Fair fashion and green fashion
11. May 2021
Sustainable and good for the environment
Sustainable and good for the environment
Sustainable fashion has become a major topic in recent years and more businesses than ever are getting involved. Although purchasing organic clothing is one aspect, many consumers are also concerned about environmental protection.
Many different terms now exist to describe sustainable fashion. These include organic fashion, green fashion, fair fashion, eco-fashion and sustainable fashion.
Sustainability is a global topic
Consumers are become increasingly aware of the importance of environmental protection and sustainability. When purchasing groceries, people are beginning to pay attention to whether milk, eggs and meat come from good farming practices. They want locally sourced fruit and vegetables, many have swapped their car for a bike or other mode of transport, and plastic is avoided where possible.
Consumers will not cease to buy fashion items, however we can be conscious of how and what we are buying. Some fashion companies release up to twelve collections a year.
This encourages customers to buy more clothes, which are often quickly thrown out.
Clothing that has been fairly manufactured, on the other hand, is more expensive yet is longer-lasting, characterised by its high quality, not based on short-term trends and can be worn for many years to come.
When it comes to clothing, sustainability and organic quality have a positive impact on our environment and the carbon footprint we leave behind. Those who opt for organic and fairly produced goods are not only doing something positive for themselves.
Fast fashion vs. sustainability
Sustainable fashion describes clothes that do not harm people or animals during production. Sustainable clothing should therefore beproduced in eco-friendly ways and take human health into consideration, both for those wearing the clothes and those making them. Both fair trade and environmental aspects are taken into account.
A sustainable lifestyle involves focussing on quality. Fast fashion should be avoided. Fast and slow fashion are currently being debated in depth by society.
Luckily, there is another way: “fair fashion”. This focusses on materials which are environmentally friendly to produce. Fair fashion is short for sustainable, long-lasting fashion and conscientious consumption.
Organic cotton and hemp forgoes the use of toxic pesticides, chemicals, synthetic fertilisers and defoliants. Organic cotton is generally defined as cotton which is organically grown in subtropical countries such as India, Turkey, China and parts of the USA without the use of genetically modified plants.
What do organic farmers do differently? Firstly, they do not spend money on chemical fertilisers; instead they use their own manure and compost on their fields. This ecological cultivation has a positive impact on the health of farmers and workers as they do not come into contact with toxic substances.
The great side effect is that they also earn more for their organic produce, thereby improving living conditions for themselves and their families. Organic farmers must rotate their crops, i.e. organic cotton is grown annually in rotation with other cultures and is harvested by hand – mechanical harvesting is prohibited.
There is also another benefit for the planet. Organic cotton consumes 91 percent less water than standard cotton, which is significant given the world’s water shortage. And that’s sustainable.
To sum up: Organic cotton protects the environment and is good for the farmers that grow it and consumers. The use of synthetic chemical pesticides and fertilisers is prohibited, which significantly reduces the health risk for farmers and soil fertility is not only preserved, but is even greatly improved, thanks to manure and compost.
By the way: Organic hemp and organic linen are extremely robust plants. They survive in poor soils and with little water and are therefore suitable for growing in local climate conditions. The organic textile industry has recognised this for some time now and offers clothing made from organic hemp and organic linen. However, clothing made from animal fibres such as sheep’s wool or silk are now also available in organic quality.
The Munich Environmental Institute has summarised has organic cotton is certified:
Just like with food products, the agricultural raw material of cotton is protected by the terms “bio”, “eco” or “organically grown produce”.
They can only be labelled as such if they meet the guidelines for organic farming. This is checked by an independent certification body on site at least once a year. The business must disclose its production methods and flow of goods.
Small farming communities are widespread in Asia, Africa and Latin America. An internal control system among these small farmers ensures ongoing compliance with the guidelines.
Many young people are already conscious of sustainability, diversity and care, and want to see sustainability demanded across the entire value chain.
We should aim to buy sustainable, organic clothing! Stay healthy!