Fashionistas Can Go Green

Do you love to be stylish, but feel a little bit guilty about the effect your consumption of fashion is having on the planet? -want more green fashion?

The Copenhagen Fashion Summit which took place on the 12th of May, addressed ways in which industry players can promote sustainability globally. During the Youth Fashion Summit, students from 40 countries   drew up a manifesto pertaining to such matters as empowerment and education, water consumption, zero-waste policies, fair wages, food security and elimination of pollution which was presented to the industry at Copenhagen.

It is, however, not up to them alone. We as consumers can also contribute towards diminishing ecological harm by making small changes to our sartorial habits.

Just a few reasons for going green:

  • Harmful chemicals. The pesticides used to protect crops harm wildlife, get into the ground water, and finally into the food we eat.
  • Additional harmful chemicals are used to process, bleach and dye fabrics, often contaminating rivers and finally the ocean. Fish and seafood show alarming traces of these toxins.
  • Much of the clothing we throw away ends up on landfill and most of it is hard to decompose.
  • In the parts of the world where our cheap clothing comes from, garment workers often labour in appalling conditions, for a few cents a day.

What each and every one of us can do:

  • Start by taking you purchases home in reusable shopping bags.
  • Buy fewer items, and of a better quality so that they last longer.
  • Invest in classics that do not go out of style. Avoid fast fashion.
  • Buy local. Transport adds to the carbon footprint of an item.
  • Choose handcrafted jewellery and clothing. Fewer toxins are created during manufacturing, plus the items are original.
  • Go for the organic options.
  • Buy vintage/raid your mother or grandmother’s closets. You will be able to create one-of-a-kind looks.
  • Make do and mend. Fix or alter your old clothes. Be inventive.
  • Read wash/care labels and treat accordingly. Clothing will last longer.
  • Use eco-friendly detergent. It all goes into rivers and the ocean, remember.
  • Go faux. The production of leather and fur is harmful to animals, and contributes land devastation, air pollution and water contamination. The chemicals used to treat skins are also harmful to humans.
  • Know your labels. Look for companies who follow ethical practises in their supply chain. Fair Trade certified goods are a safe bet.

If we all commit to intelligent consumption, it will make a world of difference!