Do you want to know what sustainable fashion is and what we can do to put it into practice? Keep reading because we’re going to share everything you need to know so you can have a sustainable wardrobe!
The fashion industry has been for years the second industry that most pollutes the environment. In the search to minimize its impact and live in harmony with the environment, a series of measures and practices derived from sustainability have been implemented.
To achieve sustainability, it is essential to reduce CO2 emissions, avoid overproduction, limit pollution and waste, support biodiversity, and ensure that workers earn fair wages and have safe working conditions. Buying pieces labeled “sustainable” can be very expensive for many people, not to mention that very few brands have managed to achieve all the goals of sustainable fashion. For this reason, it is important that we become aware of the life cycle that we can give to our pieces before discarding them. Luckily, there are many practices we can adopt to make our wardrobe sustainable.
Learn about different ways to put sustainable fashion into practice:
1. Invest your money wisely
Focus on less quantity and better quality. This way we avoid the overproduction of clothing and the exploitation of natural resources as valuable as water. According to data from the United Nations Organization, the fashion industry is responsible for 20% of the total waste of water globally. To produce a pair of jeans, 7,500 liters of water are required.
2. Shop at thrift stores
More and more people are choosing to wear second-hand clothes, achieving a very vintage style. In Puerto Rico there are some stores that you can visit like Electroshock, and Johnny & June. If you prefer online shopping, you can check out websites like Sale Chop Chop and Depop, where you can buy and/or sell used parts in good condition.
3. Rent clothes that you will only wear for special occasions
There is no need to have a new dress for every special event. A good choice is to rent fashionable clothes without spending a fortune just to leave it in your wardrobe. There are many reliable and safe options for renting clothes. One of the most popular today is Rent the Runway.
4. Avoid ”greenwashing”
Greenwashing refers to the massive declarations of companies that claim to be on the path of sustainability but at the end of the day, carry out practices such as large-scale garment production. Brands use terms such as: ‘sustainable’, ‘eco’, ‘conscious’, ‘responsible’, among others, to define products or capsules within the brand, even though they maintain abusive and polluting practices with the rest of the brand. their products. Find out if brands have detailed policies that support what they advertise before you buy.
5. Zero Waste as a pattern making technique
Zero Waste is a textile pattern-making technique with the objective to minimize fabric waste in the pattern-making and cutting of garments. This design technique invites us to create awareness that there is no unnecessary fabric or non-useful fabric.
First of all, reflect on the design of each piece taking into mind the pattern cutting process to reduce or discard textile waste. You can reuse the leftover or excess fabric in other pieces, such as smaller accessories, bags, finishes and/or appliqués. Some designers choose to rescue the remains of dead material that has been discarded by large clothing factories, avoiding generating new waste.
The packaging process is another aspect to consider. Use waste-free packaging like recycled paper boxes, recycled or compostable plastic bags, and cloth bags made from recycled fabric.
Another tip is to apply the 5 R’s of Zero Waste, in the elaboration of garments. Reject, reduce, reuse, recycle and reintegrate.
6. Educate yourself
There are international movements such as the Fashion Revolution, where information is collected for the benefit of consumers and transparency in the production of the textile industry is advocated.
Upcycling has become one of the most used techniques when creating unique pieces with minimal impact on the environment. It consists in taking advantage of products, residues or waste materials with the aim of manufacturing new products or materials of higher quality. One of the experts on the subject of Upcycling is Katrina L. Rodabaugh. In her book Mending Matters, she shares with its readers 22 techniques to mend and repair woven garments such as linen, cotton, silk and denim.
8. Avoid materials that are toxic to the environment
Synthetic fibers are all those textiles that are derived from fossil fuels. If we want to put sustainability into practice, we must strive to stop buying, or minimizing the consumption of, clothes that contain this type of material. Some of these fibers are:
– Polyester: Polyester is a petroleum-based material. It is difficult to recycle and takes years to biodegrade. If we check the labels on our clothes, it is likely that polyester is present in almost all the fabrics of our clothes. Polyester can cause some allergic reactions in certain people, such as itching and redness.
– Acrylics: Acrylics are also petroleum-based and the fibers are highly flammable. It is considered as a replacement for wool. It prevents our skin from breathing properly and can cause skin irritation.
9. The new way to wash your clothes
“Every time we wash our clothes, tiny microfibers break off, going down the drains of our washing machines, through sewage treatment facilities, and into our waterways”, explained the creators of Cora Ball. One of the many options that have been developed to prevent the microfibers in our clothing from reaching bodies of water.
10. Make your own clothes
You may feel guilty because you do not carry out some of the alternatives to practice sustainability but no worries! It will take all of us some time to modify some habits of use in our clothes. The good news is that more and more people have joined the practices of sustainability.
Dare to use sustainable fabrics and use the “zero waste” technique making a blouse! Members of our sewing club will learn how to sew the Sitka pattern step by step. As a member of Sirena Elite you have access to exclusive tutorials, a free pattern per month, and more benefits. Join by clicking here.