Sustainability means to meet the needs of future generations without compromising the needs of present generations. Sustainable fashion is a way to raise awareness among consumers regarding environmental concerns in clothes manufacturing. This can be achieved through sustainable manufacturing which increases the durability of garments. Some consumers started to produce low-cost garments that quickly flies off the shelves.
This is the main reason that industries started to focus on products that are long-lasting because research shows that clothes having a long-life span contributes less to carbon emissions. As people buy more low-quality garments, they need to discard them every season for which manufacturers must produce more. This behavior must be change and can only be done by implementing sustainable fashion.
Sustainability does not mean that we use fiber made from bamboo, but it is based on if the bamboo production process is sustainable or not. We should not be only satisfied just be seeing the tag ‘sustainable’ but should dig deep through the process.
Industries were not practicing this technique, some incidents forced to move towards sustainability. When the famous Nike industry caught fire and employees boycott them then twenty-four years later Nike implemented sustainable practices because, after the oil industry, the textile is considered as major polluter for the environment.
Why sustainable fashion matter?
Sustainable fashion matters a lot because people are now not only concerned with the quality of products, they consume but they also focus on the whole production process and supply chain. The major reason for sustainability is a fast fashion that trends are being changed so quickly that some manufacturers are meeting the needs by providing new styles at cheap rates.
The manufacturers attract consumers through attractive designs, colors and new styles at low rates, thus accelerating their business. People brag about their dresses without knowing from where actually they came. A responsible buyer must know every detail of products they use and what impacts it may cause in our surroundings.
The environmental cost of cloth manufacturing is immense. A large amount of water is consumed in growing cotton, pesticides are used for steady and healthy growth. Fabric dyes are discharged in water during fabric to garment phases. The environmental revolution focuses on sustainable fashion because according to the research fashion industry contributes 20% to global water pollution.
The majority of people are now aware of climate change and alterations that humans have done so far. Everyone is now trying to achieve sustainability even in the fashion category. Because people know that a safe and healthy product can only be achieved through sustainable exercises.
Sustainable fashion is not only limited to production, it also encompasses the whole business host, treating your workers fairly and minimize your impact on the environment. A person who is willing to buy clothes that you made must know that no unethical practices were used during the entire production chain, this is a true sense of promoting sustainable fashion.
In this practice eco-friendly practices are implemented, product is safe for humans and the environment, clothing is made through minimum water consumption strategies and renewable energy sources are used to avoid environmental degradation. Though we cannot fully reduce the use of chemicals, water, and energy but least we can do to invest in eco-friendly techniques and minimize our impact on our surroundings.
To bring sustainability in every step of manufacturing and supply one must ensure the rights of employees. Long term employment opportunities must be given. Workers should be provided with a safe and healthy environment with fair wages. The production process must be designed in a way that does not affect the worker’s health.
Sustainable fashion accounts for the whole supply chain and product life cycle. If consumers buy clothes made from micro-plastic fibers that will harm the environment. While washing these clothes micro-plastics will slough off and add in water. This water will ultimately end up in the ocean which affects aquatic flora and fauna, that’s why sustainable fashions play a major role.
A garment of the long-life span can have a high environmental impact and then on with short life span can have minimal impact on the environment. So, it’s better to do a life cycle analysis of products such as design and supply chain in order to achieve a sustainable business model.
Fashion promoting industries are compelled to use sustainable practices as it is a legal concern. If production is more than carbon footprint will be large which ultimately puts the manufacturer on the threat of poor reputation. This will cause a loss in business which is not bearable by any industry.
Not only clothes manufacturing has to do with sustainability, but we must also investigate the fate of garments. Each year almost 93% of clothes are discarded that cannot be recycled and this waste is burned or dumped into landfills which cause serious damage to the environment. If good quality products are made then they can be re-used.
Incorporation of sustainable practices
Fibers, equipment or packaging material must be wisely chosen keeping in consideration their making process. Each raw material must be analyzed on the basis of its impact, emissions, water consumption and disposal. Try to use renewable sources of energy so you can reuse them again and again in terms of profit.
During the manufacturing phase, carefully observe the fabric to garment stage and make sure effluents do not discharge in water without treatment. Any solid waste that can choke water channels or can affect aquatic life must not be discarded in an improper way. Treatment plants must be working in good condition.
Transportation is the main contributor to environment depletion. Vehicles emit carbon dioxide which is a greenhouse gas, you must reduce the distance between production and storage house so less vehicular rounds are made.
Although there is not enough change that can be implemented in industries, consumer behavior can be changed to combat this problem. This can be done by switching people towards second-hand clothing or by applying pressure on manufacturers to change production methods. On the consumer end, best practice will be implemented on the 3R principle.