What Is Sustainable Clothing? – Everything You Need To Know

Sustainable clothing: Because being fashionable and environmentally friendly are not mutually exclusive.

Fashion is no exception to the growing awareness of the impact of its actions on the environment. More and more people are using the term “sustainable clothing,” but what does it actually mean?

Clothing that is sustainable includes many factors, from using eco-friendly materials to ensuring fair labor practices to designing clothing that lasts. Making conscious and responsible choices in the clothing industry is more than just being trendy or “in”.

In this article, we’ll explore the different practices and materials that make a garment sustainable, the brands and retailers leading the charge, and tips for making more sustainable choices in your own wardrobe. It covers everything you need to know about sustainable clothing, regardless of whether you’re a fashion enthusiast or looking to make more responsible choices.

Sustainable Clothing Definition

The term sustainable clothing refers to clothing that is made with environmentally friendly and socially responsible methods, materials, and processes. Throughout the entire production and supply chain, these clothes are designed and produced in a manner that minimizes their impact on the environment. Sustainable clothing aims to make garments that last and can be recycled or repurposed at the end of their lifecycle.

What Makes Clothing Sustainable?

Manufacturing

Besides looking good, sustainable clothing is also made with care. A fair and ethical manufacturing process should include safe working conditions and fair wages for all involved.

To make the production process more environmentally friendly, it should also minimize the use of harmful chemicals and dyes.

Materials

Materials play a crucial role in sustainable clothing. Unlike conventional fabrics, organic cotton, bamboo, and linen are grown without the use of harmful chemicals. Furthermore, man-made materials such as Tencel and recycled polyester are also great options due to their minimal environmental impact.

End of Life

When a garment reaches the end of its lifespan, it should be easy to recycle or repurpose. Clothing should be designed with materials and construction methods that make them easy to disassemble, and used clothing should be recycled or donated.

Take a moment to consider giving your clothes a second chance at life before throwing them away.

Durability

There is no place for fast fashion in the 21st century, but there is room for sustainable clothing. Long-lasting clothing made of quality materials and construction is more sustainable in the long run than fast fashion items meant to be worn a few times and then discarded.

Therefore, when buying clothes, consider how often and how long you will wear them.

Considering the entire lifecycle of a garment is key to sustainable clothing. All these factors can contribute to a more sustainable future for the fashion industry. Moreover, remember that being sustainable benefits not only the environment, but also the people involved and you as a consumer.

Most Commonly Used Fabrics

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Green Fabrics

There are many sustainable clothing materials that are eco-friendly and socially responsible. Some of the most popular sustainable materials used in the fashion industry include:

Bamboo

Bamboo grows quickly and requires little water and pesticides to grow. It is also naturally antibacterial, making it a great fabric for clothing. In addition, it’s also extremely soft and comfortable, making it a great fabric for clothing.

Tencel

This man-made material is called Tencel or Lyocell and is made from wood pulp. The process uses less water and energy than traditional cellulosic fibers, and the solvent is recycled and reused. The moisture-wicking properties of Tencel make it ideal for activewear and summer clothing.

Organic Cotton

A more sustainable option than conventional cotton, organic cotton is grown without pesticides and chemicals. Additionally, it uses less water and energy during production. Clothing made of organic cotton is breathable, hypoallergenic, and comfortable, making it ideal for everyday wear.

Recycled Polyester

Polyester made from recycled plastic bottles diverts waste from landfills and reduces the need for new petroleum-based materials. In addition to being eco-friendly, it’s also durable, lightweight, and easy to care for, making it a good option for activewear and outdoor wear.

Upcycled Clothing

An upcycled garment gives an existing garment a new life and extends its lifespan by repurposing it into a new design. Using this method, you can repurpose clothes you might have otherwise thrown away, reducing textile waste. In addition to saving clothes from landfills, upcycling gives them a unique and one-of-a-kind look.

Eco-friendly materials, sustainable options galore! From bamboo to organic cotton, Tencel to recycled polyester, the sustainable fashion scene has got it all. And the best part? There is a sustainable option for everyone, whether you need something soft and cuddly or moisture-wicking and active.

Anyways, those include most of the fabrics ethical and sustainable companies use to manufacture their clothing.

We wanted to include most of them, so even if a brand is not “considered” a very eco-conscious brand, you might still be able to find clothing that is better than the usual, pardon my French, “garbage” that is up for sale.

Some Sustainable Brands & Retailers

It’s mostly direct-to-consumer brands that are leading the pack. There’s something for everyone here, from designer duds to budget-friendly options. And the best part? Looking good and feeling good about your style doesn’t have to break the bank.

The following are some viable options:

High-end Brands

In addition to being stylish and sustainable, these brands use eco-friendly materials and ethical manufacturing practices.

Affordable Brands

Supporting these brands will not only make you look fly, but will also benefit the environment and the people who made them. What’s not to love about a win-win situation?

Anyways, do be sure to check some of these brands, they truly deserve all the support they can get!

How to Start Being Sustainable

Would you like to contribute to the fashion industry in a positive way? The following are a few things you can do to get started:

Shop Second-hand

You’re not only giving clothes a second chance, but you’re also saving money! By shopping secondhand, textile waste can be reduced and clothing can last longer.

Rent Clothing

Repair and Alter Clothing

Fix it before throwing it away! A simple way to extend the life of clothing is to repair and alter it. You can fix a tear, replace a missing button, or upcycle a garment. Moreover, it makes your clothes unique and one-of-a-kind.

Invest in Quality

In the long run, buying quality clothing that lasts is more sustainable than buying fast fashion items that are meant to be worn once and then discarded.

Besides, you can build a versatile and timeless wardrobe this way.

Shop Local

By shopping locally, you support small businesses and reduce transportation’s environmental impact.

To wrap this section up, the point of this was to show everyone that you don’t exactly need to rethink your whole shopping methodology OR throw away your old wardrobe right away…

It just takes a couple of conscious decisions here and there, and you’re on your way to becoming a fashion hero! Even though that sounded very corny, I stand by it!

Wrapping Up

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Green & Fly

Now, we hate knocking anyone down, even those that don’t indulge in sustainable fashion. We know it can be impractical for a lot of people. BUT, if you can AND want to, consider at least starting your sustainable fashion journey.

I know exactly how overwhelming it can be when getting into sustainable fashion, it wasn’t long ago that I also felt overwhelmed when getting into it. But as soon as you start, and by “start” I mean just making a few eco-conscious decisions here and there, it gets much easier.

There you have it, folks, everything you need to know about sustainable clothing. You don’t have to sacrifice your style or break the bank to be sustainable. Being an informed consumer and making conscious choices is key. The next time you’re out shopping, think twice before buying a fast fashion item and instead choose a sustainable option that will make you look good, feel good, and benefit the planet and those involved in the production.

Remember, looking good never goes out of style, but fast fashion does!


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