Why is sustainable fashion important?

The fashion industry as we know it is inherently unsustainable. As consumers, we are buying more clothes than ever, and wearing them less. We live in a day and age when protecting the environment is of global importance and the topic of basic human rights for all is at the forefront of the American public’s attention. Now more than ever, we must be aware of our power as consumers to vote with our dollar. Supporting businesses that produce sustainable clothing is a simple and meaningful way to make change. 

Ethical Issues

Garment laborers in many Asian countries risk their lives for fashion every day. The Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh in 2013 killed more than 1,000 workers. A fire in the Tazreen factory in Bangladesh in 2012 killed over 100 workers. Thousands of others were injured, unable to return to work because of sustained injury. The daily reality for garment industry workers is forced labor, child labor, unsafe working conditions, and low wages. Countries that house factory production of clothing are part of the 'race to the bottom' to be the leader in fast fashion clothing production. In the process of making more clothing and cheaper clothing, workers livelihoods are sacrificed, perpetuating poor working conditions and and unfair treatment of workers. By supporting small scale designers and companies that work to ameliorate these unfortunate situations abroad, together we can begin to make change in the fashion industry.

Source: Fashion Revolution

Environmental Issues

The fashion industry is the second largest consumer of water on the planet. The production of one single shirt uses more water than a single person drinks in three years. Multiply that by the amount of shirts you have hanging in your closet and that gives you a pretty scary number. Consumers across the world consume an astonishing sum of 80 billion new pieces of clothing each year, producing over 82 pounds of textile waste per person. Additionally, the fashion industry is dependent on toxins that are detrimental to the environment, as well as the health of consumers and garment industry workers. Climate change is a serious issue for this generation and generations to come. As consumers, a simple and meaningful way to lessen our own environmental impact is to support companies that make it their mission to practice environmental sustainability.

Source: The True Cost