For years, information about the earth’s condition and our changing environment has revealed some troubling facts, such as the fact that human activity is responsible for global warming.
According to the Environmental Defense Fund, continued global warming is responsible for placing up to 30 percent of global species at risk of extinction. In addition, approximately 90 percent of glaciers around the world are shrinking.
Due to such alarming facts, environmentalism is a fast-growing trend as people increasingly try to reduce their own carbon footprint, or personal impact on the environment. This extends to all aspects of life, including an increase in sustainable fashion, or eco fashion.
Sustainable fashion bases on the concept that clothing manufacturing is possible in such a way that the environment is not negatively affected. For example, the use of environmentally friendly crops such as organic cotton reduces the impact of pesticides in the soil during crop growth. In addition, fabric manufacturing is possible without bleach, dyes or other chemicals to reduce pollution, waste and harmful greenhouse gas emissions.
According to the Organic Trade Association (OTA), the growth of traditional cotton crops uses 16 percent of the world’s total insecticides, more than any other individual crop. In addition, approximately 1/3 of synthetic fertilizers are required to grow 1 pound of raw cotton, which produces one cotton t-shirt. Synthetic fertilizers are 300 times stronger than CO2 as a greenhouse gas, believed to be one of the primary causes of global warming.
Eco Fashion Organizations
No longer just a “hippie” trend, sustainable fashion is becoming a much more mainstream concept and is widely embraced as an important aspect of personal and professional environmentalism.
For example, the National Association of Sustainable Fashion Designers helps fund and promote environmentally friendly fashion businesses. Another group, Sustainable Designers, offers education, access, and training on environmentally friendly tools, products and resources. The non-profit organization Earth Pledge also seeks to improve consumer education about eco fashion and the impact of fashion on the environment.
Eco Fashion Fibers
There are several types of fiber production possible in fashion that do not require the use of pesticides, chemicals, dyes or bleach during the manufacturing process. Some examples of natural fibers include the following:
- Organic cotton
- Bamboo fibre
In addition, recycled fibers from clothing manufacturers can be re-processed and spun into new fabric or yarn.
Another form of sustainable fashion production includes AirDye technology, which removes water from the dye and print process. Although this process does use chemicals as part of the process, there is less pollution and water waste.
Eco Fashion Brands
The production of natural fibers and environmentally friendly clothes and other fashion accessories is more expensive than traditional clothing, as the process is more time and labor consuming. As such, sustainable fashion brands tend to be more expensive, although this trend is slowly changing.
Some examples of sustainable fashion brands include Heavy Eco (created in Eastern European prisons) and Rapanui, a British-based company, as well as Clean Spirited, Little Wings, Truly Organic, Flora & Fauna and Maggie’s Organics, among others.
Eco Fashion Items
As eco fashion continues to grow, consumers will find it easier to find sustainable fashion brands and clothing but the process still requires a little bit of effort. One method to find sustainable fashion brands and stores is to search at www.EcoFashionWorld.com, where consumers can search by brand, store, category, criteria and country.
Eco Fashion Function
For those interested in finding environmentally friendly fashion, the manner in which the items are cared for will matter as well. While many sustainable friendly fashion items are machine washable, a more environmentally friendly method includes hand washing items with cold water and air-drying to reduce water and energy waste.
The earth has definitely already been affected, but changing the way that clothing and other fashion items are created and manufactured through sustainable fashion can make quite a difference.