3 Questions You Should Be Asking Sustainable Clothing Brands

Introduction

After fuel, transport, and energy, the fashion industry is questioned about causing a lot of pollution in the world. From generating waste, polluting water, and emitting greenhouse gas, many global labels compromise on the ethical production of apparel and other merchandise. We, as consumers, need to take action and be the driving force of change in the textile and apparel industry. We can start doing so by questioning clothing brands about their practises.

Yes, when you go out shopping next time or simply surf through an online clothing platform, check for information about materials, factories, policies, practises, and values. To seek more transparency and accountability, you can ask the seller directly. An ethical brand will be happy to answer all your queries promptly.

So, here are three questions that you must ask a sustainable clothing brand to make better choices while choosing apparel and other fashion accessories:

  • Who made this dress and how?

  • From the materials used to the production process, how apparel is made greatly impacts the environment. While many of our clothes are made of cotton, not all use organic cotton. Non-organic cotton, which is quite prevalent in the fashion industry, uses many pesticides, herbicides and leads to severe water wastage. However, you can choose several eco-friendly materials for your dresses, such as linen, hemp, or pinatex (leather made from pineapple leaves).

    Next comes the production process. Check if harmful substances or toxic chemicals are included or avoided in the production. Or you can simply check if the product has an ‘organic’ tag and other important certifications.

    Knowing who made your dress enables you to make an informed decision against child labour and poor wage policy. Also, it will help you determine and make ethical fashion choices that value human rights.

  • What do you do with unsold clothes?

  • The internet has made buying new clothes cheaper, easier, and faster. Many fashion retailers overproduce affordable disposable clothing to meet demands and stay updated. The alarming rate of overproduction and overconsumption of clothing leads to massive textile waste in landfills.

    The global production of textile fibres and apparel can annually amount to 110 million tonnes, which equally contributes to the high wastage arising from the industry. The microplastic released into the large water bodies will reach 22 million tonnes by 2050. Large fashion houses contribute to this unsustainability by burning clothes worth billions every year instead of recycling or reselling them.

    When choosing a sustainable clothing brand, question whether the retailers keep the item until they sell or destroy them every season. Enquire about the process of treatment for the products that the consumers return. Get a holistic picture of the sustainable efforts by the firms before indulging in buying behaviour.

  • How do the clothes get to me, and does everyone in the supply chain get a fair share?

  • Sustainability in your wardrobe choices may also be impacted by the journey your clothes have to take in the process to reach you. The question is relevant for the clothes you shop from a storefront as well as those that reach you through warehouses on your favourite shopping sites. Thus, sustainability concerns generating yields in cotton fields to yarn producers. The semi-processed product then reaches the manufacturers who weave, cut and sew the clothes. At each of these steps, you should ensure that your fashion brand is transparent and that each member in the chain is treated fairly.

    Another critical aspect to look out for when purchasing online is how a particular brand ships its clothes. You must opt for a green shipping method, including recyclable or repurposed packaging, that helps curb the carbon footprint while transporting the merchandise.

    Conclusion

    Today, when the fashion industry is grappling with issues of worker abuse, child labour, and environmental violations — consumers must ask questions and seek pieces of evidence to know how their merchandise is made. We hope that you will be able to gauge a brand's purpose, practises, and impact with these three questions. As a conscious consumer, you must also find if the given brand’s vision matches their stated values and if they treat their workers and the environment well.

    Lastly, remember that each one of us has the power to make more informed and better decisions when it comes to making a sustainable choice in fashion. Every time you are shopping, online or offline, choose the brands that care for nature and are environment friendly. You will be surprised to know that sustainable brands are growing in the market, and it won’t be difficult to find brands with sustainable and greener goals!

    Shop responsible fashion on www.amala.earth.

    HandcraftedHandmadeResponsible fashion

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