Sustainable Fashion 101

Sustainable Fashion 101

Sustainable Fashion 101

-By Shambhavi

Sustainable fashion has two facets. One is the brand and the other is you, or us. It is a movement and process of fostering change to fashion products and the fashion system towards greater ecological integrity and social justice. It is a very vast term and overlaps in terms of socio-cultural and ecological systems.

In the fashion industry, Sustainability was the outcome of the Rio Earth Summit which talked about “green issues” in the fashion and textile companies. Patagonia and ESPIRIT where the two brands that initially pioneered research into sustainable clothing.  This research still forms the backbone of sustainable fashion methods today and has had a large impact on the industry.

Today, we know fashion as being time-bound. It can either be ‘slow’ or ‘fast’. When it comes to garments and their durability, it all depends on their metabolism or properties. One of the major ecological crises is brought on my fast fashion. Where brands like Forever 21, Zara and H&M produce cheap and trendy clothes, which have very little shelf life.

Slow Fashion is a more sustainable choice. It does not talk about expensive, or classic pieces, rather it talks of the opposite. Slow Fashion is curating individual and unique clothing to a person exact specification. These fashion choices are something that is tailor-made for you and is not easily replaceable. It encourages maintenance and less frequent purchase of items.

A rather long-standing example of slow fashion is traditional clothing. These are evergreen, tailored to one’s preference and bound to be a more sustainable choice. The Vatican Guards have taken this practice to the whole new extreme; they have worn the same uniform since the Renaissance.

For people out there who are new to the concept, there are 7 kinds of Sustainable Fashion choices you can make. Custom-made clothing, Green and Clean Clothing, High Quality and Timeless Designs, Fair and Ethical, Restored or Upcycled, Rent or Borrowed and Vintage/Second Hand. These are the choices laid out in front of you, you can adopt anyone or overlap many simultaneously. Ideally, when purchasing any new item, one should consider each and everyone, but the idea is not set in stone.

In the end, I recommend focussing on Clean and Green and Fair and Ethical brands. These are clothes that produced keeping in mind the ecological variants and promoting socially/ethically produced choices. It may come with a higher price tag, but these choices matter and so does adopt a sustainable lifestyle. This sustainable outlook helps curate a more luxurious, curated and cohesive wardrobe people aspire to have, while simultaneously promoting sustainability, which is the need of the hour.