What is Sustainable Fashion:
Sustainable fashion is a developing process of compliance change to fashion products, actually all over the fashion system as well as fashion industry. It can easily keep contribution towards greater ecological integrity & also can inspire us to be self-confident in fashion so that the elegancy of a person as well as the whole civilization can be expressed clearly.
If we want to describe the environmental impacts on sustainable fashion then we must have knowledge about fashion industry. Almost all the processes of making an apparel from fiber are conducted in an industry. And the whole process follows some steps consciously. Generally four steps are as follows:
1.Raw materials like fiber and yarns & other necessary elements are produced,
2.Fashion good are produced & designed by designers,manufacturers,contractors & others.
3.Giving a transparent idea of retailing sells.
4.Advertisement & promoting.
Environmental Hazards facing for fashion industries:
Its a bitter truth that the imperfect manufacturing process of those products which seem elegant to us, are responsible for many environmental issues. During high water usage, high chemical treatments used in weaving, dyeing or in other processes environment hazards are faced badly. And it’s actually a matter of concern that only 20% of clothing is recycled or reused and the rest are being wasted. It has been reckoned that only in UK around 350,000 tons of clothing ends up as dissipation every year. According to Earth Pledge, a non-profit organization committed to promoting and supporting sustainable development, almost 25% of the world’s pesticides are used to grow non-organic cotton & at least 8000 toxic chemicals are used to get textiles from raw materials. Another study shows that approximately 34.8% of microplastics are found in the oceans basically coming from textile industries. Microfibers are tiny enough & for that reason it can easily mix up with the wastes. So, by eliminating synthetic materials used in textile products & by following the three ‘R’s reducing, reusing and recycling, we can prevent harmful synthetics and microfibers from ending up in our environment.
But we can easily move on from these hazards by adopting sustainable fashion. Actually sustainable fashion works with a goal which concerns for saving our environment from any kind of negative footprint.
How sustainable fashion can help to solve environmental issues:
Conversation of Natural Resources by Sustainable Fashion:
By recycling products we can easily get back our natural resources & it can be hoped that we can get rid of annihilation of most important products of our nature. And it is a matter of hope that recycled fibers have been proven to be a much more sustainable option, as they solve the most concerned problems of waste management. A study from 2015 shows that to make clothes, 97% new resources are used, only 3% of it are recycled materials.
Reduction of dangerous Carbon Footprints:
The global fashion industry is responsible for global warming. Mainly using the clothes which are petroleum based and made from fossil fuels including polyester, acrylic & nylon are the reasons of environmental hazards. Actually these kinds of materials require more energy than the natural0000 materials. And which fabrics are made from sustainable wood pulp such as TENCEL and also natural fibers such as cotton, hemp, linen are biodegradable which can easily reduce dangerous carbon footprints.
Sustainable Fashion Safeguards Animal Lives:
An estimation showed that over 430 million animals per year are slaughtered & killed for only the leather industry. But sustainable fashion helps our animals because many of the clothes are made from sustainable wood pulp & also clothes of cellulosic, protein & mineral origins.
Requires Less Water in Sustainable Fashion:
Our textile industries, in present or in future, maybe unable to be built up beside or in those areas which have sufficient water. But water is a major resource for the fashion industry & the works of spinning, weaving, knitting, dyeing and finishing process can’t be done without water. How much water we need to have a apparel from the fibers can be said like this-to produce a single T-shirt, it takes an incredible amount of 2700 liters of water! Cotton is highly dependent on water, but is usually grown in hot & dry areas where water is a scarce resource already. On the other hand, organic cotton reduces water consumption by 91%. And if we say about sustainable fabrics, these fabrics require little to no water.
Fairer & Safer Working Condition is Introduced:
It’s a bitter truth that most of the inenarrable masters treat rudely with the workers. Endless working hours, unacceptable health & safety conditions have to be faced by those workers. But if sustainable fashion can be introduced broadly, this time duration can be decreased & also works will be enjoyable!
Healthier for People & Planet:
Almost everyone know about fast fashion but in fast fashion, intense chemicals are used which are actually harmful to health. Around 8000 different synthetic chemicals are used to dye, bleach and wet process garments. Those chemicals are so dangerous that they often cause severe diseases or even deaths among farmers and create acute birth defects on their children.
Some of these chemicals pose a real threat to our health because our skin absorbs anything we put on it even dangerous chemicals! But in using process of sustainable fashion, we don’t have to use those dangerous chemicals at all. So, it’s healthy enough for plants, animals as well as human beings.
Sustainable Fashion Reminds Us How To Love Our Clothes Again:
Everyone feels good when he looks at a gorgeous, finished piece of clothing in a store but forgets the background story of this nice work! It’s not actually our fault at all because we are not introduced with this sustainable fashionable products. And as a result we are unable to make a correct decision of buying anything related with textile. But when sustainable fashion will be introduced, we will be more conscious & get comfortable clothes by proper buying decision.
How Sustainability Can Save The Fashion Industry After COVID-19:
Already many questions have been arisen about the uncertainty of textile industry as well as fashion industries after this pandemic situation of COVID-19. Every sector related with textile is in uncertainty now. But sustainable fashion can do a great job in this case! It’s true that sustainable fashion has not spread its branches in all sectors but it can easily do that very soon. It will easily access in total textile industry as luxury, sport etc. However, it is more relevant than ever as a recent study finds the current crisis that all the textile industries can come back with a great profit by sustainable fashion after the pandemic.
Sustainable fashion will protect critical assets to survey the economic crisis. It can be hoped that sustainability will be an imperative for strong companies & also the entrepreneurs can work with it spontaneously after this pandemic. Sustainable fashion is actually the come back of some products with quality & durability at a time. Then coming to the point of getting facilities in business we can uphold the statement of Kate Heiny, sustainability director at Zalando SE. He said that after this COVID-19, sustainability will help us stay ahead of customers. Last of all we can hope that as it is very much helpful towards our environmental & social issues, so it will be granted unanimously by everyone!
The fashion industry needs to become more sustainable to fulfill the volition of the consumer need & expectations because almost all of the consumers are aware of environmental issues nowadays. So, by keeping in our mind about the pressure of the consumers & also business profits and all over to save our environment we should introduce, establish & start up sustainable fashion in our fashion industries as soon as possible.
Department of Environmental Science and Engineering
Bangladesh University of Textiles (BUTEX)
You can read another article of the same author: Textile Recycling: Reducing Waste and Promoting Circular Economy