What You Need To Know About Sustainable Fashion


Sustainable is fashion's new favorite word and many brands have been adding this label to their clothing. The reality is that, although their intentions are usually good, those purposes are often far from true. Almost all firms are turning "green," and even fast fashion brands aim to sell their sustainable practices while manufacturing trucks of disposable clothing. So, what is the real deal behind this ecological facelift and behind this advertising shift in which brands seem more ethical and friendly? 

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First, we need to understand what brands are telling us. When we see that a brand is presented as sustainable, what do we think that means? We might confuse the term "sustainable" with the following:

Vegan fashion: not containing animal materials (leather, wool, silk). However, vegan fashion can come from petroleum, which is not sustainable.

Conscious fashion: an umbrella term, more focused on the consumer, it requires that, when we buy, we ask ourselves: what is it? who made it? is their salary fair? where do the materials come from? This is related to fair fashion, that focuses on the conditions of the workers who make the garments.

Sustainable fashion takes more into account the life cycle of the product, it can mean that the company is working on reducing the environmental impact of their harvest, production, transport or packaging; although it doesn't mean that product is vegan, cruelty-free or conscious.

But not all brands that seem sustainable are so. This is called greenwashing: the ecological commitment of brands that don't lead change, with the purpose of cleaning their image, a common marketing strategy that has been used since the ecological outburst in the '60s.

The first step to sustainable fashion is reducing the number of items produced. Big brands should produce fewer garments, which is the opposite of what fast fashion does nowadays. But less production means higher prices, and the common consumer might not be ready to spend more on sustainable clothing, nor fashion brands might be willing to take the risk.

However, some progress has been made, and there are more brands that turn green for real as time passes. What will the future of sustainable fashion be?