Conscious Consumerism in Fashion
The world we live in is becoming increasingly transparent. Never before have we had access to so much knowledge which can empower our purchasing habits. This phenomenon has undoubtedly increased the demand for authentic and ‘good’ businesses especially in massive global industries like fashion and retail.
The world of fashion has been called out on numerous occasions for its often unethical and unsustainable behaviour. Over time, the rise of conscious consumerism in fashion has forced existing brands to re-evaluate their practices and also given birth to many new and conscious brands.
So, if you’re wondering how to embrace conscious consumerism in fashion, read our tips below:
Embrace slow fashion
The Fast Fashion craze swept the world a while back and has been one of the most disruptive trends in fashion by far. In a bid for higher profit margins, brands led consumers down a negative path for which the world is now facing repercussions. Fast fashion is a lot of things but it’s definitely not what being a conscious consumer is all about.
So, what is the meaning of ‘slow fashion’? Well, slow fashion is an approach to fashion that advocates for manufacturing with respect to people, animals and the planet. It’s the environmentally conscious, ethically conscious and socially conscious trend that the fashion industry desperately needs to be swept by. Slow fashion is more than just the final garment, it’s about the behind the scenes including the processes and resources used while making clothing.
Check the materials used in your clothing
Welcome to one of the trickiest and most deceptive areas of business. If we’re talking conscious consumerism in fashion, we can’t leave out the materials that go into making our clothes. We’re peeling yet another layer off this and talking about the importance of understanding the practises which have been followed to procure the materials which you now hold as a dress, shirt or jeans in your hands.
Unsustainable farming practices are sadly a lot more popular than we’d think so. What are the impacts of those unsustainable agricultural practices? Well, simply put they’ll deplete our resources to the point where we won’t be able to grow anything in the years to come. As a solution to this, some companies have started innovating by developing materials and sustainable fabrics by working with regenerative farms. As a conscious consumer, you want to keep your eye open for this.
Here are some common newer materials that you can look out for when purchasing consciously:
- The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified cotton ensures a clean fabric and an honest process from start to finish. Some fashion brands in the UK that use this conscious material are Beaumont Organic and 69b Boutique
- TENCEL™ is a popular eco fibre that is starting to be used by many conscious brands. Tencel is a cellulose fibre made from the pulp of sustainably sourced wood from FSC-certified forests. UK based fashions brands like People Tree are increasingly using Tencel in their clothing ranges.
Learn about the behind the scenes
As a conscious consumer, you can not oversee the importance of where the company has produced its goods. So, trying to learn about a brand's production methods can only help inform your conscious consumer choices better. For example, if a brand has decided to assemble the product or at least a majority of it close to the source then they’ve made a conscious choice that limits the environmental costs of excessive transportation.
Also, consider what is actually required to create some of your everyday clothing items. It can take an estimated 20,000 litres of water to make just one pair of jeans and one t-shirt. If you want to put that into perspective, it would take more than 13 years to drink this amount of water. In a world where so many people live without water resources, a thirst for such fashion can’t go on.
Luckily, big fashion brands like Levi’s are realising the impact of their products on the environment and making an active attempt to become more conscious. The company launched innovative materials that are crafted with thoughtful quality from sourcing to finishing. Their Wellthread™ collection is one of the sustainable production techniques which uses fewer resources and produces less waste.
The increasing demand for transparency across brands means that conscious consumerism in fashion is not as difficult as it was before. If you’ve done some research and are fairly informed about what to avoid in your clothing then you’re good to go. You can start by searching for some fashion brands which are conscious and also match your vibe.