Why Shop Sustainable Fashion? A Guide to an Ethical Closet

Let’s be real – we all love clothes. And who can say no to a bit of online shopping? But have you ever thought about where your clothes come from or the effect they have on the planet? By choosing to support sustainable, ethical clothing brands, you’re helping pave the way for a better fashion industry. So, why shop sustainable fashion? Keep reading to find out.

 

A girl wondering why shop sustainable fashion as she looks at her wardrobe.

What is Sustainable Fashion?

Sustainable fashion is a hot top of discussion right now, and if you’ve googled “why shop sustainable fashion?” you’re not alone.

With ethical, green, slow, vegan, and sustainable fashion all popular movements in the fashion industry, it can be confusing knowing what this all means. And on top of that, which movement you should support. 

Simply put, sustainable fashion is clothing that is designed, produced, and sold in an environmentally friendly, ethical, socially responsible way. All while ensuring these practices can be sustained in the long run.

A sustainable fashion brand is mindful of its carbon footprint and the environmental effect on the planet. It is aware of the impact production has on animals and is conscious of the materials they source and use. And they ensure that working conditions are fair and safe for garment workers who manufacture the clothing.

So, Why Shop Sustainable Fashion?

As consumers, we can do our part to make the fashion industry better by supporting sustainable brands that strive to bring about positive change.

It’s Better For The Planet

The fast fashion industry has a devastating impact on the planet. And while it makes shopping affordable for consumers, the planet is paying a huge price. 

The fast fashion industry is the second-largest consumer of the world’s water supply. It is the main contributor to the alarming amount of textile waste in our landfills each year. And the material used to manufacture fast fashion clothing accounts for a ⅓ of the number of microplastics in our oceans.

Sustainable fashion brands are conscious of the materials used to produce their clothing, ensuring they are kind to the planet. They often use natural, recycled materials that require less water, less energy, and no harmful chemicals and pesticides to grow.

It’s Better For The Animals

When you shop for a new sweater or jacket, you probably don’t think about where the materials of your new get-up originate. It might be news to you, but the fast fashion industry quite literally kills for fashion. 

Billions of animals are killed every year for the fast fashion industry for materials like leather, fur, wool, and silk.

Luckily, sustainable and ethical fashion brands often use cruelty-free, vegan alternatives that don’t harm or kill animals. Vegan, sustainable leather made from fruit waste is used for shoes, bags, and jackets. And recycled plastics (aka polyester) are being put to use in making accessories and activewear.

It’s Better For The Garment Workers

You may have heard of the shocking, unethical working conditions and below-living wages the garment workers in the fashion industry have endured. 

That includes insane working hours, limited or nonexistent worker’s rights, and unsafe working environments. Because of the speed of mass production, the factory workers are often overworked and exploited, trying to keep up with the rigorous demands.

The sustainable fashion industry has been a pioneer in ensuring a better future for all those involved in the production line. They are transparent about their practices and provide humane working conditions, living wages, and often health care for their workers. 

The Clothing Lasts Longer

While $5 t-shirts and $10 dresses are hallmarks of fast fashion brands, how long does that piece of clothing really last? And how was it made?

The fast-fashion model revolves around producing cheap garments that mimic the current trends. The consumer buys the piece while it’s still fashionable. Then once the trend passes, the garment is disposed of. Or it’s stuffed into the back of a closet when it rips or pills after a few wears. Then, the consumer goes back to the store to buy the newest “hot” item, and the cycle continues.

With sustainable and slow brands, you don’t have to worry about the clothing ripping or pilling after a few washes. These brands aim to create high-quality pieces often made from organic fabrics that will last.

Sustainable companies regularly aim to produce “timeless” products that don’t adhere to trends that come and go. Meaning you’ll be able to rock this item for years to come without worrying it will go out of style in a few months. 

How to Get an Ethical Closet

Making the switch to sustainable, ethical, or slow fashion brands is helping pave the way for a better fashion industry! And while buying from these brands is a great place to start, there are other ways you can make your wardrobe more sustainable.

Shop second hand. You don’t need to hit up H&M to get an affordable outfit, just head to your local thrift store! Not only will you save money, but you’ll also be able to rock a look that no one else has. Who says buying sustainable fashion has to be expensive?!

Repurpose your old clothes. Get out your sewing kit and turn those old jeans into a cute pair of denim shorts. Or transform your over-worn dress into a tank top. You have a whole new wardrobe waiting to be discovered.

Organize a clothing swap. Gather all your unwanted clothes and organize a clothing swap with your crew. You’ll leave with new threads and feel good knowing you’re extending the life of your unwanted items.

Why Shop Sustainable Fashion

Choosing to reduce your carbon footprint by buying (or recycling or repurposing) with sustainability in mind is a cause you should feel good about!

If you’re just beginning your sustainability journey, subscribe to our newsletter for updates on the latest eco-friendly, sustainable fashion news.

About Jurnee

Jurnee is a writer and creative from New Zealand passionate about covering health, wellness, and fashion.