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What is Sustainable Fashion?

Updated: Jul 7, 2021

According to Green Strategy, sustainable fashion is “partly about producing clothes, shoes and accessories in environmentally and socio-economically sustainable manners, but also about more sustainable patterns of consumption and use, which necessitate shifts in individual attitudes and behaviour.”

Sustainable fashion is a multifaceted component of the fashion industry that allows for any consumer to adapt and evolve their purchasing habits. In order to be a responsible and conscious consumer, it is important to purchase from brands that offer responsible and conscious products. An essential component of sustainable fashion is ethical production. The constant and unnecessary production that currently transpires in the fashion industry is a prominent cause of excessive and harmful waste. 

Harmful waste caused from the fashion industry is notorious. The increased waste production could be due to the material usage. The choice of diversified fabrics does eventually lead to the so-called “expiration date” of a product. The length of a product’s life cycle is based on the durability of materials used to manufacture it. A prolonged life cycle is a necessary aspect to a sustainable practice, as the word sustain is defined as “maintained at length without interruption or weakening.” To sustain is to prolong, to prolong the life of a product as well as to prolong the continual habits that consumers practice. The habits must be practiced over an extended period of time.  

Changing the attitudes and behaviors of consumers is an extremely difficult shift. The switch requires a commitment because when an item is purchased, it is an investment. Consumers are constantly purchasing new products due to ever changing trends in fashion. There is a pressure to buy new products for new occasions and keep up with what’s currently in style. The increase in purchasing is harmful because it encourages the mindset that consistent purchasing is acceptable, and the turnaround time for an item shortens. 

Sustainable fashion is an evolving topic and practice. It is being adapted across several companies for a variety of reasons. However, the true purpose of sustainability is to help the public understand the impact that products leave, not only on the life of the consumer but on the surrounding environment. 

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