The fashion industry has been known to promote materialistic and vague ideals for decades, being the second largest polluter in the world after the oil industry. On the other hand, it is what drives society whether you’re a fashion enthusiast or not. The clothes you wear say more about you than you know. And that’s the power of fashion. In the multicultural world, we live today, it is a form of expression in which one can be entirely themselves.
The growing market of the fast fashion industry, which is the area of the industry that most of us consume from due to the low price range and availability, is responsible for 10% of the global CO2 emissions, and 85% of all textiles go to the dump each year.
The issue is that most people don’t know anything about fashion, and how it actually manifests in our planet. For most people, it’s just clothes, but just think about what each t-shirt you purchase from the wrong brands can do to our environment. For example, the growing market of the fast fashion industry, which is the area of the industry that most of us consume from due to the low price range and availability, is responsible for 10% of the global CO2 emissions, and 85% of all textiles go to the dump each year, sending thousands of bits of plastic to our oceans. So it does concern you, and your morals. Turning fashion into more than just a vague concept of clothes and garments. It is not only an art, but it is the way we can all contribute towards saving our oceans, beaches, and forests. But it is all up to you and the way you use it.
So how can we use this form of expression to our advantage in a responsible way towards our environment?
The first step is switching from fast-fashion retailers like Forever 21 and Zara, to local brands. Although, some fast fashion industries like H&M have been actually shifting their focus towards sustainability and have recently gained the trust of many individuals concerned for the environment. But I wouldn’t take my chances. Promoting local brands is more beneficial towards the environment and towards your country’s economy than you think. There are thousands of local brands that you didn’t even know about, and for example, in the Colombian fashion industry, most brands are working with local artisans and making 100% Colombian based products.
Promoting local brands is more beneficial towards the environment and towards your country’s economy than you think.
Now, some Colombian brands have actually been recognized worldwide, like Silvia Tcherasi, Johanna Ortiz, and the famous swimwear brand Wild & Pacifc. This brand is known for its high-quality swimwear and tropical designs, and just recently they’ve gone sustainable by partnering with ECONYL fiber and Corales de Paz, “creating high end and conscious swimwear, that aims to make sustainability desirable, meaningful, durable and luxurious.”
Furthermore, another Colombian brand that has caught the eye of many is True Love & Poems. This brand promotes vintage and pre-owned recycled items, turning them into revolutionary fashion statements. They have taken the concepts of thrift stores and garage sales, which are popular in the US, and turned this brand into something not seen before in the Colombian market.
Extending the life of clothing by a further 9 months would reduce water waste and carbon footprints by around 20-30% each.
Making this conscious decision of consuming second-hand clothing can actually work miracles for our environment. It is a concept that is being promoted in the fashion industry more and more throughout the years. High-end retailers have actually adopted this as a way to give their vintage products more value than newly made ones.
So before fearing to buy vintage second-hand clothing, remember it is trendier than wearing a boring new t-shirt from Zara, giving more value and personality to your outfit and style. Also, extending the life of clothing by a further 9 months would reduce water waste and carbon footprints by around 20-30% each.
As you can see there are many ways we can contribute towards making a positive change in our planet through our daily decisions. So at the end of the day, it’s up to you to look good and do good.