clothing? A Complete Guide | Cotstyle
by GTN Engineering on Oct 23, 2023
Uncover the essence of sustainable fashion and its transformative role in the industry. Explore the principles, practices, and benefits of eco-conscious clothing.
What is Sustainable Clothing?
Humans play a very important role when it comes to the impact on our environment. However, with all the good intentions still in line it is still hard to make ethical or sustainable choices. The major problems arise when you get limited choices and sometimes you must give up on the best of your brands.
Sustainable clothing or sustainable fashion is a term that refers to clothing made in ways that encourage social welfare and pay important to workers’ rights. For example, as a vegan, the idea of sustainable clothing refers to clothing that is devoid of any leather, pelts, or animal fibers.
What are the 6 R's in Making Fashion Sustainable?
The 6 R’s of sustainable fashion is the way through which designers create new clothing with the help of sustainable materials and hence contribute to the welfare of the society and environment. There are in total 6 R’s of sustainable fashion and can be provided as follows:
One of the biggest differences can easily be made if you take a step back and rethink your decision about buying a new garment. Sometimes look at the clothes and ask yourself whether the clothes I am viewing right now are disposable or not. Or is it just because I need a dopamine boost that I am buying these? Ensure that you look at higher quality clothing that matches your style while is also created out of sustainable materials. That way you can not just wear them for a long time but also feel happy whenever you wear them.
Just because you are supposed to do it does not mean it is the right way forward. Similarly, when you see a lot of clothes in the store you have one simple question whether I need them or can I view myself wearing them for years and years, and if you get your answer as no then it is better to refuse this choice of buying clothes. This R also refers to the gifts you get from your loved ones. If you think they are keeping on buying you clothes that you do not require then you can ask them to stop while thanking them for the gifts.
Sustainable consumption is the right way and goes a long way toward making ethical decisions. You can also replace fast fashion with the help of some eco-friendly options or even thrift clothes. Trying and reducing your shopping habits by focusing more on high-quality well-made garments should also be the priority when it comes to sustainable clothing.
Reusing clothes as much as you can ideally about 30 times should be considered to minimize any environmental footprints that you leave. When buying clothes, you need to ask a question whether you can see yourself wearing them for years or if is it just for the momentary satisfaction that you are buying them. With the help of multiple outfits, you can also mix and match instead of trying to wear it the same way. The idea of one wear throw is unsustainable and hence is not much recommended.
Sadly, recycling in the field of fashion is hardly seen only about 1% of the clothes get recycled. However, if you are wondering how to recycle it then you can either donate it to some people who are in need or you can also upcycle the outfits into other stuff such as tote bags or using them in jewelry making.
Fast fashion clothes are made of materials that can easily tear with just a few wearing's. However, no need to throw out your clothes just due to a few rips. You can easily fix them at home or you can also take them to a tailor to fix them. Doing this can decrease your carbon footprint by 24% while also increasing the life of your clothes by at least 1 or 2 years.
The 7 Principles of Sustainable Fashion
- Education and Awareness: The first and one of the most important principles of sustainable fashion is to educate yourself and become more of a conscious shopper. Since there are so many brands creating fashion with sustainability in mind, it has become easier to opt for these fashion brands. The importance of sustainable clothing can also not be stressed enough especially with the fast-moving fashion nowadays. While it may be hard to select one, a little research on the same can go a long way in finding the best brands.
- Longevity of Clothes: Instead of wearing the clothes just once or twice and throwing them, you can use them many more times. Ideally, 30 times per piece is the count if you are looking for a sustainable option. So instead of buying clothes that can last only for a little while search for clothes that you can wear multiple times while also increasing the longevity and usage of these clothes.
- Investing in Trans-Seasonal Clothes: Sustainable clothing need not be one-season focused. Instead, you can also invest in trans-seasonal clothes that are easier to wear all year round without having to buy new clothes every season. Some of the easy options when it comes to slow fashion are timeless jackets, classic dresses, and even jeans and t-shirts. These will never go out of style and you can also create a better wardrobe with eco-friendly clothing.
- Providing Proper Care to your Clothes: One of the principles of sustainable clothing that most people tend to forget is providing proper care to your clothes. Right from washing to ironing the clothes, everything needs to be paid attention to very carefully. A steamer is also one of the best devices that will help remove bacteria smells and keep your garments as new as they should look.
- Power of Donation: Rather than keeping your clothes in your wardrobe hanging for a long time, it is better to donate them for a good cause. You can also keep a mantra where every time you want to buy something you will donate something. In such a way your wardrobe will never be too crowded and you will get to make an ethical choice when it comes to clothing.
- Quality over Quantity: Investing in more sustainable clothing should also be one of the main principles of sustainable fashion. By doing this it is easier to focus on better quality over quantity. While quantity might give several options to wear however you will eventually find out that they are all just less eco-friendly clothing that does not last long.
- Changing Perspectives: Last and one of the most important principles of sustainable fashion can also be said to be changing perspectives. Not just your own perspective but also changing the perspective of other people involved. With more and more brands trying to build up ethical manufacturing it is now time to stop thinking and start acting for better environmental growth.
Why is Sustainable Clothing Important?
With the rising environmental conditions, it has become urgent to focus on the importance of sustainable clothing and making ethical choices. By considering the lifecycle of clothing, sustainable clothing has aimed at minimizing the impact on both the environment and society. Sustainable fashion in comparison to fast fashion has more focus on sustainable and ethical practices along with decisions such as recycling and upcycling old fabrics and garments.
The Impact of Sustainable Fashion
The following impacts can be observed if people start following sustainable fashion:
- Saving natural resources
- Reduction of carbon footprint
- Saving animal lives
- Saving of water and energy
- Safe and fair working environment for laborers
- Eradication of child labor
Sustainable Style Tips
Here are a few tips to encourage sustainable fashion and can be provided as follows:
- Embracing vintage fashion with the help of some old clothes in your wardrobe.
- Opting for ethical brands
- Renting clothes
- Spreading awareness
- Choosing sustainable materials for your clothes
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How can I identify sustainable clothing brands?
The following criteria can help you identify sustainable clothing brands:
- Sustainable materials
- Ethical working conditions
- Certain certifications
- Green packaging solutions
- Social responsibility
2. What is the difference between ethical fashion and sustainable fashion?
Ethical fashion focuses on social altruism and protecting workers who are working at various levels of garment production. On the other hand, sustainable fashion focuses on the environmental aspect of garment production.
3. What is the lifecycle of a sustainable garment?
The following steps are involved in the lifecycle of sustainable garment
- Getting raw materials
- Making fabric from the materials
- Dye and finish
- Sew and then wash the clothes
- After use give it for recycling or you can also upcycle the same.
4. How can I educate myself about sustainable fashion practices?
By purchasing clothing from companies that use organic, recycled, or upcycled materials and by supporting brands with sustainability practices.