AUG 12, 2020
Eco-Fashion: When Style And Sustainability Meet
With society becoming increasingly conscious of its responsibility to care for the environment, the eco-friendly movement is finding its way to all aspects of modern life—including fashion trends.
Saving the planet, one eco-friendly fashion piece at a time. (Source: Dominika Roseclay/Pexels)
Indeed, sustainable fashion is on the rise, as environmentally friendly companies in the fashion industry are incorporating sustainable and recyclable materials into a wide assortment of garments.
The world has actually come a long way in terms of eco-friendly fashion (or simply, eco-fashion). Green companies and designers are making eco-fashion more affordable and available to the general public—but before hopping on the trend, it helps to first understand what it’s all about and why it really makes a significant difference for the planet.
What is Eco-Fashion?
Eco-fashion refers to any fashion brand or line that is consciously designed to have as little negative impact on the environment as possible, as well as the manufacturers and consumers. Sometimes, people call it “ethical fashion,” due to the fact that it’s designed with many moral and environmental considerations.
One thing that we all have to understand, though, is that there is no such thing as a purely eco-friendly fashion product. At some point in the manufacturing process, each and every article of clothing, accessory, or footwear will consume some form of energy or natural resource. The point of eco-fashion isn’t to eliminate our impact on the environment, but to significantly and realistically minimize it.
So, how exactly can we classify something as “eco-fashion”? And how do such pieces hold up against conventional fashion?
Eco-Fashion vs. Conventional Clothing
First, eco-fashion pieces are made with organic raw materials. Examples include silk produced by worms that live on organic trees (trees grown without the use of chemical fertilizers or pesticides) and pesticide-free cotton, which is both durable and soft. The pieces themselves may also be made from recycled or reused materials, including repurposed clothes or renewed plastic textiles from old bottles. Some even use bamboo for eco-fashion, which is incredibly fast-growing (and therefore sustainable), naturally pest-and insect-resistant, biodegradable, and highly absorbent when it comes to greenhouse gases (about 400% more than any other plant).
Meanwhile, the fabrics used by conventional clothing manufacturers tend to have a greater detrimental impact on the environment. Did you know that conventional clothing materials can require up to two-thirds of a pound of pesticides to produce? Other materials such as nylon and polyester are made of petroleum and treated with formaldehyde and other strong chemicals.
Additionally, unlike in conventional clothing, the colors on eco-fashion pieces aren’t produced using strong and damaging chemicals or bleach.
They’re also quite durable; if you’re worried that they might not last as long as conventional clothing, you can breathe easy, #VEERAHwarriors!
As mentioned earlier, eco-fashion isn’t just about nature; it’s also about the living organisms it affects. Thus, eco-fashion has to be made by people who are fairly compensated and working under decent, humane conditions.
Needless to say, eco-fashion also doesn’t knowingly harm any animals. Eco-fashion is cruelty-free.
It’s time to start making better choices.
How Cruelty-Free Eco-Fashion Impacts The Planet
1. Eco-fashion becomes the gateway for companies and consumers to “go green.”
When companies pledge to create eco-friendly, cruelty-free products, they are consciously making the decision to use materials and processes that harm our environment the least. And when you buy from them, you are supporting this endeavor and showing that even if they don’t take the conventional route for manufacturers in the industry, they can still be profitable.
2. Eco-friendly fashion not only saves animals, but also consumers.
There’s a reason why we call products that aren’t tested on animals “cruelty-free.” Such harmful substances should not be purposely applied on any living creature’s skin, especially if it’s for safety evaluation purposes. And when we buy and wear these pieces, we’re also safe from the harmful, unnatural substances that we’d normally find in traditionally made clothing. This is precisely why many major companies in fashion and makeup have already made the switch to cruelty-free products and processes. Besides, this just proves that we really don’t need to test these products on animals; cruelty-free testing involves 40 completely safe and animal-free product tests.
3. Eco-friendly fashion supports and promotes worthy causes.
When you buy fashion items from green companies, you are supporting their efforts to make a lasting positive change on Earth. After all, most of these companies partner with environmental advocacy foundations and groups. Additionally, you are also helping to spread the word about them when you buy their products. As more and more people see you wearing these fashion items, these same folks will become more interested in the eco-friendly movement—and perhaps, even take steps towards supporting it themselves.
Break free from conventional practices that harm nature. (Source: Flora Westbrook/Pexels)
In today’s world, responsible purchasing decisions go a long way towards improving the quality of everyone’s lives—and perhaps, undoing the mistakes and wounds we’ve inflicted upon nature for many, many years.
Now that more names in the fashion and entertainment industries are taking a stand for the environment, it’s time for us consumers to start making more mindful choices as well: Choices that support sustainability and ensure the continued survival of the only planet we call home.