The fast fashion industry produces more CO2 than the aviation and shipping industry combined (source). This is why it’s growing increasingly more important to shop sustainably when it comes to fashion, whether you’re a fashion designer/seller or a fashion buyer (consumer). Today, we’re looking at how to source sustainable materials in fashion for brands, as well as how customers can shop more sustainably.
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How can fashion brands source sustainable materials?
There are a few ways fashion brands can source sustainable materials:
1. Connect with sustainable material suppliers
There are many sustainable clothing and material manufacturers out there, including textile mills, dyers, and others who work with sustainable materials. It’s important to connect with these suppliers early on in the design process so that you can ensure the materials you’re using are sustainable.
2. Use sustainable materials that are already in production
Many fashion brands use unsustainable materials because they’re cheaper and easier to source. However, there are a growing number of sustainable materials that are already in production, such as organic cotton, bamboo, and hemp. These materials can often be sourced at a similar price point to traditional materials, making them a more sustainable option for fashion brands.
3. Use recycled materials
Recycled materials are another great option for sustainable fashion. There are a number of ways to recycle materials, such as using post-consumer waste or upcycling fabric scraps. This is a great way to reduce waste and create unique, sustainable materials for your fashion brand.
4. Educate yourself and your team on sustainable materials
Finally, it’s important to educate yourself and your team on sustainable materials. There are many resources available online and from sustainable material suppliers that can help you learn about the different options available. It’s also important to stay up-to-date on the latest sustainable material trends.
How can fashion buyers shop more sustainably?
There are a number of ways customers can shop more sustainably when it comes to fashion:
1. Look for sustainable materials labels
Many fashion brands are now using sustainable materials in their collections. You can look for these labels when shopping to identify which clothes are made with sustainable materials.
2. Shop second hand
Secondhand shopping is a great way to reduce your environmental impact when it comes to fashion. There are a number of online and brick-and-mortar second hand stores that sell both new and gently used clothing.
3. Rent clothes
Another option for sustainable fashion is to rent clothes instead of buying them. There are a number of companies that offer rental services for both everyday and special occasion clothing. This is a great way to reduce your environmental impact and save money on clothing.
4. Shop from sustainable brands
There are a number of sustainable fashion brands that are committed to using sustainable materials and practices. These brands are often more expensive than fast fashion brands, but they offer quality clothes that will last longer.
5. Repair and care for your clothes
Finally, it’s important to repair and care for your clothes so that they last longer. This includes mending holes, washing clothes properly, and storing them correctly. By taking good care of your clothes, you can extend their lifespan and reduce your overall environmental impact.
Sustainable fashion is becoming more and more important as the environmental impact of the fashion industry becomes more evident. There are a number of ways fashion brands and customers can work together to create a more sustainable fashion industry. By using sustainable materials, educating yourself and your team, and shopping from sustainable brands, you can help make a difference in the fashion industry.
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