the sustainable fashion myth 🌲
The world of fashion marketing has been packed with buzzwords like ‘ethical’, ‘green’, and ‘sustainable’ — but what weight do these claims really carry? In reality, there is no industry standard of what constitutes sustainable garment production. Many fast fashion brands have hopped on the greenwashing band wagon, but minimizing our environmental impact needs to go beyond just a PR tactic. Hold onto your hats for this one: there is no such thing as sustainable fashion.
With the pressure to keep up with trends and the demands of consumerism, the fashion industry is inherently damaging to the environment. But fear not — there are ways that we as consumers can lessen our impact and make less shiddy, more conscious choices.
Shop second-hand. 85% of unwanted garments are either dumped into landfills or burned on a yearly basis. Thrifting clothes gives these garments a second chance at life and is a great way to curate a unique wardrobe.
Overconsumption is expensive. The feeling of someone asking where you got that epic jacket from and replying, “oh, it’s thrifted,”? Priceless.
Look for natural materials. Many of the synthetic materials used by fast-fashion brands such as polyester, acrylic, and nylon are derived from fossil fuels and are incredibly water-intensive in their production. Beyond this, washing these garments releases hundreds of thousands of microplastics into our water systems and ultimately the ecosystems where they are ingested by marine life. These synthetic materials are non-recyclable, and therefore can take up to 200 years to break down.
Instead, look for natural fibres such as organic cotton, organic linen, and Tencel. These textiles are biodegradable, recyclable, and use much less water and harmful chemicals in their production.
Natural materials are also inherently timeless and will last as part of your wardrobe longer, which is a step towards being
more sustainable less shiddy.
Reduce overconsumption. It’s easy to be influenced by the microtrends of social media, but the rate at which these trends are cycling is contributing to over-consumptive behaviours. Rather than buying what is trendy right now (and you’ll likely cringe at in your closet in a year), opt for timeless pieces that suit your individual style and that you’re comfortable in.
Upcycle your current pieces. Instead of throwing out those pants with a tear in them or that sweater that’s pilling, invest a few minutes into mending them!
You’ll feel cottage-core af as well as feeling accomplished by breathing new life into a garment. Jeans don’t quite hug you the way you like? I have a friend — his name is tailor. Take full advantage of their services to customize your garments to fit your body and they’ll last you a lifetime.
While the fashion industry is intrinsically unsustainable, we as consumers can do our part to make sure we’re making educated, intentional choices about our purchasing to contribute to a less shiddy world for generations to come.