How To Decide If Your Clothes are Sustainable
Our past pursuit of the perfect outfit has caused many problems. The ‘Fast Fashion’ industry has been polluting our planet at a rapid rate. Providing cheap, convenient clothing to the masses. The ‘Fast Fashion’ industry has been putting money in the pockets of a few major brands. As a result our environment suffers along with poor ethical practices for our people, simply shouldn’t be popular.
So, how did we get here?
It started in the 1990s when big brand label Zara developed this ‘Fast Fashion’ business model. Soon after, other major businesses such as Forever 21 and Primark followed in their footsteps.
These big businesses could take a designer’s most sought after ideas and quickly spread them to the masses in large quantities at low prices. These low prices caused a large shift in consumer consumption. As a result, in 2014 the average person owned 60% more clothing items then they did in 2002 . The clothing was worn less frequently, before getting thrown out.
There is about 80 Billion pieces of clothing consumed annually. Most of which are made of materials that are harmful to our precious planet. Due to this constant straining and draining of our natural resources, there has never been a better time than now to take responsible action with our fashion purchase choices.
So, Can We Save Our Societies and Still Stay Stylish?
The answer is always yes, but we just have to hold ourselves accountable. Fortunately, with the recent rise of the new ‘Fashion Revolution’ we no longer have to sacrifice style to stay sustainable. We simply need to make greener choices in garments that gear us toward the greater good.
If you’re ready to make more conscious decisions when it comes to your closet then I encourage you to consider these two takeaways:
Before you go to check out counter, be sure to check out the materials in the clothing item you are about to purchase. When it comes down to the wire, or in this case the thread, I suggest going Au Natural and choosing wholesome materials.
Think about it, just as you want to make healthy decisions in picking wholesome food that comes from the earth the same should apply to what you wear. Plant-based materials including cotton, linen, wool and hemp are the whole foods of fashion. When at all possible, you are going to want to avoid artificial, synthetic materials. Some harmful materials for our planet include polyester, nylon, acrylic, and all types of synthetic fibers…so skip out on these non-eco-friendly options and make a purchase you can feel good about.
Also, remember it’s not only the materials that matter… Because behind every clothing item there is always someone else putting in the labor required to make those clothes. The second question to ask yourself is…
- Are the workers paid and treated ethically?
The next time you are out shopping, I encourage to always stay conscious and aware. Do not get distracted by the ‘Fast Fashion’ option that are readily available. There is someone, somewhere is paying a very high price for your low-cost item.
There is a hidden human crisis behind these factories and the belief is that the are primarily in Asia. However, there are sweatshops located in Los Angeles, USA. The majority of these workers are primarily women and children living in inhumane and impoverished circumstances.
According to AlJazeera America:
“Almost half work 10 hours or more a day but are not paid overtime, according to the report by the (The Garment Worker Center).” They get a low piece rate instead meaning their pay is based on the number of garment pieces sewn in a day, not the number of hours worked.
“Garment workers who experience wage theft receive an average of $5 an hour,” Martinez said. “A lot of these shops don’t even have clocking in. There’s a huge record-keeping problem in the garment industry. It’s almost as if these folks don’t exist.”
According to a report by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation, 994 apparel and textiles companies earned more than $1 million in revenue in 2011.
The federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. In Los Angeles, where the minimum is now at $9 an hour, the City Council in June voted to increase the minimum pay to $15 by 2020.”
Not only is this disgraceful but it’s unethical. It’s a sad truth, but the reality behind these big brands is there are real women paying the price for our purchases.
Let us skip fast fashion and bring freedom humanity to our fellow humans while choosing materials that won’t harm the only earth we have.
It’s time we treat each other and our planet better…
And the best part is we can do this all while treating ourselves!
If you want to stay up to date on how to stay stylish and sustainable at the same time, then SIGN UP to receive further blogs and updates! I am working on something special for my petite curvy ladies. I am excited to share with you soon!
Comment below and let me know some of the ways you stay conscious with your clothing choices,