By Rachel Walstrum
It’s no secret that the textile industry is one of the biggest polluters in the world. And, rightfully so, this has caused the fashion industry to be under a microscope right now.
he good thing is, as consumers, we are demanding more ethical practices, and less waste production from the companies we buy from. This has caused a major movement where brands are ditching the synthetic fibers like polyester, which, derived from oil and petroleum, pollutes our wildlife, air, and waterways. Now more brands are choosing to incorporate natural or recycled fibers in their products. Natural fibers like cotton and hemp are strong, and biodegradable alternatives to plastics. Similarly, Tencel is a fabric derived from wood pulp, and several brands like Eileen Fisher, H&M conscious, Patagonia, and Lucky Brand have adapted it.
Below are more initiatives that fashion companies are taking:
- Target released new sustainability standards, one being garments sold made with recycled rayon.
- H&M has one of the largest recycling research centers in the world. If you go into one of their stores, they will not only take your unwanted for their upcycling research, but- but they will give you a coupon in exchange! (Give your coupon to someone in line; it’s a great random act of kindness!)
- Eileen Fisher also shows you their production chain; from sourcing to who is making your clothes and how, this kind of transparency is what we need.
- Époque Évolution is a newer brand that uses natural fibers as well as excess waste from other fashion brands. They also use recycled fibers
- Cuyana is a progressive brand that makes clothing with full transparency about where their clothes are produced. The brand focuses on sourcing from natural fibers that are often in excess at other factories. Their tag line is, “fewer, better things,” which is undoubtedly where fashion is headed.
Brands that have yet to offer sustainable solutions (we’re looking at you, Forever 21 and Old Navy) will soon be a thing of the past. Keep these things in mind the next time you want to purchase an item or throw it out. However, if you’re a fan of collecting fashion pieces and switching up your look, look no further than your local thrift shop! Buying second hand reduces our carbon footprint significantly.
So, shop consciously and out of necessity.