We all love the idea of ethical and sustainable fashion. We’re living in an age where awareness of the environmental challenges facing us is growing and it’s natural that we all start to evaluate how we can make a difference through our lifestyle choices. But what does ethical and sustainable fashion really mean and how can we play a part? I know when I started working here at Tluxe I considered myself environmentally aware, I eat organic food, recycle and compost and take cloth bags when I do my shopping (most of the time!) but did I have any idea about the fabrics I was wearing, how they were produced or where they came from? Shamefully no, but that has changed.
To give you an idea of what we’re dealing with, the clothing industry is the second largest polluter in the world!! It’s a combination of a few factors; the chemicals used in the production of fabric, the carbon emissions from manufacturing and the fact that the garments produced are often low quality with short life cycles, encouraging ongoing consumption. And it’s not just the synthetic plastic based fabrics that are the culprit (think polyester, nylon and acrylic, you know the materials that keep you hot and sweaty and sometimes itchy). Cotton is one of the most highly sprayed crops in the world. The pesticides used have a huge environmental impact and we’re learning more about the dangers. Another major concern is that workers in the industry are often exploited. Think of all the controversy that has plagued Nike and for good reason. Fast convenient and (sometimes) cheap fashion has a cost, the environment suffers and workers suffer.
Sustainable & Ethical fashion is about making a choice to buy garments whose production has a smaller environmental footprint, while making sure that all workers throughout the entire production process are treated fairly.
How do you make sustainable, ethical fashion choices?
1) Learn about fabrics and chose wisely, we love the sustainability in styles article on fabrics . The fabric you chose will determine it’s longevity, and ecological foot print. Always look for natural fibers or semi synthetic.
2) Care for your garments, see them as your long term friends, the more you care for them the longer they’ll stick around! We’ll be doing a blog on this soon.
3) Buy Australian made where possible (everything at Tluxe is made in Australia) and research/enquire with brands about where their clothing is made.
Remember it’s about small changes, cultivating an awareness and staying curious about your options. As the consumer you hold great power. Spend your money on options that align with your values and you’ll feel better inside and out.