Do They Recycle?
One of the main reasons why fashion contributes to environmental damage is down to the amount of waste the industry produces. Research shows the increase in fast fashion results in 10,000 items of clothing being sent to landfill every five minutes - a shocking statistic, to say the least.
A sustainable brand should have a different approach to production waste. For example, you may find that they use leftover materials to make new pieces of clothing. To find out this information, you would need to conduct some research. Check out the brand’s website and social media platforms. If a brand does take recycling seriously, it should be outlined in its policy.
Materials Used In The Creation Of Products
One of the easiest ways to differentiate sustainable brands from fast fashion is to look at the materials used to create products. A long list of materials would signify a brand is not following sustainable practices. Synthetic fabrics like polyester and acrylic negatively impact the environment.
This is because they are not biodegradable and take years to decompose. As a result, they significantly contribute to plastic pollution. Sustainable brands tend to use eco-friendly products like hemp and organic cotton. You should also research whether your chosen brand uses materials free from toxic chemicals and dyes. This would signify they are also sustainable.
Sustainable brands often sell products made from organic materials. If a brand claims that the materials used are organic, it can back up its claims with an organic certification. The use of organic fabrics significantly reduces the number of toxic chemicals used to make clothing. Organic materials are more long-lasting and sustainable. It would seem even the designer fashion industry has taken note.
Huge names like Gucci are now using organic, recycled, and sustainably sourced materials in the creation of their clothing. They have also eliminated their use of single-use plastics, a huge statement to make in the designer realm. You can shop the women's range from Gucci on sites like SSENSE. Research is required to find items made from organic materials.
Are They Involved In Green Projects?
Every sustainable brand's ethos surrounds this idea of caring for the environment. Although this is vital to look out for, you should also pay close attention to whether the brand actively gives back to the community. Green projects aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions - while promoting the use of clean energy.
Your chosen brand might have been involved in a project where water refill stations were installed in their local community. Or - maybe they helped a local school start a vegetable garden. Projects like these give you confidence that your chosen fashion brand is active in implementing a sustainable movement. You can often find this information by looking at the brand's social media channels.
Packaging And Delivery
Sustainability doesn’t just stop at production. In fact, it stems far beyond that. Packaging and delivery are two processes that can also cause irreversible damage to the environment. Wasteful packaging often ends up in a landfill. Single-use plastics emit harmful gases into the air, negatively impacting the environment.
A sustainable brand will take the necessary steps to avoid this. They will use eco-friendly packaging, like biodegradable boxes and compostable labels. You can find plenty more eco-friendly packaging ideas online. It is vital to look into the brand's delivery process too. For example, do they deliver parcels using green-powered vehicles? This is all information that should be on the brand's website.
You may find that your chosen fashion brands have partnerships with a specific factory. Ask yourself, is the factory following sustainable practices? Most brands tend to announce this news through their social media platforms. A sustainable factory will manufacture clothing using economically-sound processes.
Less energy and natural resources will be used, which significantly reduces the brand's carbon footprint. A sustainable factory will also take its employees’ safety very seriously, ensuring they work in safe conditions and are paid a fair wage. A sustainable factory will also aim to eliminate production waste - a necessity for the future of the fashion industry.
Sustainability is certainly the future of fashion. Looking into the use of fabrics, manufacturing processes, and organic certifications are all useful ways to distinguish a sustainable fashion brand.
If consumers want to reduce their environmental impact, the switch to sustainable fashion is a step in the right direction.