The Need to Know Key Words in Sustainable Fashion
Sustainable Fashion has become a hot topic in the recent year; however, what does Sustainable Fashion really mean? In light of that, we're going to explore what Sustainable Fashion means and it's sister key-words.
In 2017, 17 million tons of textile waste was created in the U.S. alone and of that, 2.57 million tons were recycled, 3.17 million tons were combusted for energy recovery and 11.3 million tons were sent to landfills.
(Supply Chain Dive, data from EPA)
Unfortunately, about 0.1% of recycled fiber collected by charities or take-back programs is actually recycled into new textile fibers. However, only about 20-30% of donated clothing is re-sold.
So, then, what is sustainable fashion?
Sustainable fashion can be defined as clothing, shoes and/or accessories that are created, marketed and used with both environmental and ethical aspects in mind. From an environmental aspect, the aim would be to lessen any negative effects of the item’s life cycle. Will this item ensure careful use of natural resources such as water, energy, land, soil, animals, plants and the ecosystem as a whole? From an ethical perspective, the current working conditions for workers in the field, the factories, transportation and retail should be improved by following after good ethics.
Slow fashion addresses the choice to buy better-quality items less often. When purchases are made, they are environmentally and ethically conscious in oppose to quantity-driven; the clothing pieces are much more durable and lend themselves to repairs instead of disposal. Slow fashion is also transparent in which buyers know where their clothes are coming from and that the garments are usually individually designed and crafted by artisans.
Fast fashion, on the contrary, can be defined to describe the inexpensive designs that move quickly from the runway to stores to meet new trends. The term utilizes trend replication, rapid production using low-quality materials in order to bring inexpensive styles to the public specifically made for disposal. Unfortunately, this results in harmful impacts to the environment and human well-being to the consumer and the human-rights to the workers in order to bring the cost down to any possible minimum.
Ethical fashion is a term that is often used to describe ethical fashion design, production, and retail. It covers an entire spectrum of issues such as working conditions and ill-treatment of workers, the environment and animal welfare within the development of raw material, processing and manufacture.
Eco-fashion is a phrase used in making clothing while keeping in mind the environment and the health of the consumers. These garments are made using raw materials, such as hemp, cotton grown without pesticide and silk made by worms fed on organic trees.
Up-cycle and Re-purposing is a way of processing a product to alter it into something better. This process uses either pre-consumer waste, which is when the product is manufactured with leftover pieces, or post-consumer waste, which is using products that the user no longer needed or wanted, or even both.
Natural fabrics are typically plant-based and the most common fibers are cotton, hemp and linen, which are also breathable for your skin. These fibers break down easily and, therefore, naturally decompose since the natural fibers are completely biodegradable and return to nature.
Synthetic fabrics describe fabrics or fibers that are chemically-produced by man. The resulting product does not naturally exist anywhere on this planet and the most common fibers are polyester, nylon and spandex. Not only is it harmful to create the fabric, but by washing the garment, it releases micro-plastic into the water streams and pollutes the ocean. Synthetic fibers are non-biodegradable, which means that it can take about 200 years to decompose.
More than ever, our clothes are made of plastic and the fashion industry alone makes up about 10% of the carbon emissions, which dries up and pollutes our water sources. The mass production of fast fashion is identical in style across brands and is specifically made to be discarded with poor quality that lacks creativity, uniqueness as well as individuality.
At Rare Stance, we are sustainable, ethical and are Eco-fashion with the use of our natural fabrics and textiles. To learn more about us and read our story, click this link !