Have you ever had this feeling that you just bought a new shirt but it is already not up to date anymore? Well, we’ve probably all been there! It’s very difficult to keep our clothes long term, isn’t it?
Especially when we are faced with a tempting array of new shiny fabrics and colorful patterns on offer in the shops. Too much temptation.But before you head out into the summer sales for those irresistible deals, spare a thought for the impact of fast fashion on the environment.
Fast fashion is focusing on low cost production and speed. Wearing the same cute dress or pants as our favorite Instagram Fab is exciting – but also particularly bad for our environment.
Luckily, nowadays there is more and more interest in organic or recycled cotton. Especially big fashion companies like Inditex or H&M strive for new alternatives because of external pressure to change their environmental impact. However, the use of organic cotton still represents less than 1% of the world’s total consumption of cotton.
Polyester is the most popular fabric used for fashion. But every time we wash our polyester garments in our washing machines, they lose microfibers that add to the increasing levels of plastic in our oceans. These plastic particles can hardly be filtered out; they do not biodegrade and represent a serious threat to aquatic life. Plankton and small fish eat those microfibers, which eventually end up in our plates.
After realizing that just 1% of the produced clothing on this planet is recycled, the famous designer Stella McCartney went for a different approach. It was never her plan to be an advocate for sustainable fashion though.At the beginning of her career she promised herself one thing: “I am not going to kill any animal for the name of fashion”.For a designer, that means to not use any form of fur, leather and other animal body parts. Especially in the luxury fashion market that can be a risky decision.
McCartney has managed to turn her firm belief that “an investment in the environment is an investment in your life” into a fashionable proposition that consumers buy into.
Stella McCartney urged other brands to come out from the shadow “you have to go into business and try to look out for others… I need people to help create a demand. I need my looms to be all organic and I need as many people to use those looms.”.“I need that, I need help. We are not perfect. At Stella McCartney, we are trying really hard, but we are not.”
We have to change our behavior as customers. We should start asking ourselves what we want to see in fashion, on the runaway, in the shops, on the fashion magazines. And to be honest, what can be even sexier than showing your own brand through sustainable clothing?
Last but not least, we should try to keep our clothing in use for longer – and buy less new stuff.