What Makes Sustainable Clothing Different from Fast Fashion Pieces
Although the majority of consumer goods like medicine and food have become more costly over time, clothing tends to become more affordable. There are many reasons this could happen. Overseas production where labor is cheaper drives lower prices. Also, cheaper materials like polyester have helped keep prices low. But, cheap clothing has a high cost for the planet and the people. Synthetic fabrics such as polyester require a significant amount of energy to produce and toxic chemicals are used to produce them.
These days, there are a lot of ethical fashion brands that are trying to address these issues. They are focused on environment-friendly fabrics and non-toxic dyes as well as paying a fair wage to their workers. But, as these add to the costs, these brands pass higher prices down to their customers. Fortunately, you are a consumer who wants to be eco-conscious; there are ways to stick your principles without going over budget. One way to achieve this is mto buy products made with sustainable materials. So what exactly sets sustainable clothing apart from fast fashion pieces?
A lot of people think that natural fabrics like cotton are more sustainable than synthetic fabrics such as polyester. But, this is not always the case. Traditional methods of growing cotton make use of a huge amount of possibly toxic fertilizer and pesticides. Although cotton can be grown without chemicals, even organic cotton requires huge amounts of water. Green fabrics have renewable fibers that are easy to grow and produce. They utilize limited energy and water to produce. Also, they are recyclable. These include linen, hemp, bamboo, alpaca, lyocell, organic wool, and silk.
With most fabrics, dyes are used for coloring them. A lot of conventional dyes have harmful chemicals and require big amounts of water to process. As much of the dyes are washed out of the fabric, they could end up in rivers. But, this does not mean white fabrics are cleaner choices. This is because pure snow-white fabrics may be bleached with chlorine, releasing the cancer-causing chemical dioxin.
Made from Recycled Materials and can be Reused
Eco-friendly clothes can be made from recycled materials. For instance, fabrics like fleece are usually made from recycled plastic bottles. Today, people can make new polyester fabric by recycling old polyester garments. Recycling products into another product involves the use of less energy and produce less pollution. But, your greenest choice is to reuse and recycle clothing.