Sustainable Fashion: But why?

From the time civilisations have existed, our attire(s) and its quality has become an imagery of what society perceives is one’s status. Over the years, this “quality” moved to “quantity” as well. What we see as its downfall now is the severe, devastating impact it has on the environment. And it is this knowledge that Sustainable Fashion became a slow, but steady, global movement over past decades. Everyone is now talking about how they can contribute to decreasing carbon footprint, causing lesser waste production that adversely affects the environment, and at the same time we are a part of the trend!

To provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the same, let us read on!

Where does it start?

Fashion industries constitute 1.5 trillion U.S. dollars of the world economy, showing how in demand the products of this industry are and clearly state to increase manifolds in future. The products used like artificial fabric & dyes, the process followed for manufacturing, work & factory environment during production, and the final processing with the waste produced, make the cycle of waste production and the way it concerns the environment, highly crucial to be discussed.

During the first half of 20th century, apparel production took a turn to mass production, under the influence of industrial growth after World War II and when people began to spend in latest fashion apparels. But it was only in the 1960s that everyone started talking about the harsh impact of chemicals and pesticides on the environment, after Rachel Carson’s book “Silent Spring” was published. Though it wasn’t instant but by the 1990s, big brands started taking their primitive steps by investing in promoting the fact that their products were friendly with the ecological balance, their work environment was ethical and started promoting upcycling of fabric.

Here’s a quick look into how the environment is getting affected with our demands of fast fashion and unhealthy habits in production.

  1. Clothing and textile industries create 21 billion ton of waste every year that fills up 4% of the landfills worldwide, and inversely affects the health of both biotic and abiotic components.
  2.  Factory manufactured rubbers, fabrics and 8000+ chemical dyes adversely affect the health of workers, artisans, consumers, animals, and environment at large.
  3.   Fashion contributes to 20% of industrial waste water.
  4.   More than 1.2 billion tonnes of carbon emissions are produced by the global fashion industry.
  5.   After industrial and fossil emissions, fashion is considered to be the most polluting industry.


Written by - Saumya Singh