July 03, 2021 5 min read
Sustainability – the latest fad or a new way of living?
With one goal in mind – the ability to sustain our planet, going green has become a top headline in a world of massive pollution, over-consumption and excessive production. What sustainability is promising us is a way to a brighter future where we are in sync with Mother Nature, leaving our consumerism behind and putting our minds into preserving our sacred home – the Earth.
It’s only fair to say that Covid-19 has shed a green light on the way we perceive and treat the space we live in – not just the physical boundaries of our homes, but also nature. From eco-conscious laundry techniques to reducing landfill and ocean waste, the solutions are there. Yet the tag “trend” seems to diminish the importance of our small acts of kindness.
Let the facts speak for themselves.
The lungs of our planet are suffering, because it takes a 15-year-old tree to produce 700 grocery bags. We’re heavily contributing to global warming by using excessive amounts of plastic. Every year, 51 billion plastic bottles end up in landfills around the world. In fact, plastic bottles in landfills could wrap around the earth 5 times!
Not to mention that hundreds of millions of marine species get entangled in abandoned fishing nets in the oceans and die, putting our wildlife in danger. And what about water? Did you know that 300 million gallons of water are needed to produce a single day's supply of U.S. newsprint?
With the pace we’re going about, we’re only heading towards destruction. We tend to think that the planet’s resources are infinite, but, unfortunately, that’s not the case. Since the 1970s, we’ve been operating beyond the resources our planet can sustainably provide.
Today, we use the equivalent of 1.5 earths to give us the resources we need, and also to absorb our waste. According to several predictions, if we keep up with that pace, we will need the equivalent of three earths by 2050.
That is why sustainability is important. Because it offers viable solutions to the damage we’ve caused ourselves. Green growth and environmental sustainability are on the rise and new alternatives are constantly emerging, providing opportunities to go greener in pretty much every aspect. It’s a shame not to tune in.
We all know that the fashion industry is one of the biggest sources of pollution. Mass-market retailers are on a spree of rapid production of inexpensive clothing in response to the latest trends. Yes, fast fashion makes shopping for clothes more affordable, but at what a cost?
Cheap labor, excessive usage of water, increased carbon emissions, chemicals overuse, and more, are the things that lie heavy on our consciousness when we decide to buy that cute little dress for a one-off party from a high-street brand.
But that wasn’t always the case. It’s not that girls didn’t love pretty dresses and planning ahead their event outfits, but they would treat the production of their garments with love, care and excitement. From selecting the design to sourcing the materials and taking them to the seamstress, they would enter a cycle of anticipation. That’s what real fashion is, or as we like to call it nowadays – slow fashion.
In 1846 the sewing machine was patented giving way to an increased manufacturing of clothing. Yet up until World War II garments were still produced at home or in small workshops. It was in the 1960s when young people embraced new trends and fashion retailers had to meet their needs by producing cheaply-made clothes. The mass production of clothing utilizing cheap labor and low-quality materials continues to this day.
It’s time to slow fast fashion down. It’s time to go back to the old ways of producing clothes. But how?
Sustainable fashion, or also called slow fashion, delivers eco-conscious clothing, which is ethically produced for mindful consumers and has a long life-cycle. And while fast fashion is a response to the latest trends and consumers’ desire to have more, slow fashion is a response to fast fashion. And a much-needed one!
As such, sustainability in fashion works towards reducing global pollution and making up for the “environmental cost” associated with fast fashion. Brands that are a part of this movement embody an eco-conscious business model, they use sustainable materials made from recycled waste, pay living wages to their employees and promote kindness and compassion.
We know that you want to see sustainability examples, so here is one. Our upcoming limited edition sustainable yoga wear collection is made entirely from recyclable materials sourced from ocean and landfill waste, including old carpets, fishing nets, and used plastic bottles. Here is the positive impact each piece of clothing has on the planet:
One top/leggings made fromEconyl = 1 pound of fishing nets pulled out of the ocean
One top/leggings made from Recycled PET = 1 pound of plastic pulled out of the ocean
The good news is that you can take action towards a more sustainable lifestyle right now. Since fashion has the biggest impact on global pollution, we’re giving you our top sustainable clothing choices which you can implement into your everyday life without any hassle.
But before we get to it, did you know that you can track your fashion footprint? TheThredUp fashion footprint calculator helps you track your personal impact on global warming.
Here is how you can reduce it:
♲ Hang / air dry your clothes. Air drying your laundry after it’s been washed reduces energy usage, decreases wear and tear of garments, and naturally humidifies the air.
♲ Repair, redesign, and upcycle your clothing. Basically, don’t throw away something just because it’s out of fashion or you’re bored with it. The most sustainable fashion choice you can make is wearing the clothes you already have.
♲ Go for eco-conscious fashion brands. There are loads of sustainable clothing brands that offer a range of garments for every occasion made from recyclable or organic materials.
♲ Use eco-friendly detergents, such as soap nuts, or make your own.
♲ Opt for second-hand or vintage when you don’t feel like buying something “new”, or you don’t want to spend much.
Sustaining our planet is a work in progress, but just remember that every small effort helps. We’ve got you, Mother Earth!