“Sustainable fashion” is currently a hot topic. In the simplest form, it refers to fashion without costing the earth. The fashion industry is mainly polluting the world, and sustainable fashion involves clothes made of organic and animal cruelty-free raw materials that are easy to recycle. Meaning, the clothes are more easily decomposed compared to fast fashion clothes.
The popularity of this relatively new concept is not just because the eco-friendly materials are better for the planet but also because they go hand-in-hand with offering a better employment experience for people involved in making the clothes, not to mention the better treatment of animals.
With people being more concerned about the raw materials that make them clothes, sustainable fashion practices will only continue to grow. However, it does have some cons that supporters might not be aware of.
Fast Versus Sustainable
“Fast fashion” refers to making affordable apparel quickly in response to the latest style trends. Due to the increased demand for inexpensive clothes, shopping has turned into a form of entertainment.
Shoppers typically visit outlets to be entertained, and retailers encourage this behavior by creating an excellent atmosphere and customer experience using proper displays, lighting, and even smells.
Fast fashion does come with a wide array of advantages, of which the most important is the ability to meet market trends at a rapid pace. This enables businesses to stay competitive and relevant by offering consumers desired goods faster than ever before.
Additionally, an increase in the production of affordable clothing means consumers don’t have to wait long for their desired clothing as there are many retailers to shop from.
On the flip side, fast fashion is harmful both environmentally and ethically.
According to the UN Alliance for Sustainable Fashion, fast fashion accounts for two to eight percent of the entire world’s carbon emissions. Waste is also one of the biggest concerns with fast fashion—as fast fashion addresses the changing trends, the clothes produced are often of poor quality.
Statistically, consumers will only wear poor apparel a few times before throwing it away. On the ethical side, factory workers are often paid less than livable wages in the fast fashion industry. Due to the cheap cost of clothing, workers only get to make a fraction of the price, resulting in most of them living below the poverty line.
This is where sustainable fashion comes in. It focuses on the environmental-friendliness of clothes, alongside being ethical. The main difference between fast fashion and sustainable is the amount of waste produced. Sustainable fashion makes better-quality clothes, thereby decreasing waste. Less waste means less water pollution and fewer carbon emissions during production.
The Cons of Sustainability
To start, fast fashion clothes are everywhere, unlike sustainable ones. Also, most sustainable brands offer smaller sizes, though there exists a demand for a broad range. Many people believe that sustainable fashion clothing isn’t trendy for patterns and designs.
So, building a closet with sustainable fashion while keeping up with the latest trends can actually be a challenge. This is because sustainable brands are more concerned about their products being eco-friendly than aligning with the trends.
In case you choose to find trends in the sustainable arena, you will end up with a hole in your pocket.
Despite the better quality of clothes, sustainable clothes are pretty expensive in comparison to fast fashion clothing. In fact, the high cost is one of the main disadvantages. So, trying to find trendy sustainable clothes would mean an expensive journey in comparison to fast fashion.
However, when you think about the significant effect sustainable fashion can have on the world, paying a higher price is worth it. In fact, there are various ways to deal with the higher price. For instance, you can mix affordable apparel with sustainable ones rather than going over your budget to stick to only sustainable products.
Additionally, it’s smart to go sustainable when purchasing accessories that you plan to use in the long run. For example, you can shop glasses frames, handbags, belts, etc., that are sustainably produced.
While sustainable fashion has grown in popularity in the past few years, it still has a long way to go to be as popular as fast. In such a scenario, shopping for these are an effective way to engage in the fight against climate change and other environmental changes.
Sustainable fashion brands are currently struggling to meet their customer needs. The more customers like you say they want something better and more planet-friendly, the more brands will feel encouraged to take the leap into a clean future.
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