Why Is Eco-Friendly Clothing Important?

Why Is Eco-Friendly Clothing Important?

We all want to do our part for the environment, and eco-friendly clothing is a great way to achieve this. While it's not necessary to purchase organic or fair trade clothing, these types of clothes are a good option if you're looking for an environmentally friendly alternative.

Eco-friendly clothes can be made from natural materials such as cotton, bamboo and hemp which require less water and energy during production. What's more, they last longer but still look great! 

What Does Ethical Fashion Mean?

Simply put, ethical fashion is fashion made ethically. This can encompass a whole host of business and production practices aimed at treating your workers fairly and minimizing your impact on the environment. In short, ethical fashion means your clothing is eco-friendly and people-friendly.

Ethical Fashion Is Fair Trade

One of Passion Lilie's fair trade artisans from India, pictured here smiling while looming fabric.

So what does ethical fashion mean in terms of fair trade? Fair trade is a global movement to promote trade that is equal, just, and empowering. When you buy fair trade clothing, you know that your clothes were not made using unethical practices, such as sweatshop labor or child labor.

This long-sleeved white top from Passion Lilie, along with all our apparel, is fair trade and ethically made.

Fair trade focuses on creating dignified and empowering employment for workers in underserved areas. Typically this means working with people in developing countries, but it can also mean providing jobs for underserved communities right here in the United States.

These are just a few of the characteristics of jobs supported by the Fair Trade Movement:

  • Workers receive long-term employment opportunities.
  • Working relationships are built on transparency, trust, and respect.
  • Workers receive fair wages, and men and women are paid equally.
  • Workers are provided with safe and healthy working conditions.
  • Workers have free speech and can voice their opinions.
  • Workers are protected from prejudice, discrimination, and abuse, including sexism, racism, sexual harassment, and more.
  • Workers have access to healthcare and time off.
  • Workers can improve their skills through further education, job training, and other opportunities.
  • Workers have access to financial assistance to help them gain independence and escape poverty.
  • Workers’ opinions are valued, and workers can participate in workplace decisions.
  • Workers are genuinely happy and comfortable at their jobs.

By buying fair trade, ethical clothing online or in stores, you can support positive, uplifting, and ethical working conditions around the world. 

FAQs

Why Is Eco Fashion Important?

For the people who make these garments, sustainable fashion also means better working conditions, fairer pay, and less illegal sweatshops. The only way to break this cycle of death, destruction, and pollution is to aim for sustainability.

How Does Eco-Friendly Clothes Help the Environment?

Sustainable fashion can significantly reduce consumption and waste. Eco-ethical brands prioritize long-lasting materials, so there will be less need to use new resources as well as it can help in reducing waste. ... When production from new resources reduces, we give a chance to the environment to heal and regenerate.

What Is Sustainable Fashion and Why Is it Important?

Sustainable fashion encourages the use of locally produced, biodegradable fabrics which have little to no adverse effects on the environment. This sustainable movement combats the huge carbon footprint that fast fashion has created by reducing CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions.

Why Are Eco-Friendly Brands Important?

Eco-friendly, all natural products ensure safety from all dangerous chemicals, and allows families to avoid risky additives that can cause any of these issues.

Using eco-friendly products improves quality of life in terms of mortality, age, diseases, and illnesses

How Does Shopping Sustainably Help the Environment?

Making energy-efficient purchases is one of the more meaningful ways you can cut your personal carbon footprint.

Electricity and heat production account for about a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions, and most electricity produced in the United States still comes from fossil fuels.

Ethical Fashion Is Sustainable

A photo of trees and dense foliage in an Indian village taken on one of our founder's trips to visit the artisans who make our ethical, sustainable clothing.

In addition to treating workers fairly, ethical fashion is based on sustainability. This means prioritizing environmentally friendly practices throughout production and making a product that has a lower impact on the environment.

  • Clothing is made from eco-friendly materials, such as organic, pesticide-free, non-GMO cotton.
  • Clothing is safe for people and the environment, avoiding any materials that contain carcinogens, toxins, or other harmful chemicals.
  • Clothing is made through sustainable practices that reduce water consumption and waste production.
  • Clothing is made using natural energy and avoiding pollution.

While ethical fashion may not solve all of our problems with unsafe chemicals, water shortages, energy consumption, or overflowing landfills, it allows you to reduce your impact on the environment and invest in safer, more sustainable practices.

What Is Sustainable Clothing (& Why You Should Care)

Did you know the clothing industry is responsible for 10% of the planet’s carbon emissions each year?

This percentage is so apparent because clothing brands across the world are manufacturing their clothes and running their businesses unethically without considering their environmental impact (cough...fast fashion brands).

If this continues at the rate it is at, our planet will continue to crawl down the path of destruction. 

However, in lighter news, the clothing industry's negative impact has led to the birth of the slow fashion movement, sprouting many clothing brands like Goodwear that are making clothes with eco-friendly fabrics and are doing all that they can to keep their environmental footprint as minimal as possible. 

Sustainable Clothing

Before we get to the top benefits of sustainable clothing, it is important to understand what exactly defines sustainable clothing. 

Sustainable clothing: clothing that is designed using sustainable fabrics like hemp, organic cotton, and pima cotton that have less of a negative impact on the planet.

In addition, sustainable clothing is usually created by sustainable clothing brands whose main mission is to produce stylish and comfortable clothing without sacrificing the environment in doing so. 

Sustainable clothing brands have eco-conscious business models that align with lessening their environmental footprint as much as they can.

For example, many sustainable clothing brands only use renewable energy to run their factories, manufacture their clothes locally in the states, use recycled materials for all shipping packaging, and create as little waste as possible (water, fabric, etc). 

Below, we list the top benefits of sustainable clothing. Discover how you can feel better about what you wear everyday knowing you’re supporting the betterment of our people and the planet. 

Benefits Of Sustainable Clothing 

When You Opt for Sustainable Clothing, You Get Instant Gratification of Supporting the Greater Good of the Planet

Today, it has been tested and proven that people prefer supporting clothing brands that give back to the greater good over those who don’t.

Purchasing from a company that supports a good cause gives us instant gratification knowing our money is being used to help make a difference in the world. 

This is why the shoe company TOMS was successful out of the gate and why Patagonia remains a leading innovator and top dog in the sustainable clothing realm.

In fact, Patagonia is a big reason why 1% For the Planet is such a well-known organization for any B2C business to join forces with. 

According to Jeff Fromm, expert on millennials and the impact of sustainability, the future generation of consumers are set on making an impact in the world.

“They are a generation characterized by integrating causes they care about into their daily routines and purchase behaviors,” said Fromm in a Forbes article about Millennials Influencing The Future. Ultimately, when you decide to buy a sustainable t-shirt over others, you are supporting the betterment of the planet. 

Sustainable Clothing Reduces the World’s Water Pollution, Carbon Emissions, and Large Amounts of Waste

Unfortunately, a majority of the most popular clothing brands source and manufacture their clothes overseas.

They do this because it's more cost effective, but generally overseas production and fast fashion come with a negative environmental impact.

This is why you will find that the most sustainable clothing brands make their clothes in America or in a small controlled (and ethical) environment somewhere overseas. 

Made in USA clothing brands have a higher quality control and overall lower carbon emission impact solely due to the intimate locality.

When you buy online from American made clothing brands, you avoid the heavy carbon emissions of overseas shipping. 

woman-yellow-swimsuit

In addition, popular clothing manufacturing destinations like China, Bangladesh and India do not have strict environmental regulations on their factories, meaning it’s easy for them to dispose of their waste in an unethical manner polluting the world’s waterways with toxic chemicals and microplastics

In contrast, sustainable clothing company’s business models are constructed with eco-friendly best practices in mind. 

Sustainable clothing company's best practices:

  • Use less water
  • Use renewable energy to manufacture goods
  • Use recycled/eco-friendly fabrics in their clothing
  • Eliminate disposing in unethical ways
  • Use recycled materials in their shipping packaging
  • Fair labor practices and fair wages for all employees working in factories
  • Sustainable clothing

You're Supporting Fair Labor Practices

Another big part of a sustainable clothing business model is providing fair labor practices and a proper living wage to employees that work in their factories. 

Generally, clothing made in the USA has higher labor and fair wage standards than foreign countries. Unfortunately, factories overseas do not have this same level of authority.

This is because the United States has federal laws set in place to make sure that no unfair labor treatment or unethical working conditions can exist. 

So what does this all mean? Well, when you choose to purchase from a Made in USA clothing brand or a sustainable clothing brand, you’re supporting fair labor practices and a proper living wage.

When you purcahse from a fast fashion brand or a clothing brand that manufactures entirely in China,  there is a good chance you are contributing to unfair child labor and unhealthy working conditions that could be occurring in their factories. 

There are many great ways to shop for sustainable clothing, but one simple way to check if a clothing brand uses fair labor practices is to browse their website and see if it is mentioned anywhere.

Usually, the brands who support fair labor practices will be proud to promote it and will be transparent about it.

Also, you could do the same type of investigation online to learn if a clothing brand is actually sustainable.

Usually the best sustainable clothing brands will have passionate messaging about this on their site and in their marketing. Beware of greenwashing though! 

Sustainable Clothes Are Higher-Quality 

Sustainable clothing is synonymous with high quality and a superior product. Eco-friendly fabrics are softer, stronger and will last you for years.

In fact, sustainable clothing guarantees you won’t have to continue buying new clothes all the time. 

Buying from the most popular clothing brands that manufacture overseas gives you no guarantee that the clothes you buy are quality.

While shipments and products can be monitored for quality control, there is no honest guarantee that these products will be made well or last you for the years to come.

Reasons To Choose Sustainable & Ethical Fashion

Quality Reduces Waste

Sustainable brands focus on quality, using materials and finishes that are made to last as well as being kind to the environment. The clothing produced by fast fashion brands isn’t made to last – the aim is to get you to buy more, so why would the focus be on making quality long lasting clothing?

In choosing sustainable brands that provide quality, you can reduce your waste as well as the amount of clothing that you buy (also saving you money).

You Should Do You 

Fast fashion is all about trends, but we’ve been told what to wear for so long many of us have forgotten what our own unique style looks like.

Many sustainable brands focus on creating timeless pieces of high quality. Curate your own personal style, say goodbye to money wasting fashion trends and wear clothes that reflect you.

It's Better for the Planet

The fast fashion industry leaves behind a huge environmental footprint. From the landfill impact, and power and water consumption, to the pesticides and insecticide used in growing cotton and the chemicals that are making their way into the water supply and affecting the health of those in the supply chain, it’s safe to say fast fashion is a real problem for the environment.

In choosing sustainable fashion you can say no to supporting the negative environmental impact that the fashion industry is causing, and in-turn reduce your own environmental footprint.

It’s Better for People 

Fast fashion has kept the cost of clothing down at the cost of low pay and conditions in developing countries.

By switching to ethically made brands you are ensuring that the clothing you choose to spend your money on hasn’t taken advantage of workers or used child labour.

It Reduces the Amount of Pesticides Released Into the Environment

Most clothes are made from cotton and cotton farming requires a lot of pesticides to be used to ensure a healthy crop.

By wearing clothes that are second hand or eco-friendly, you are reducing the amount of pesticides used on a daily basis as you are lowering the demand for clothing.

You Support Fair Trade

By buying clothes labeled under the Fair Trade Act you have reassurance that the manufacturing process did not involve any sweatshops and that the working conditions of employees were safe.

This helps you to support human rights while also protecting the environment.

You Support Animal Rights

Clothes made of leather or fur require the deaths of many animals. For many people, the guilt of wearing these clothes is too much.

By switching to cruelty free clothing you can rest assured that your fashion didn’t cause the death of another living being.

Your Clothes Will Be Unique

Hitting up a vintage shop will mean that you have many pieces of clothing that no one else will have.

Mainstream clothing is mass produced and as such it is not uncommon for a single piece to be owned by many different people. Going eco-friendly will increase your individuality.

Maintenance Is Greener

Clothes produced from eco-friendly resources need special care.

This means washing clothes in cold water, not using a tumble dryer and not using chemical detergents. All of these things help to reduce your carbon footprint.

You Could Learn a New Skill

Many people who start to wear eco-friendly clothing also learn how to customize and make their own clothes. You’ll be improving yourself while also saving the planet.

You’ll Be Less of a Strain on Our Planet’s Resources

Clothing materials take a lot. Cotton especially as well as many others. The materials to make clothing are fast running out and in order to keep up with demand farming practices that are harmful to the planet have been used.

By buying clothes made from renewable materials such as hemp, you are reducing the demand. This will lead to a reduction in the pollution clothing manufacturing causes.

Your Clothes Won’t Harm You

Many people experience allergic reactions to clothes treated with chemical dyes. By wearing organic clothing, you no longer have to worry about your clothes impacting your health.

Wrapping Up

The fashion industry is one of the leading contributors of carbon emissions in the world every year.

Thanks to the slow fashion movement, sustainable clothing brands are doing their best to lower the fashion industry's environmental impact by making eco-friendly clothes and running their business on a sustainable business model. 

There are plenty of amazing benefits you can reap from sustainable clothing. From reducing the world’s water pollution to supporting fair labor practices, shopping in sustainable fashion will be a gratifying experience.

Read more

How to Clean and Care for a Bathing Suit

How to Clean and Care for a Bathing Suit

Is Fast Fashion Ethical?

Is Fast Fashion Ethical?

Why Did Recycled Swimsuits Become Popular?

Why Did Recycled Swimsuits Become Popular?