Sustainable fashion: conscious consumption of clothing

Sustainable fashion, also known as ethical fashion, is a movement that seeks to promote a more responsible and respectful approach to the environment and people in the textile industry.

Being fashionable also has its price. Not only economically but also environmentally. According to the United Nations (UN), the textile industry is the second most polluting industry in the world.

While fashion persuades us that we should keep up with ever-changing trends and update our wardrobe every few weeks or months, aligning ourselves with the concept of sustainable fashion and starting by buying fewer new clothes helps the environment.

According to Quantis, a climate consulting company specialized in analyzing the environmental impact of the fashion industry, it reports that this industry generates around 4 billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions, which represents 8,1% of total greenhouse gas emissions in the world.

These calculations cover the seven stages of the life cycle of a garment, from the production of the fibers to make it, for example in the cultivation of cotton, through the assembly of the garment, to its transportation and sale.

Below we give you some suggestions that will help you be part of the sustainable fashion movement and be more careful when dressing to take care of the planet:

Sustainable fashion, key to reducing consumption

This is undoubtedly the most important point to consider as a strategy for caring for the planet. The reduction in consumption in the face of a market that constantly produces new collections to satisfy demand, not only damages the environment, but also violates human rights through precarious working conditions.

Figures from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development show that the industry uses too much water to make clothing, emits more carbon dioxide than all international flights and transport, and emits half a million tonnes of microfibers entering the ocean each year. .

Used clothing, a popular alternative

There are a series of alternatives to be in line with sustainable fashion, such as reusing clothing. You can from swapping clothes with friends to buying clothes vintage or used clothes. This latest trend is increasingly popular.

According to the annual report of ThredUP, one of the largest companies specialized in the online purchase and sale of used clothing and accessories, in 2030 the used clothing market will have an estimated value of about 77 billion dollars.

Lo vintage It has evolved from an economic necessity to an aesthetic value, becoming an ethical response in line with sustainable fashion. There are also various places such as boutiques, fairs and markets specializing in second-hand clothing, where you can find a variety of unique options that suit your style.

Give a second life to your clothes

Did you know that the clothes, shoes and accessories we collect are constantly burned or thrown into landfills?
According to the United Nations, one garbage truck's worth of textiles are buried or burned every second. So if you want to help avoid clothing waste, you can bet on giving it a second life.

Donate it to an organization that collects clothing, sell it at a thrift store, give it to someone you know will use it. Or swap clothes with friends to give your wardrobe a new look. You can even turn it inside out and use your imagination to turn it into another item of clothing you can wear.

Buy and sell on online platforms

Your clothes can end up in unwanted places and not necessarily in the trash or the sea. Used clothing trading applications are a very effective tool to promote sustainable fashion consumption and enter into the concept of circular economy. In many places, you can sell clothes, shoes or accessories that you no longer wear to people around the world and buy someone everything they no longer need.

Rent your own clothes

Renting is a very convenient option when you are looking for clothes that you will wear once or twice or that you know will go out of style next season. An example could be a costume for a theme party, clothing for a wedding or very specific seasonal designs.

For the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, which works to improve the industry's sustainability performance, it is “a compelling value proposition, especially in the face of changing customer needs; examples include short-term use, practical requirements or rapidly changing fashion preferences".

Recycle your clothing

sustainable fashion

When we talk about recycling, we usually think of plastic bottles or other food and beverage containers. Clothing is generally not considered recyclable and, as we have seen, often ends up in the trash. But it is possible to recycle it and be another sustainable fashion strategy.

Although the textile industry relies heavily on non-renewable resources - oil to produce synthetic fabrics, fertilizers to grow cotton and chemicals to produce dyes, fibers and textile finishing materials - the impact of the footprint is enormous and goes beyond the use of raw materials, he points out. Ellen MacArthur.

"Low absorption and recycling rates, as well as the current linear and wasteful system, are the main causes of the enormous and increasing pressure on resources", he added.

In response to the negative impact of waste in the environment, some fashion stores have promoted recycling initiatives in recent years in which you can participate.

These are baskets found in most of its stores around the world, where customers can return clothes they no longer need. According to the Swedish multinational H&M, the idea is to increase textile collection and recycling rates, while reducing the amount of unnecessary waste sent to landfills.

In particular, H&M has been accused of "greenwashing" to consumers due to confusion over the reliability of its 2010 Conscious Collection.

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