The importance of sustainable fashion

Written by: Lusanda Luthuli

The fashion industry has been under the spotlight for its effect on the environment. A business insider article by Morgan Mcfall-Jonhson, highlights how fashion emits more carbon than international flights and maritime shipping combined. That staggering fact shocked me, someone who subscribes and enjoys that artistry of the industry.

Designer and industry power-house, Stella McCartney is known for her stance of not using any leather and fur when designing her garments. The British designer is an outspoken animal- rights activist and is a life-long vegetarian, both can easily be seen as the main reason for her ethical stance on producing garments. She also launched a new fashion industry fashion charter for climate change to help fashion companies to embrace sustainable and ethical practice.

As exemplary as McCartney’s work is - people still shop retail (the ones who can afford it) due to access, convenience etc. Lockdown has seen people going the online route, but do these online sites like Superbalist support sustainable fashion? They’re just a product of digital migration in the industry, not the anti-fast fashion movement. Thrifting on the other hand, has always been the best way for your average fashion consumer to combat fast fashion. Whether it’s buying pre-loved clothing or deadstock items, you’re not buying something that’s brand new which slows down the production of fast fashion.

There are various other reasons why sustainable fashion is important. It saves natural resources, reduces your carbon footprints, animals are less at risk, saves water and healthier for people in factories working with deadly chemicals, some which are children.

YouTube fashion channel, PAQ, has shown in past episodes that upcycling and rocking a fully sustainable outfit can be just as wavy and trendy as wearing a brand new Supreme top. Sustainability doesn’t mean you have to wear something that’s ugly, ridiculously worn-in or that you’re broke boy for not choosing to buy something that’s brand new. It simply means you care about the environment, appreciate the timeless vintage garment you’re buying and that being trendy shouldn’t be limited to subscribing to a part of the industry that disregards the environment and people’s lives.