Why Sustainability In Fashion Matters

by: Rosie Dalton | 5 months ago | Features

Image: Arabella wears sustainable brand Base Range.

We are currently facing a global climate crisis, which is why sustainability in fashion is more important than ever. A heavily polluting and wasteful industry, fashion has to take responsibility for its environmental impact.

Unfortunately, though, sustainability is still one of the most misunderstood concepts in fashion and is often open to the interpretation of individual brands. Which is why we’ve specifically defined sustainable brands as those with 80% of their products made using sustainable materials and processes.

Sustainable materials are not just ‘natural’ materials; they include organic textiles, certified closed loop viscose like Modal, recycled polyester and nylon, hemp, or peace silk. Under our code of conduct, environmentally sustainable processes include the use of low impact dyes or implementing and upholding climate neutrality.

Though many fast fashion brands now claim to be sustainable, the industry’s rampant overproduction is anything but. According to the Bureau of Statistics, for example, Australians discarded about 487,000 tonnes of textiles in 2016-17, as a result of a disposable fashion culture. And The New York Times reports that “more than 60 percent of fabric fibres are now synthetics, derived from fossil fuels."

Business Insider points out that "fashion production makes up 10% of humanity’s carbon emissions, dries up water sources, and pollutes rivers and streams." So, we are facing a critical turning point for fashion right now.

The industry needs to adapt if it hopes to survive. Which means prioritising materials that are lighter on the earth like recycled fibres, Tencel, organic cotton and hemp. It also means focussing on smaller production runs and low impact processes.

It is now or never too. In the words of Extinction Rebellion climate activists, there is “no fashion on a dead planet”. 

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