Slow Fashion – The Answer to Climate Change
“Slow Fashion” or “Sustainable Fashion” has been a very popular phrase among people all around the globe. Climate change being no more of a mystery has resulted in popularizing these terms. In this article, we will be taking a closer look into these terms and try to answer most related questions.
A looming threat: Climate Change
Climate change is the long-term changes in the environment which include temperature changes, alterations in weather, overheating causing melting of icebergs, heat waves and global warming.
We are already experiencing conditions of climate change with extreme situations of extinction of animals and natural forest fires. In a recent incident, a massive landfill in Delhi caught on fire and burned for three days.
According to NASA, the effects of Global Climate change are to be observed for more than a century. However, with the right steps, we still have time to prevent it.
The dark side of Fashion Industry
Clothing industry being the second largest polluting industry, produces around 18.6 million tonnes of waste. Yet even less than 1% of it is recycled.
Most of it are discarded into landfills as the fibers used are often not strong enough. Slow fashion reduces wastage significantly by insisting to wear clothes longer and reusing them.
Being one of the most essential natural resources, sadly, it is also one of the most wasted resources in the fashion industry. On average, the fashion industry is responsible for 20% of the global wastage of drinkable water, which is roughly 93 billion metric tonnes.
Cotton generally demands water for proper growth and producing just one pair of jeans requires around 7,500 to 10,000 litres of fresh water. This amount of water is sufficient for one person to drink for ten years.
According to DU/ER, one pair of jeans is usually used for two to three years. In the case of a tee, 2,700 litres of water are used, which otherwise can be consumed for 900 days. Slow fashion helps tackle this issue, as it uses significantly less cotton and even lesser water.
Slow Fashion: A positive revolution?
To put it simply, “slow fashion” or “sustainable fashion” is an approach towards slowing down the rate of wastage. Slow fashion isn’t only about wastage, it also takes steps towards improvement in the quality of the fabric, the lives of the workers, and fair treatment of the environment.
Slow fashion is becoming a standard among many individuals, not just environmental enthusiasts. This rise in trend is a result of people’s growing interest into this field, many even consider it an investment towards the improvement of the planet.
A few common grounds that are generally touched by slow fashion brands are — focusing on the quality of the product while ensuring sustainable means, providing fair pay to the workers, ensuring safety at workspaces, attempting to lower the carbon footprint of the brand, sourcing materials from local vendors, avoiding dead stock by keeping styles limited and producing seasonless designs.
The Myths around Slow Fashion
All brands that claim “sustainability” are indeed sustainable
It is always suggested to conduct thorough research before blindly following any claims. The fashion industry has too many brands that are claiming to be sustainable, yet these are the brands that are making most of the negative impacts on the planet.
This practice is called “greenwashing” and it is considered a violation as consumers are misled by incorrect information. Even with several emerging sustainable brands, very little impact is being made on the environment.
All clothing items are recyclable
It is a very common misconception that most fabrics can be recycled, while some are beyond repair. The fabrics are often mixed, and, in such an instance, the materials need to be segregated for recycling purposes.
It is recommended to go for 100% Organic Cotton as it holds a higher chance of being recycled and reused for a prolonged time.
Purchasing from ethical and sustainable brands reduces your carbon footprint
This is often less of a myth and more of a misconception that people often dive into. This isn’t completely untrue as the moment you choose organic materials over cheap polyester clothes; you are making sure that you are wasting less in the long run.
However, sustainability in itself is about buying less and using items for a long time. If you are stuffing your wardrobe with sustainable clothes and not using them for years, it doesn’t serve the purpose.
Choosing sustainable clothing is a great choice but overdoing it might backfire at you.
Is Slow Fashion the longed answer?
Slow fashion can be a game changer in the current situation where we are experiencing climate change almost regularly.
The growing trend towards slow fashion is celebrated by both consumers and farmers. Slow fashion promotes ethical means and stands up for the environment also.
There are presently many organisations who ensure that standards are maintained throughout the brands that are going eco-friendly. For example, GOTS, or Global Organization Textile Standard is an organization that ensures that quality is maintained throughout all processes, and they are ethical as well.
Consumers usually feel powerless when fighting against global issues. However, slow fashion allows them to feel powerful. Combining the collective efforts of consumers, significant impacts can be made on the environment.
Many small Local business are coming up challenging the Big Brands with focus mainly on Slow Fashion and to bring awareness for a need to go Eco-Friendly.
Sustainability in Brands using Slow Fashion
Sustainability is the primary focus of new Brands coming up to make the Change. As a customer, we can make marginal improvements by doing conscious shopping and looking for Eco-friendly alternatives to high intensive chemical based, Plastic based and Petroleum products
Organic cotton is one such Fabric. Organic cotton demands 91% less water, then regular cotton. And maintains the Soil fertility too, Its not only good for your skin but is comfortable too.
Choose organic and bring sparking change!
About the Author
Harsha is founder of KARMIKH, an online conscious clothing brand with a purpose, Karmikh uses the finest quality sustainable fabrics like Organic Cotton and it’s Blends to create a new generation of eco-friendly products.