Stress Free Style

What Is Sustainable Fashion?

sustainable fashion, cyntra charlesworth, cyncity, fast fahion, sustainability

Pictured: Green silk long sleeve pyjamas, IDentity Lingerie
There is nothing more that I like to do then snuggle on the weekend, fresh coffee in hand, with the windows open for some fresh air. My new weekend snuggles have also gone to the next level with my newfound love of silk long sleeve pyjamas.
I don’t know if it’s a case of me getting older or getting wiser to the fact that sleeping in silk is quite heavenly. – Cyntra

What is sustainable fashion?

I love style, who doesn’t! that feeling of newness, when you step out the house in the brand-new top/dress/shoe or jacket. Whats not to love?

Well… quite a few things really. Over the last year, with the knowledge that our precious planet is almost on its knees from the acts of human’s, I have been trying to find ways that ‘little ol me’ can do to help reduce my carbon footprint and play a small part in a big change.

It can be quite overwhelming, wondering what you can do personally to reverse the adverse effects we as humans have caused on the planet, but there are small steps we can do in our everyday lives to make it just a little bit better. You hear about ‘do this, do that, stop this and stop that’ but when it comes to the personal day to day – one can feel quite useless in trying to understand what part we can play in helping.

However, through doing some research, there was a discovery about one thing we can all do, aside from our trusty keep-cups, and that is to start looking at our habits… particularly our spending habits.

If being fashionable is in your jeans (pun intended) how about starting to look at what makes up the fabric of your favourite garments and start with a little savviness in your style choices.

So… I mentioned sustainable fashion… what does this mean?

Sustainable fashion is a movement and process of fostering change to fashion products and the fashion system towards greater ecological integrity and social justice. Sustainable fashion concerns more than just addressing fashion textiles or products.

We live in a world where coffee costs more than clothes. This is the world of fast fashion and cheap clothing is becoming a major problem.

Merriam Webster defines fast fashion as “an approach to the design, creation, and marketing of clothing fashions that emphasizes making fashion trends quickly and cheaply available to consumers.”

We are now living in a world where clothing is so ‘throw away’, ‘hand-me-downs’ are a thing of the past and the constant need for new-ness has overshadowed the meaning of owning a nice piece of clothing.

You may be wondering… what is wrong with new clothes? What does fast fashion have to do with the environment?

Here are some of the top reasons:

  • Carbon Footprint

The fashion industry is responsible for 10% of the world’s carbon footprint.That’s a huge proportion when we think of all the other industries out there which contribute to carbon emissions. It’s not often associated with our wardrobes and the purchases we make in stores.

  • Chemicals in fashion production

From insecticides in farming cotton, chemicals in dyeing process and other heavy metals are all used in the mass-production of new clothes. These chemicals are often toxic to the environment and people making the clothes and often are not cleaned up or disposed of properly in fast fashion.

  • Water pollution

The chemicals used for dying and production most often than not end up in run-off to rivers and the ocean dispelling over 20,000 cubic litres of toxic waste. Fashion is considered the second biggest polluter of clean water. When we look at the pollution in Ocean, 85% of the human-made materials found on shorelines microfibers, which are frequently used in clothing.

  • Textile waste

And the list goes on….

What can I do be more fashionably sustainable?

There are a few simple things that you can do immediately which will have a big impact. I am going to pledge to do as much as possible to change my habits to make a small difference,

  • Op Shops/ Thrift Shops/ Second hand

Turn your eye to going on the hunt and you will find some beauties. There are high-end, old school and all kinds out there. Hit up new areas and you never know what you will find. Even online with apps which allow you to purchase second hand. There are endless opportunities.

  •  Clothes swaps

Organise clothes swaps with friends and friends of friends. If you need a dress for an occasion – create groups of friends where you can lend to each other. Fancy dress – reach out to your inner circles. You can’t keep buying a new dress for every wedding, christening and birthday which comes around.

  • Sustainable Fashion

Find brands and stores which support sustainable fashion. Look online to find out which brand are supporting the creation of new styles with sustainability on the top agenda. Even by googling you will find well-known brands which are highly rated for their ethics and sustainability. There are great resources like this website which will help you find brands which align to being more sustainable.

  • Stop buying new clothes

A hard task but if you must buy new make sure it’s built to last. Sounds odd but seriously there are so many wonderful ways to get your hands on something that feels new without the fast fashion. This one will be tricky; I love that feeling of stepping out in something fresh but do-able. Applying the above points can help put a shoe in the right place in making small changes to our day to day impact to carbon footprint.

  • Local brands

If you do need to buy something new; find brands which are local, ethical and sustainable. Look to see what designers are in your area, local creators or even just localised to your country. There are so many good brands out there who are doing the hard work to source sustainably making our purchase decisions that tiny bit easier. For example, the silky soft pyjamas, I am wearing are from IDentity Lingerie, a brand who make quality lingerie and nightwear, who’s ethos is stapled around sustainability, local products and ethical practices. They have such a cute range of hand-made and beautiful products all produced with a green heart. By making wiser choices, and choices from good quality brands, we can all get that 1% better.

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