Fashion is ever-evolving. New & upcoming trends and sometimes bringing back old trends are all the hype nowadays. Clothing, especially fast fashion pieces, is popular due to its affordable prices. On the other hand, sustainable fashion, which is the need of the hour, is growing and is calling for higher demand. And for the greater good, too! The main difference between sustainable clothing and regular clothing is behind its making. So let’s see how exactly sustainable clothing is different from conventional clothing we use and how it is made. We also have a list of sustainable clothing brands that are sustainable.
What is Fast Fashion?
According to Investopedia, “Fast fashion is the term used to describe clothing designs that move quickly from the catwalk to stores to take advantage of trends. The collections are often based on styles presented at Fashion Week runway shows or worn by celebrities. Fast fashion allows mainstream consumers to purchase the hot new look or the next big thing at an affordable price.”
The idea is to bring trendy designs to the market as fast as possible for the retailers to snap them up while still in demand.
The History Of Fast Fashion
To know when and how fast fashion came into existence, let us go back in time before the 1800s, when fashion was slow. When one wanted to wear a beautiful piece of clothing, they had to source the fabric from scratch, design it themselves, and weave it into the outfit they wanted.
And then, the industrial revolution began and introduced us to new technology, like the sewing machine. That made it easier to make clothes in bulk, which eventually led to the emergence of dressmaking shops. As time passed, by the 1960s and 1970s, clothing became a form of personal expression.
In the late 1990s & early 2000s, low-cost fashion took over the market, welcoming online shopping and some big-time fashion retailers. Unfortunately, this also led to overbuying of clothes (often unnecessary ones). And slowly by surely, the fashion industry became one of the most polluting industries on the Earth through the production of its clothes. It also became part of child labor problems, modern-day slavery, underpaid labor, and excess carbon emissions. That, and many other reasons, are why the need for sustainable clothing has emerged.
What Is Sustainable Clothing?
We love everything about fashion. There is no denying that we spend much of our time, efforts, and money on clothes, accessories, and whatnot. But have you ever stopped to think about how your money is harming the environment? What can you do to help? We have an answer: Switch to sustainable fashion.
The term ‘sustainable fashion’ is thrown around a lot these days. But, do we know what it means and why it matters? Sadly, most people don’t. That is why, today, we are writing about it, to help you understand how sustainable clothing is made differently from regular clothing.
Sustainable clothing is made ethically and is environmentally friendly. The word sustainable clothing isn’t just limited to the making of clothes; it also includes shopping for clothes sustainably: i.e. thrifting clothes, using vegan clothes, borrowing or swapping clothes, taking care of your clothes, and lastly, donating clothes instead of adding them to the landfills.
What Makes Sustainable Clothing Different From Regular Clothing?
According to a study published in Alternative’s Journal, “On average, it takes 2,700 liters of water to make one cotton t-shirt. That is enough water for one person for 900 days.”
“An estimated 17 to 20 percent of total industrial water pollution comes from textile dyeing and treatment – and approximately 8,000 synthetic chemicals are used throughout the world to turn raw materials into textiles. Many of those chemicals will be released into freshwater sources. For every one tonne of textiles produced, 200 tonnes of water are polluted. That’s the equivalent of 5,640,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools of water pollution from the textile industry every year.”
But it is not the same in the case of Sustainable fashion. Let’s see what goes into the making of sustainable clothing:
How Is Sustainable Clothing Made?
The choice of material is the crux of making sustainable clothing. To make sustainable clothes and become a sustainable clothing brand, the brand has to choose its raw materials grown without harming the environment locally or globally. Such as the growing of organic cotton – where the cotton is grown without pesticides or genetically modified seeds.
Not just that, the designers now are getting more and more creative by using harmless materials. For example, you might have heard of clothes made of recycled wool, or even vegan leather trousers made entirely of cactus. Well, that’s the new trend in sustainable fashion – new ways of recycling fabrics and textiles.
Sustainable clothing is made by considering the environmental and social benefits, like benefits of its maker, fair wages, and working conditions with no child labor. In addition, sustainable fashion, or slow fashion is a movement towards consuming resources wisely and using natural, well-made garments. Most clothing brands that are sustainable are not necessarily focused on the cost of their products. Instead, they use natural materials and zero-waste processes to produce clothes with innovative design and attractive price tags. Most sustainable clothes brands utilize recycled materials in their production. They create unique garments that last longer than average clothing pieces, which reduces clothing waste over time.
Now, we know how sustainable fashion is different from fast fashion. But, learning the difference is the first step toward sustainable fashion. The next step is to change the habit of buying impulsively and choosing fast fashion pieces. Instead, opt for sustainable clothes. To help you, we have curated a list of clothing brands that are sustainable below, and that love both fashion and our planet!
List Of Affordable Sustainable Clothing Brands
Your journey of sustainable fashion starts here, with our list of affordable sustainable clothing brands. These clothing brands that are sustainable ensure that their garments are made sustainably, and last longer, without harming the environment or their maker. From sustainable women’s clothing to sustainable men’s clothing, these affordable sustainable clothing brands have it all!
This Toronto-based sustainable clothing brand Kotn is here to add some luxury to your daily wardrobe with its ultra-soft basics, made from Egyptian cotton. This sustainable clothes brand ensures that all its garments are made in a fair and safe environment. And from the quality factor, be sure that each of its cotton tees will last you more than 30 wears. The brand’s journey of helping the world doesn’t just end here. Kotn also has helped impact over 100,000 lives in Egypt by building schools and funding 2,000+ farms. You will find everything in this affordable sustainable clothing brand, from sustainable women’s clothing to sustainable men’s clothing.
The California-based sustainable clothing brand Patagonia is one of the first to use recycled materials and switch to organic cotton. They are committed to labor ethics and work with US factories as often as possible. Its fair trade practices definitely have a positive impact worldwide. And we adore them even more for their worn wear and affordable sustainable clothing collection. From trendy sustainable women’s clothing and sustainable men’s clothing to baby and kids clothing, this sustainable fashion brand has it all (also, at affordable prices!)
3. Fair Indigo
Most people think that sustainable clothes are expensive. Well, that’s a common myth about sustainable clothing brands. Fair Indigo is an affordable sustainable clothing brand whose mission is to make sustainable apparel of the highest quality and longevity. They are committed to creating clothes that will last up to 5 years. Want a forever organic tee? Shop from Fair Indigo. This affordable sustainable clothes brand makes its garments from organic Peruvian Pima Cotton, which is harvested by hand on a family farm. Psst! They ship their clothes free of cost. So, what do they have on their list? With this affordable sustainable clothing brand, you will find sustainable women’s clothings, men’s clothings, and organic stuffed toys for little ones too.
Here is another affordable sustainable clothing brand that aims at making Cali-cool essentials like tees and jumpsuits with nods to old school and skate culture. All the while, they keep low impact and high quality as their main priority. They use recycled cotton, hemp, GOTs certified organic cotton, Tencel, and deadstock fabric. In addition, they only ship their products using recycled paper mailers, recycled plastic bags, and compostable bags. So, are you looking for stylish, affordable, and sustainable women’s clothing that has a little old-school style? Head to Back Beat Co.
5. People Tree
Since 1991, People Tree has partnered with fair trade artisans and farmers in the developing world to produce sustainably-made clothing items that are organic, fashionable, and fair, using traditional skills handed down from generation to generation. Its mission is to change people’s lives through fairer trade, innovation, and lasting relationships. They’re dedicated to providing safe working conditions and protecting the environment while paying a fair price that ensures a sustainable livelihood — and they do it all with a smile! Venturing far beyond a typical organic T-shirt, in this affordable sustainable clothing brand, you’ll find dresses, trousers, jumpsuits, and accessories too (all in a rainbow of colors!) So if you’re looking for sustainable women’s clothing, People Tree is your answer.
Sustainable fashion is not just a trend but a way of living in harmony with the planet and society. And wearing affordable sustainable clothing is a way to stand for our environment and do something good for the planet. Hope this list of sustainable clothing brands made it easier to create a sustainable wardrobe.
Cheers to taking another step towards sustainability!