Why we need Sustainable Fashion? What is it?
Bringing sustainability in Fashion is a responsibility of Fashion Industries. What exactly is Sustainable Fashion? Sustainable Fashion or an Eco fashion is an answer to the destruction fashion industry may have caused to our environment as well as socially, culturally and economically. Sustainable fashion is that measure that has been taken after the realization of the damage that has been done so far to bring to the world, the fast fashion.
In other words, sustainable fashion works on a strong principle where the designer working on a product not only takes care of the aesthetics and high quality of the product but makes sure that in attaining the best quality of that product nobody and nothing is exploited. Right from the sourcing and raw materials, environment, the physical and social well being of the workers and farmers involved, to the serious issues of social inequality, everything needs to be taken care of, in order to bring us a sustainable fashion product of finest quality.
Challenges that Fashion Industry faces today-
You and me, we hardly think about the efforts that have been put together behind a certain piece of clothing offered to us. That particular piece of clothing may seem simple, but behind it is hidden a vast complexity which has something to do with the death of 300,000 farmers in India.
Cotton, the very basic raw material is used widely in the fashion industry. Farmers who grow cotton in their farms use pesticides and natural synthesizers to increase the production. These pesticides and natural synthesizers decrease the quality of the soil and when they are washed down by rainwater into the major water sources, they cause severe health problems and death.
Another problem that farmers face is the need to buy genetically modified seeds for increased production. Some farmers who find it hard commit suicide. Children are made to pick cotton in the cotton field which brings forward another serious social issue in front of us, child labor.
This is just one example. There are other forms of raw materials like gold, leather, etc. and they all create serious social and environmental issues. Use of Viscose which comes from cellulose from tree causes deforestation. Which further leads to loss of natural habitats of Animal.
The consequences of increased demand and consumption of fashion have led to the depletion of resources and if fashion consumes all of our resources, what will we eat?
$3 trillion worth of fashion is circulated around the world each year. And this employs 50 million people, mainly women, across different parts of the world for the production, the design, the selling, and the servicing of clothes. One of the other challenges fashion industry is facing these days is the replacement of manpower by machine.
Fashion is the second most polluting industry in the world. And apart from that, it is one of the Industry where oppression, modern day Slavery, inequality, and exploitation is common.
And therefore, we come to our next question, how sustainable fashion solves these issues?
Eco-fashion tackles the environmental challenge through organic farming, which leads to fair trade. Like in case of a cotton field, mixed cultivation is promoted. Farmers are encouraged to use biofertilizers. In mixed cultivation, soy and sunflower are grown alongside cotton. These crops improve soil quality and manage pests. Through organic farming, farmers stay healthy and cotton, which usually is grown in dry regions brings water up to the surface. Farmers are supported.
Fashion industry produces more than 90 million tonnes of waste per year. These wastes are incinerated every year. To stop this, many designers are now using deadstock and recycling raw materials and old fabrics to design new fashion trends.
Is sustainable fashion expensive?
And if not shopping, we can always help by recycling and not be wearing synthetic materials, furs etc.
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Thank you for your time.