“There is no beauty in the finest cloth if it makes hunger and unhappiness”
“There is no beauty in the finest cloth if it makes hunger and unhappiness”
Fast fashion focuses on immediate supply of low-cost styles inspired by catwalk and celebrity looks.
But in order to do that environmental corners are most likely to be cut:
The global fashion industry is a major source of greenhouse gases that are overheating the planet due to the energy used during production, manufacturing and transportation of millions of garments each year.
Most of the clothes are produced in China, Bangladesh, India, Vietnam and Pakistan – countries essentially powered by coal – the dirtiest type of energy in terms of carbon emissions.
Synthetic fibers are derived from petroleum products, making production much more energy-intensive than with natural fibers.
Factories are usually located on waterways where they dump the pour off, polluting the drinking water source for millions of people.
Synthetics (polyester, acrylic, nylon, etc.) now used in 60% of our garments shed its fibers into the water each washing cycle, releasing half a million tonnes of plastic microfibers into the ocean every year. It is equivalent to more than 50 billion plastic bottles!
Production and labor costs are much cheaper in countries like China, Bangladesh, India, Vietnam and Pakistan, but working conditions are usually intimidating – long working days, no fair wages and employment contracts with no overtime pay.
Meantime, clothing production continues to grow, all to fulfil our needs and desires for more. The amount of clothes bought in the EU per person has increased by 40 % in just a few decades. So, not all the responsibility lies on the industry itself, but also on us – the consumers.
Social media is forming false trends and beliefs growing mass appetites and support for a cult of consumerism.
Kelly Drennan, founding executive director of Fashion Takes Action – a non-profit organization established in 2007 in Canada to advance sustainability in the fashion industry through education, spreading awareness and collaboration.
“Sustainable development cannot be achieved by technological solutions, political regulation or financial instruments alone. We need to change the way we think and act. This requires quality education and learning for sustainable development at all levels and in all social contexts.”
Where to start?
While boycotting certain brands may not be a solution, we can all begin with ourselves. Small steps can make a big difference!
Here are the 3 magic R’s you should start with. Follow them in your everyday life to make your environmental footprint smaller.
Be aware! Search for the organizations in your area that can help you to wisely recycle your worn-out textile or donate clothes in good condition.
Most clothes in the EU still end up in landfills where they release methane into the air we breath!
Switch to recyclable and compostable packaging, go for fabric or paper instead of plastic bags.
According to this year’s European Parliament Briefing “Environmental impact of the textile and clothing industry”, consumer use phase has the largest environmental footprint in the life cycle of clothes.
Small behavioral changes in our everyday routine can significantly lower this impact (for example, water and energy consumption in your own households) and prolong life and service of our favourite gowns:
Reduce washing temperature
Wash at full loads
Avoid tumble-drying and unnecessary ironing
Air-dry your clothes
Wearing clothes 50 times instead of average 5 for fast fashion items can reduce carbon emission by 400% per item a year.
Buy quality and durable clothing. Go for renewable and biodegradable materials – natural fibers such as wool, linen, cotton, silk, lyocell, hemp or recycled fabrics. They might cost more but will definitely serve you better and for a longer period of time. Sustainable brands usually provide timeless designs, perfect-fit silhouettes, along with the fineness of their items so all of your aesthetic desires will be satisfied.
It reduces shipping pollution which is a huge issue. More than 60% of the world’s garments are produced in developing countries. The vast majority of items travelling by ship, which hourly consumes tons of low-grade fuel cause hazardous environmental damage.
Besides that, EU has stricter environmental regulations, as well as labor law. So, your locally designed and produced outfit will probably be an example of ethical, sustainable fashion, where the human rights are well-respected and environmental impact reduced as much as possible. Not to mention you’ll have a chance to purchase high-quality unique design and sense all the put effort and heart in it.
Get to know “Who Made Your Clothes” and check online yourself – lots of local designers and stores are trying their best to support sustainable fashion to provide good working conditions and grow awareness among customers.
Catwalk Athina Korda Image: marieclaire.co.za
Fashion Revolution – a global movement of people from all around the world who make the fashion industry work. It unites local designers, producers, brands, retailers, makers, workers, writers, marketers, NGOs, business leaders, policymakers, media, academics, and fashion lovers aiming to show that change is possible and encourage those who are on a journey to create a more ethical and sustainable future for fashion.
BOLD Concept Store cooperates with Fashion Revolution Latvia in order to support the movement and celebrate those who create more sustainable future for fashion.
PIXIE Won’t Play – one of the Latvian brands you can find at BOLD Concept Store is an active supporter of sustainable lifestyle. Brand appreciates natural resources, cares deeply about the scale of negative environmental impact and is constantly growing awareness of what can be done to minimize it.
Manufactured in Latvia, the brand uses natural and durable materials in their collections.
You can now find a huge variety of the perfectly-shaped designs in linen from PIXIE Won’t Play
One of the most recognizable fashion faces in Latvia – Iveta Vecmane – makes her brand all about long-lasting values. Her timeless and simple contours, perfectly-crafted designs and high-quality natural materials are a true manifest of sustainability and slow fashion. Iveta Vecmane designs will last you for many seasons.
If you usually go for quality, values and good investment, check out Anna Led fashion collection. Designs by Anna Led – classic treats for a woman’s wardrobe that will be still relevant in years. Excellent features and characteristics in each item made from the brand’s favourite natural fabrics like linen, jersey and silk.
Another one of our brands with a whole cycle of sewing, construction and production located in Latvia is KETA GUTMANE. This brand’s contemporary tailoring provides unique recognizable style and urban silhouettes supported by durable and functional all-natural fabrics like wool, cotton, silk, cupro and linen. KETA GUTMANE Brand is also a Woolmark Prize nominee.
While slow fashion may not solve all of our problems, it allows to decrease negative impact on the environment and invest in safer and more sustainable lifestyle. One that reduces an individual’s or society’s use of natural resources – a choice that everyone should make!
No one is doing it perfectly but there are many ways to be environmentally friendly, and to aim at socially and ethically conscious production and consumption.
We at Bold Concept Store support ethical sustainable fashion by telling you the story of the Best of Local Designs, small manufacturers, quality materials, timeless design and family values.
Expand the awareness of our environmental problems. Spread the word!