Fashion has always been a huge industry, with iconic styles coming out of every decade and era. Along with the rise in consumerism, the industry has had to speed up to meet demands. Fast fashion in 2021 is bigger than ever, but so is environmental awareness. This has also caused a huge rise in fashion brands making an effort to be more sustainable.
According to a 2018 study conducted by the United Nations, the textile and fashion industry generates up to 20% of water waste. They also send 21 billion tonnes of textiles to landfill. This comes from the constant creation of new collections and styles, catering for the high demand of fast fashion.
Along with environmental issues, people are becoming more aware about human rights issues. The majority of Europe’s fast fashion comes from China, and other Asian countries. The issue of workers rights, pay and conditions has started to be highlighted much more in the media as of recently. From this, many consumers are trying to make more informed choices while shopping.
There are some issues that come with the popularity of sustainable clothing. The first is ‘greenwashing’. Greenwashing is defined as “disinformation disseminated by an organisation so as to present an environmentally responsible public image”. Many fast fashion companies have made pledges to become more sustainable, or have used visuals and terms that give the impression they are trying to make a difference.
Doing your own research as a consumer can help you find a company's true ethics. Websites like ‘ethicalconsumer.org’ and ‘good on you’ are great places for information.
Since sustainable fashion has become more sought after, now many consumers are asking brands to tackle the issues with accessibility that come with it. Sustainable fashion is often a lot more expensive than fast fashion. This makes sense due to it costing more in the production process. This means those with less income can struggle to shop sustainably.
There can also be issues with sizing, many plus-sized consumers say they struggle to find sustainable options to fit them. This is a huge gap in the market and is a perfect opportunity for brands to grow their reach if possible.
Spending the extra money on sustainable pieces is usually worth it, though. The quality of clothing by sustainable brands is often of a higher quality, with better materials. Your pieces will last longer, and wear better over time. The high quality material also makes them extra comfortable.
You are also more likely to find unique pieces. When shopping fast fashion, the styles are mass-produced on a huge scale. It’s pretty likely that you and your friend could end up buying the same shirt.
There are so many high quality sustainable brands out there. There are resources online to help you find sustainable clothing brands, depending on what your style is. We thought we should list a few we like here.
Founded by 2006 by designers Ezra and Tuba Çetin, introducing sustainable hi-tech fashion. The brand is passionate about acting responsibly and using biodegradable materials.
To find out more about their collections, contact +44 208 669 4876 or email email@example.com
Dedicated to making clothing in responsible and unusual ways. Frankie Philips founded Tobefrank with the aim of changing fashion's current negative impact on the planet. Using plant dyes and giving food fibres and rubbish new life.
To see their collections and learn more, visit tbfuk.com
Written by: Abby Ashenhurst
Digital content executive @ Elemntz