Eco-friendly fashion refers to textiles, shoes, handbags etc., that are made ethically without trashing our planet and protecting the consumer and workers in the manufacturing world.
However, it is challenging for any manufacturer to achieve 100% eco-friendly fashion production since all kinds of manufacturing consume energy and water.
An eco-friendly fashion concept applies organic raw material, recyclable fabrics, sustainable products, plant-based dyes and lastly, a fair wage and good working conditions for workers. Eco-friendly can be termed as ethical fashion, but when produced in the best conditions. Ethical fashion can be branded wholly by sustainability such that crops used to manufacture the garments can be replanted or regrown once they are harvested. Today, eco-friendly manner has grown to be a gigantic business that is no longer restricted to niche designers.
Any textile product produced in an eco-friendly procedure and processed under the same standards is referred to as eco-friendly textiles. These products can similarly be deemed as eco-fashion, sustainable fashion or Ecotech. Eco-friendly fabrics are rated based on the ecological footprints of all resources used to manufacture a consequence, the product’s renewability, and the number of chemicals required in the item’s production. Examples of eco-friendly fibres include organic cotton, bamboo, hemp, wool and soy cashmere.
Recently, fashion designers have come up with new eco-fabric innovations such as lotus fabric, fabric from fermented wine, Cocona fabrics and hagfish slime thread. Material from fermentation is produced by inputting bacteria known as acetobacter into red wine. Another example is the Cocona fabric that is manufactured by using activated carbon extracted from coconut shells. But is it truly a perfect solution?
Unfortunately not, Cocona fabric is made of coconut fiber mixed with a synthetic polymer base also, in many part of the world, like Thailand monkeys, are bread and raised to harvest coconuts, they are tethered to their handler so they can’t eat their favorite food… coconuts. In some countries, children are used to harvest coconuts.
Recyclable and sustainable materials have gained popularity in fashion shows and modelling, and their adoption even in boardrooms has grown tremendously. Similar to how people have grown to prefer organic foods, the demand for eco-friendly fashion is hiking day-in-day-out.
Producing textiles, for instance, can be costly to the environment. For example, producing one cotton t-shirt takes up close to 710 gallons or 2,700 litres of water, which an average human being can drink for close to 900 days. Growing cotton uses lots of water but because of the demand, we continue to grow it in water starved lands!
Considering that at least eighty billion pieces of clothing are manufactured annually, the environment is at risk of massive pollution if probably a third of the latter ends up being disposed of each year. We want new clothes and now accessories too often. Statistics have placed the fashion industry as the second greatest polluter globally after the oil industry.
Nowadays, it is hard to differentiate between what is eco-friendly and what is just mere fashion. Therefore, some fashion patterns can help us remain fashionably responsible. They include buying less high-quality clothing rather than many low-quality attire, repairing torn garments instead of recycling them, coming up with a capsule wardrobe, shopping from sustainable textile brands and organizing formal clothes swaps.
Many people want new clothes regularly, which in the long run haunts our environment when discarded.
Eco-friendly fashion comes with many benefits to the environment. First, it helps in reducing toxic waste released to the environment. Cloth dyes are significant environmental hazards. Eco-friendly fashion helps in reducing pesticides released to the environment through disposing of clothes made of cotton. Cotton is sprayed with lots of pesticides to grow and hence a tremendous environmental pollutant.
Again, supporting eco-friendly fashion helps in protecting animal rights. Clothes made of fur and leather require the killing of many animals, which is ethically discouraged. Most importantly, eco-friendly fashion means that one strains our earthly resources less.
Everyone needs to realize that fashion not only exists in dresses; fashion is in the streets, ideas, the sky and most essential in the environment we live in. Won’t you agree?