We can not deny the impact of the fashion industry on the environment. The revolution of ‘fast fashion’ caused a demand for cheaper products which lead to the use of synthetic materials which are present in pretty much all clothes nowadays.
In a previous posts I have spoken about what is ethical fashion and how to shop ethically. However, today I wanted to focus on eco-fashion. I suppose it can be interpreted as a type of ethical-fashion, but more focused on the environmental impact of clothes and their production, rather than ethics behind animal products, employees’ conditions, etc.
“ECO FASHION is a broader term used for all clothing, fabrics and accessories that have been manufactured in an environmentally conscious way.”
Common Synthetic materials
Nylon and Polyester: these are the two most common materials used to make clothes nowadays. They are made from petrochemicals which not only damage the environment when they are being manufactured by releasing chemicals into the atmosphere but they are also non-biodegradable meaning they don’t breakdown easily and are really hard to dispose of.
Viscose: this is a type of artificial fibre made from wood pulp. In order to get the fibre, the wood pulp is treated with toxic chemicals including caustic soda and sulphuric acid.
Non-organic cotton: non-organic cotton uses an enormous amount of pesticides per plant. This affects the farmers’ health as they are being exposed to the chemicals daily, leading to illness and even death. Also pesticides cause harm to eco-systems by killing the surrounding plants and animals.
Dyes: some dyes contain toxic chemicals which have led to illnesses amongst the workers and are drained into sewers and rivers contaminating the waters and damaging eco-systems.
Eco – Materials
Hemp: hemp is a sustainable plant as it is grows easily without any pesticides. It has a high-yield crop which produces significantly more fibre per acre when compared with cotton for example. Hemp fibres can be blended with organic cotton or wild silk to obtain different types of fabrics. It creates very long-lasting and weather resisting clothes that do not harm the planet.
Others: other eco-materials include linen, organic wool and cotton and wild silk.
Nowadays there are a lot of sustainable brands and websites selling exclusively eco-friendly clothes. Here are some suggestions of brands you definitely want to check out:
RawApparel: I personally love supporting independent brands, and RawApparel is definitely one of my all time favourites! Their designs are minimalistic but have a powerful messages making outfits simple yet trendy . Their “Vegan” tee made of organic cotton is one of my faves, however they have plenty of jumpers, tanks and t-shirts with a variety of designs.
I definitely recommend you check out this beautiful brand and follow them on social media (@rawapparel) for vegan and fashion inspo.
People Tree: People Tree is a website dedicated to promoting and supporting fair trade and sustainable brands. Their product standards include organic cotton, organic dyes and minimal environmental damage during production, therefore you can be assured that you would be getting a beautiful product that does not cost the earth.
Patagonia: I thought I would finish off with a sustainable sports brand. Patagonia’s mission is to “Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.”. It is great to see such a big company caring about environmental issues and making an effort to be as sustainable as possible. They have been using organic cotton to make their products for 20 years and continue to try to find ways to constantly increase the sustainability of their products. Definitely recommend!
Thank you so much for reading. Let me know in the comments below your thoughts on eco-fashion and if you have any recommendations for sustainable brands. Lots of love x
This article was featured in The Mindfulness Mission magazine. This is such a great magazine, it is a pleasure to be working with them. They have great content all about living a more mindful life. They also have an amazing instagram always full of vegan inspo! (@the_mindfulness_mission). Definitely check them out babes.