Lately we hear often about sustainability, especially in the field of fashion which is among the industries with the highest environmental impact. Suffice it to say that every year the fashion sector releases large quantities of dyes and toxic substances into the environment used for the treatment of fabrics.
In addition to the environment, these substances are also harmful to consumers who often develop contact diseases caused by fabrics treated with formulations of toxic ingredients. This is why applying the concept of sustainability to fashion more than a trend turns out to be an urgent need in order to limit environmental pollution and damage to the organism.
Buying clothing consciously is possible, following some tips to give life to one sustainable shopping.
Sustainable fashion. Source: H & M.com
There sustainable fashion aims to respect the environment and the reference company in all phases of product creation. From conception to production, passing through sales and distribution techniques. Thus, the fashion industry begins to work with less polluting raw materials, reducing waste and producing quality and durable clothing.
Furthermore, the concept of sustainable fashion aims to renew production techniques by creating innovative and cruelty-free fibers, such as the one extracted fromOrange or frompineapple that eliminate the exploitation of animals.
We cannot talk about sustainable fashion without referring toethics, especially in relation to work. Starting from the 1990s, the problem of the exploitation of women and children for the production of clothing was highlighted and denounced. Today, there are many fashion brands that support women’s work through, for example, the abolition of inequalities between men and women in terms of salaries and the possibility of holding managerial roles.
Therefore, it is possible to affirm that sustainable fashion is part of a broader concept of Society 5.0, a society characterized byattention to the environment and people, where more and more consumers are interested in implementing sustainable and conscious shopping.
Sustainable shopping: what is it?
Gucci sustainable fashion. Source: Equilibrium.gucci.com
Organic or traditional cotton? Recycled or biodegradable material? These are just some of the questions that consumers are asking themselves lately, having a greater awareness of their personal environmental impact. An awareness that pushes each of us to get closer and closer to one ethical and conscious shopping.
Sustainable shopping means buy consciously, choosing what is truly useful and necessary without letting oneself be taken by the impulse of a quick and straight purchase; evaluating the choice of a product based on his own productive cycle, inquiring about conditions of workers who extract a certain raw material (such as cotton).
Sustainable shopping also means preferring clothing made with natural fibers rather than with synthetic materials rich in microplastics. Therefore it is preferable to opt for garments and accessories that respect the rules of traceability and that have high standards on:
- respect for the environment;
- respect for workers;
- durability of the garments over time;
- high quality.
The benefits of sustainable shopping
The sustainable shopping, brings with it a number of advantages. First of all, there is that of save money as buying in a conscious and sustainable way means avoiding the choice of clothing that is not necessary. This also affects the production of garments, since a lower demand for clothes determines a lower production of the latter and consequently a reduction in environmental pollution by fast fashion companies.
Buying sustainably also comes with the benefit of choose quality clothing. Made with long-lasting fabrics such as organic cotton or those in hemp and in bamboo. Furthermore, sustainable shopping allows us to implement a type of consumption attentive to the reduction of waste and natural resources that embraces the system ofcircular economy, i.e. the sharing, reuse, repair and recycling of materials and products.
Once the product has finished its function, the materials it is made of are reintroduced into the economic cycle and can be used to create other (recycled) products.
4 tips for sustainable shopping
Become a greener and more responsible consumer it requires commitment and attention, so it may be useful to follow a series of eco-friendly tips for sustainable shopping.
1. Buy second-hand clothes or sell ones you don’t use
Sustainable shopping. Source: Pinterest @fashionunited
Buy second-hand items or sell unused ones it is one of the first actions at the basis of sustainable shopping. This allows you to reduce waste and give new life to clothing by extending its life. A practice widely used by many fashion brands, marketplaces and apps that sell and allow you to sell and buy used clothes.
For example, H&M offers the Garment Collecting service thanks to which it is possible to deliver used clothes of any brand to the cash desk, receiving a discount voucher in exchange. Me too’e-commerce Zalando has recently made the Second Hand service available to its customers, through which to sell used clothing and receive vouchers or donate the money raised to charities.
2. Ask yourself if you really need what you are buying
Sustainable shopping means break down any waste, starting from asking yourself if what you are about to buy is really necessary. In the era marked by fast fashion, it is very common to buy clothing just because it is trendy but not a real necessity. A first step to becoming a green consumer is certainly not to let yourself be taken by the impulse to buy in an unaware way.
3. Look for fabric certifications
Fabric is one of the most important factors in a garment. To find out if a fabric is produced with natural and non-synthetic raw materials, just pay attention to certifications. These can be searched online on the websites of the various brands and underlining the commitment of the various companies to produce eco-friendly clothing. This way, you are guaranteed to know what you are wearing.
4. Learn about traceability
A production is ethical when it minimizes its human impact and respects the rights of workers at all levels. There traceability it is a fundamental element to know the ethics of a brand. In addition to having information on the places where the clothes you wear were produced and worked and with which fabrics they were made.
How to make online shopping sustainable
In a historical period marked by a pandemic and by restrictions on sociality, online shopping has made it possible to provide for the purchase of goods and products. For making online shopping sustainable a first step is to group all orders into one single order, by buying garments in bulk (and not individually) and reducing the number of home shipments.
Speaking of shipping, many e-commerce sites give you a choice plastic-free packaging and polluting materials, in the name of even more eco-friendly online shopping.
Finally, there are more and more fashion brands (especially in the luxury sector) that make available the possibility of buying the garments of the following season in pre-order. In this way you can make a more reasoned purchase and also allows buyers to buy the right amount of product.