Climate change poses a serious threat to our planet. The steps we take today, no matter how great or small, to help tackle this issue could have a tremendous effect on the future world we live in.
Often referred to as the ‘ugly side’ of the fashion industry, ‘instant’ or ‘fast’ fashion brands have become increasingly popular over the past decade, creating and producing garments as cheaply as possible and sold to the consumer at equally low prices.
With workers underpaid, harsh synthetic fabrics used and the mass transportation of millions of garments across the globe each year, these are just a few contributing factors as to why the fashion industry is now regarded as one of the world’s largest pollutants.
To make matters worse, as a nation we are buying twice as many clothes yet keeping them for half as long. In so many instances, clothing is not made to last and is only worn a handful of times before reaching the end of its usable or desired life. By supporting fashion brands that carelessly create and sell unethical and unsustainable clothing, this in turn contributes and fuels the fast fashion industry’s already large carbon footprint.
In a world where fashion is still widely viewed as disposable, I believe that dressmaking is a craftsmanship and should be more highly regarded. Understanding where our clothes come from, who made them and how they are made is deeply important.
In addition, our bodies change a lot throughout our lives. If our clothes are able to evolve with us and support us throughout each stage (for example pregnancy, breastfeeding, menopause etc.), then we can then have truly timeless pieces.
Choosing to support ethical and sustainable brands is a small but important step you can take to help reduce your own carbon footprint and end the support and continuation of the ugliest side of the fashion industry.
Here are some small but smart steps to make more ecologically conscious fashion choices:
- Support local fashion houses selling garments made in the UK.
- Buy clothing sourced from natural fibres.
- When buying clothes ask yourself “will I wear this more than 30 times?” (Look up the ‘30 wear challenge’).
- Re-wear and cherish your clothes.
- Give unwanted clothing to friends or to charity rather than just throwing it away.
- Buy your clothing second hand – make use of websites such as Depop and charity shops to source clothes rather than always buying things brand new.
Hannah Jarvis, founder of Hannah Sophia England, is determined to change the mindset that clothes are disposable. Her ethically sourced clothing, made from natural fabric (descending from wood pulp), can be worn in four ways and for each dress bought, a tree is planted, helping to further reduce CO2 emissions.