Sustainable clothing is all about taking the right approach to sourcing, manufacturing and even designing apparel that maximizes its benefits for society and the industry. However, the approach also ensures that it minimizes impact on the environment.
The term “ethical” means practice or a thought that is morally acceptable or right. That’s why sustainable fashion and ethical fashion starts in the cotton fields and not the manufacturer. In other words, conventional cotton farming can’t be termed as sustainable or ethical for that matter because it uses a host of pesticides and other harmful practices.
“Sustainable” Is A New Way of Doing Business
Sustainable is a brand new way of doing business instead of just being a concept. That’s why leading brands like NOIR, Stella McCartney etc. are pioneers of sustainable and ethical fashion. Many businesses are embracing the concept of sustainability in their business models. The companies understand that integrating environmental issues and social issues with their business ensure long-term benefits.
The Ethical Fashion Forum (EFF)
It is a non-profit organization that’s established mainly to promote sustainable practices in the fashion industry. The EFF also works to raise awareness, provide resources and check the extent of environmental damage done by the industry. Furthermore, they also work to raise the standards currently followed in the fashion industry. Today the EFF is growing with over 6,000 members in well over 100 countries, all of whom support sustainable fashion. The non-profit also has a set criteria to define ethical fashion which needs to be closely followed.
The EFF has managed to frame many policies with some of the top ethical sourcing and certification bodies which are part of the International Fair Trade Association amongst others. Doing this helps the EFF work in a matter that’s organized to develop ethical and sustainable practices. Ethical businesses now need to manufacture clothing which follows the EFFs best practices and guidelines for the benefit from the earth and society.
Consumers’ Part in Ensuring Sustainability
Now consumers need to also do their part by buying sustainable clothing as it is seen as the first step towards promoting this practice. However, consumers can play a more significant role by contributing to sustainability by taking small steps like washing their clothes using cold water instead of hot water to reduce energy expenditure. Plus, using biodegradable detergent helps to prevent pollution in the environment, and drying clothes in the sun instead of the dryer saves money, resources and time.
Speaking the Language of Sustainability
While sustainable fashion is gaining momentum, it is mainly a practice in the developed world. Many countries in Asia, Africa and the Middle East don’t adhere by these standards. That’s why it is so important to frame campaigns for these regions. Companies and the EFF should work on making sure that not only is the clothing sustainable, but so is the message.
Messages should be sent in local languages, with awareness campaigns educating people about the perks of sustainable clothing and sustainable practices. It is only by speaking the local language that ideas and practices of sustainability can spread faster.