Let’s face it, there’s no denying that the fashion industry is taking a hard toll on our planet. With the textile and fashion industry being the second most polluting industry in the world, we don’t want to admit that there is a problem that we all contribute to. According to an article that Nylon Magazine published last November, this is mostly due to the cheap way many of our clothes are being produced and how often we dispose of them. In fact, nearly 80 billion pieces of clothing are produced each year, which 75% of will be disposed of or burned. Not only that, but we are also polluting AND consuming an extreme amount of water when it comes to dyeing and producing clothing as shown in the infographic below from ABC News. Yikes!
We all know the main source behind our pollution increase is due to fast fashion. This includes companies like Forever 21, Uniqlo, H&M, Gap and Zara who is the leading fast fashion retailer in the world. Because our generation has totally upped the demand for new and cheap clothing that they can purchase on impulse, we are essentially feeding into the fast fashion industry suggesting that we are aware of what’s going on. To be fair, that’s a large assumption to many. I for one know I can’t afford to buy ethical or fair trade products all the time for the sole reason that I’m a broke college kid, like many of us are. While my impulse purchasing decisions have become more of the norm than I’d like to admit, I would love to be an advocate for sustainable fashion and fair trade products in the future.
So that’s where my questions comes into play… what the hell are we going to do about this? What is the answer to stop polluting the earth with pesticides, air contamination, dye ridden waters and landfill consumption? For starters, let’s get the word out there. I think millennials are the most influential people on the internet right now. We basically have all the power when it comes to buying products all over the U.S. Why not take advantage of that? Talking about those brands that are starting to make a difference and supporting them is important. Being able to help govern the fashion industry will help to make brands speak about the issues that we want to hear about. Brands will eventually provide more and more detail (if they haven’t done so already) about their products to accommodate millennials demands for honesty and transparency. Progress, people!
So, who are those brands that are stepping up to make a difference? *drumroll please*
My two favorite favorites include Reformation (most popular and trend focused ethical fashion labels of today), and Born Again Vintage (up-and-coming sustainable fashion brand). Reformation and Born Again Vintage understand how to focus on their sustainable goals in several ways. They do this by sourcing out organic materials, being transparent about their manufacturing processes and even promising to only source vintage materials that were never worn or sold to the public and making them desirable to fit today’s trends.
All-in-all, we can still make a difference by spreading the word and supporting the obvious need for change in the fashion industry. What will you do to help?