…So let me enlighten you. The consumer side of fashion is one that aims to please. The thing is, fashion producers think what “we” don’t know, won’t hurt “us”. Well they’re wrong. Fast fashion is one that many glorify to stay on trend at all times. Some low cost brands (of which I will not refer to by name) will push product to mimic higher end brands with intentions of discarding of them shortly after. Why this is detrimental to us and our environment is because it takes (this amount of time for cotton, polyester, nylon blends) to break down which are most of the main components used in fast fashion. If each piece of clothing bought by the average consumer that is no longer on trend and is thrown out rather than recycled can you imagine the amount of “trash” that creates daily? In the year 2010 on record Americans discarded approximately 13.1 million tons of clothing, around 11 million of those articles were dumped in landfills across the states. During the decomposing process the clothing releases methane as well as other harmful chemical compounds causing the breakdown of green house gases, constant contamination to our soil and water ultimately becoming one of our main contributors to global warming. Furthermore, the authentic furs and leather that are very popular amongst fashion goers are more harmful than you think to our green house gases. First and foremost the skin of each animal made to sacrifice their epidermis is preserved with formaldehyde, ammonia, bleaching agents, harmful dyes. So before you think that the fur you are putting on is authentic and natural think twice because it has manipulated and processed to look attractive in your eyes and not rot in your closet.
Take a moment to read the tag on the inside of your neck seam. Where is your top made? Indonesia? Mexico? India? Bangladesh? Peru? In just about every third world country that your blouse, pant, hand bag or shoe is made a child has died or fallen tremendously ill under unlivable circumstances. The sweatshops in which these articles of clothing are manufactured often have no windows or ventilation making it difficult to breath and sometimes see through all the dust and loose fibers flying around from sewing machines. These people are parents that have to leave their children behind to work 10-to 16 hour shifts making way below the minimum wage to provide a life for their families to make clothes that are intended to be thrown out after just several weeks of wearing them. In addition, these pieces of clothing are made with material that are not able to break down causing detriment to our environment.
Here are some tips on shopping consciously:
Beware of super low prices: everyone loves a bargain, but is it really a bargain if you buy from the that same place for $7.50-$24.90 every few weeks due to your clothing falling apart because they’re poorly made?
Sample Sales are amazing! You may not know what your style is or what brands work best for you. There are tons of sample sales for quality clothing at the fraction of the price. You can sample these different brands see what works for your style, body type and budget and then take a stroll through the sale rack at your favorite store.
Check out the tag: not the price tag! Find where the article of clothing was made. I look for clothing that are typically made in countries like the United States, Italy, France etc. this ensures that the people that work for manufacturing companies are protected by labor laws that their work day starts and ends at the time that is set by law, their work environment is safe and they make at least the minimum wage of their country.
Recycle your clothing! Thrifting is definitely a conscious way to shop quality clothing at lower prices! ALSO do not ever throw out your clothes! You can sell or trade your clothes at your local thrift store or donate them to the goodwill. Someone will enjoy the clothing you no longer want. Recycling saves the planet.
Some sustainable fashion brands:
Svilu uses organic fabric
Freedom of Animals uses recycled materials to manufacture their accessories.
A Peace Treaty makes sustainable jewelry