5 Reasons to Shop Sustainable Textiles
The clothing we wear and the materials we choose make a powerful impact on the environment. By selecting sustainable textiles, you can feel good about your purchase and wear the change you want to see. Here we’ve compiled the strongest reasons for shopping sustainably.
In the UK alone, an estimated 350,000 tonnes of clothing goes to landfill every year. This makes it the fifth-biggest environmental footprint of any UK business sector. Buying a sustainable product counteracts the fast fashion model. The fast fashion model encourages consumers to view clothing as disposable, by offering cheap, low-quality fashion that ultimately has to be discarded. By choosing a sustainable apparel alternative, you can be sure that you are getting value for money and therefore saving long term, as the product life cycle is much longer than that of fast fashion items.
The clothing industry is the world's second-largest clean water polluter, as well as emitting 10 percent of the global carbon emissions. It produces 21 billion tons of waste each year, more than maritime shipping and international flights. By choosing a product with recycled plastic content, you are helping to eliminate the water usage and therefore the waste. This is because the extraction of virgin raw materials and manufacturing them into plastic or fibers uses a lot of water. Recycling or using a recycled alternative reduces the need for materials from virgin sources and therefore reduces water use.
Many textiles have animal content, such as fur and leather and duck down, which have a huge impact on environmental footprint. Products with animal content produce carbon emissions during the farming of animals as well as toxic chemical runoffs in the after process. A vegan textile will therefore guarantee cruelty-free product as well as an environmentally-friendly production process.
Sustainable and ethical textiles support not only the environment but the people in it. Fair trade focuses on creating dignified and empowering employment for workers in underserved areas. Typically this means working with people in developing countries, but it can also mean providing jobs for underserved communities elsewhere. Workers receive long-term employment opportunities, fair wages and are provided with safe and healthy working conditions.
Sustainable production does not cost future generations and local communities. This is because the development of sustainable products is beneficial to not only the planet but also the livelihoods of each person involved in the production line. As a result products are developed protecting the communities involved and respecting the environment. Natural resources are conserved while carbon footprint is reduced. By shopping sustainably, you are participating in the process and helping to create a positive consumer impact.