When we talk about sustainable clothes, we’re not always able to define this concept very well. However, the issue surrounding fashion sustainability is very accessible, since it is, among other things, reutilizing materials and older pieces by making brand new recycled clothes, manufacturing with eco-friendly fabric (such as linen or bamboo, for example), and clothes that are made to last a longer cycle of use, etc.
Relevant brands worldwide are investing in this modality after being pressured by environmental organizations to reduce pollutants, chemical residues, and waste generation on our planet. For example, such damages occur due to the fact that 300,000 tons of used clothes are donated or thrown away during production. Additionally, only 20% of this fabric is recycled.
Reutilizing clothes and repurposing materials as much as possible was the solution found to reduce the impacts on the planet, which is why sustainable fashion has grown a lot in recent years. In addition, on the consumer side, everything that is purchased will one day be discarded.
All of the personal decisions we make are, in fact, collective, since we are sharing the planet and natural resources with other living beings.
And did you know that you don’t need to be in the fashion industry to repurpose your clothes? Discover some tips for conscious consumption below:
- Choose to invest in timeless pieces, not passing style trends
- Take your unused clothes from the back of the closet and style them to make them new
- Separate clothes that you don’t use for thrift stores and clothing rental shops and try buying clothes there. You can find incredible pieces from other people at a much friendlier price.
- Choose locally produced brands, considering that large brands can be linked to labor exploitation
- Prioritize sustainable clothing, since there is concern for production methods that minimize environmental impact
Recycled clothes are characterized by natural dyes and less-toxic glues (thus, no groundwater or ocean pollution, a focus on pieces that can be used for a long period of time (the opposite of fast fashion, which prioritizes impulse consumption and fleeting fashion with pieces that can be used at most five times), the use of eco-friendly fabric such as organic fibers, and the reutilization of fabric and materials.
One of the most common pieces of sustainable fashion is the recycled PET bottle T-shirt, using the raw material to produce a perfect fitting piece of clothing. The reason being that, when not properly disposed of, plastic bottles take 800 years to decompose, in addition to being a huge risk to animals, especially those in the ocean.
Since the PET material was initially developed for the weaving industry, there’s nothing better than transforming it into raw textile material and avoiding these environmental problems. It is possible to make a T-shirt with only two, two-liter bottles, and four bottles of the same size can be made into long pants.
In addition to PET T-shirts, there are pieces made with other materials such as organic cotton, eucalyptus, linen, and recycled plastic and cotton, for example. Since these materials are not genetically modified, clothing made out of such raw materials prevents skin contact with allergic or harmful substances.
We are responsible for our clothing for all of our life, from the act of thinking about the best purchase to disposing of it afterwards. Our choices make the companies understand our behavior and thus, clothes are created. How about starting to impose friendlier and more conscious rules for our planet? Invest in recycled clothes and pass your old ones on in the best way possible, keeping the economy going in a much more responsible way!