There's a hard chance you might not have heard of these terms living in 2021. Either while scrolling through Instagram, browsing through your favorite clothing store, or even on mainstream news, at some point in time your eyes must have rolled over the terms of Sustainable Fashion, Ethical Fashion, and Vegan Fashion etc. Even if you had not witnessed these terms flashing directly at your eyes, your subconscious has already seen them somewhere. I mean go through your latest fashion purchase, that woolen sweater you purchased recently or that overcoat you bought from that fashion brand chain, all must have some kind of a tag or a stamp indicating their efforts towards going green.
But what does ethical fashion really mean? What makes sustainable brands stand out? and more importantly, what should you look for before making your next fashion purchase? Let's dive into the deep end, to find out what these fashion jargons really denote and how to use them to make better purchases.
Why is Fast Fashion an Ethical Issue?
For starters, one might simply wonder, why? Why is it so that these brands take so much pride in declaring themselves as sustainable brands, why should it even matter and why can't it continue to work the way it has for decades.
For the greatest of times, brands regardless of their operating niche have gone with the strategy of “Produce-Use-Dispose”. Especially in the fashion industry comfort and appearance have overshadowed the durability aspect of the apparel. So much so that even the classic blue denim jeans, which once was the symbol of ultimate durability in the clothing world, now cannot be worn for more than a few months. Although buying new jeans every month might seem harmless to an average consumer, the long-term collective hazardous effects like depletion of natural resources, water contamination, and ever-famous global warming all are triggered by the irresponsible behavior of brands and irrational consumer behavior.
What is Sustainable Fashion?
The word sustainable hints towards something that is stable and maintainable. The idea of sustainable fashion revolves around that analogy too. Sustainable fashion brands are built around the ideology of producing clothes that cause low to no hardcore damage to nature. This means cleansing their brand from any such practices that cause harm to mother nature to an extent that is not naturally healable. Practices like using natural dyes, refraining from contaminating water streams, and various other tactics which tend to reduce the carbon footprint of the manufacturer are opted to form a sustainable ecosystem.
Why is Sustainable Fashion Important?
These brands are not only about controlling how they produce goods but they also take into account what they produce. Sustainable brands like Puremsx resort to reusing the qualified fibers from old clothing, essentially saving usable cotton from ending up in a remote landfill and reducing the production of virgin fibers.
In today's world of OOTDs, an average wearable has a lifespan of just a few days or weeks. Consequently, Americans and people worldwide shop more than ever. An average American now buys around five times the garments compared to the ’80s. Now combine this trend with the fact that to produce a single cotton t-shirt around twenty-four hundred liters of water is consumed and you would come to a conclusion that sustainable fashion brands are the need of the hour.
How is Ethical Fashion Different?
The term Ethical Fashion is quite self-explanatory. It refers to brands that ensure a transparent and fair sight into the manufacturing circle to their customers. It has everything to do with a brand’s good faith and morals.
Imagine the sneakers you bought for a couple of hundred bucks were mended and made by some underaged, underprivileged worker in Vietnam, whose monthly wage is less than one pair of shoes.
What are Ethical Issues in the Fashion Industry?
Well, believe it or not, that's the case with the several large fashion chains operating around. These firms consequently save millions in labor and taxes by setting up manufacturing units and workshops in countries with loose labor and tax laws, and overworking the laborers, and paying a fraction of what they deserve, that too without facing any severe consequences.
Feel that guilt in your core as you look at those shiny new pair of high tops that you own? Well, that is what ethical fashion brands are here to eradicate. Ethical fashion brands pay their staff and workers a fair wage and breathable conditions. Although their raw materials might include fur, silk, and wool, etc., it is ensured to be completely cruelty-free. Certain certifications like Certified B corporation, ACO, BCI, etc. are set up to help one verify the claims of such corporations.
What is Vegan Fashion?
Accompanying sustainable fashion brands and ethical fashion brands in the modern fashion industry is Vegan Fashion. Vegan brands are a stretch of the same vegan lifestyle depicting its practices in the wearables too. Thich means abstaining from any wearables that come from animals directly or indirectly and sanctions the use of silk, leather, wool, and 5fur in any capacity. Vegan fashion brands instead shift towards plant-based alternatives and resort just to them. Fibers like polyester, lyocell and organic cotton make up a large chunk of vegan fashion, whereas stuff like vegan leather also exists which are derived from plants and provide the same comfort and quality as animal-derived leather.
Why Should We Opt for Vegan Fashion?
We are all aware of the moral aspects of a vegan lifestyle. Knowing that your acts cause deep agony to animals and yet consuming them can cause severe distress. No doubt, abruptly leaving all consumables is a difficult task and requires great strength but one can surely make his way up there by taking small steps. A great baby step can be opting for vegan wearable brands like puremsx and scaling this lifestyle with time.
How Can a Consumer Make a Difference?
That sums up our brief introduction to these fashion jargons. So next time you see a brand advertising their product as Sustainable, Ethical, or Vegan, you will have a clear idea of what it really means hence enabling you to make an informed decision. It would be safe to say that the sooner we realize that a sustainable, ethical, and vegan lifestyle is the only way forward, the better it is. Finally, it is important to mention that sustainable, vegan, and ethical clothing might appear expensive at first as compared to the fast-fashion but it's worth every extra penny spent.