Clothing should be safe for people and the planet. When clothing is made through sustainable practices, we help reduce the harm inflicted on our environment while still looking on-trend.
From the pesticides the soils are fertilised with when we grow the fabric fibres, to the intensive manufacturing processes. There is also a high level of chemicals used to wash and clean the garments.
Not to mention the massive travel miles it takes to deliver fast fashion around the globe and the waste that build up when consumers throw away instead of recycling their clothes.
We can minimise our impact by simply buying less. Fast fashion gets its name because it’s cheaper, lesser quality and can be thrown away. By taking active steps to reduce how often we buy clothes and by throwing away less, we can make a massive difference together.
When you buy, buy linen, hemp, bamboo or wool.
There are sustainable fabrics on offer. While there are always some issues with man-made products, there are materials which are far better for the planet.
Linen is made from the stalks of the flax plant. Flax required far less water than cotton and almost pesticides or chemicals to grow. Producing linen fibre is relatively waste-free because manufacturers use the seeds and external fibres to create oils and other products. For these reasons, linen is one of the first alternatives people swap to when moving to an eco-friendly wardrobe.
A hemp crop requires half as much space and water to grow when compared to cotton. As long as civilisation has existed we have used hemp to make clothing. We first saw hemp in Europe in the early 1200BC, when cultures used it to make rope and twine. Hemp is also cleaner and far more sustainable than other typical clothing fabrics, making it a comfortable and alternative clothing choice.
Bamboo is one of the fastest-growing plants in the world, some varieties can grow close to 120cm a day! As with some of the other fabrics we have discussed, bamboo requires very little water and no chemicals to thrive. Bamboo fabrics are strong, soft and 100% biodegradable. This makes bamboo a perfect option for sustainable undergarments and t-shirts.
Wool is a natural thermal regulator, wrinkle-resistant, fire retardant and entirely sustainable. Farmers obtain this textile fibre from animals such as sheep and alpacas. Sustainable farming practices offset the resources the animals consume. Australia is the world’s leading producer of wool exports globally. Luckily, you can easily buy wool clothing locally without travel emissions.