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If you were given a choice between wearing something you like or wearing something you like which is also durable and good for the environment; I mean, responsible fashion items. What would your choice be?
The right answer seems obvious, but most of us consistently fail to make the effort to do it.
The fashion industry is one of the biggest industrial polluters in the entire world, accounting for a shocking amount of global carbon emissions and generating an estimated 16 million tons of waste every year.
With this in mind, here are five responsible fashion trends for 2019 that could help you do your bit for the planet:
5 Responsible Fashion Trends Worth Embracing
1.Fabrics made from ocean waste
Sustainable fashion organisations are stepping up their efforts to help clear around six billion tons of waste from the world’s oceans. Discarded plastic is collected from the sea and recycled into textiles.
Furthermore, people are using more materials from the sea to produce textiles, rather than having to farm products on the land.
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Fabrics are being created from seaweed, and leather from fish skin. This also provides more opportunities for fishermen hired by textiles manufacturers to collect sea waste.
2. Incentives for customers to return unwanted clothing
Discarded clothes amount to around 13 million tons that end up in landfills year after year.
Clothing brands and retailers are responding to this, developing more initiatives to encourage customers to return their clothing to stores when they are no longer needed, in exchange for discounts on new items.
A circular economy is sure to play a big part in sustainable fashion, and with brands collecting more garments for reuse, this is beginning to come about.
Perhaps, one day, the time will come when new resources are no longer needed because all new garments can be made from reused materials.
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3. Advances in nanotechnology
Engineers are developing advanced ways of incorporating nano-sized components into ordinary materials to improve their durability and performance.
Manufacturers will embrace nanotechnology in order to produce clothing that can resist things like water damage, stains, wrinkles and odour.
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However, it is important that nanotechnology is used responsibly; without introducing new hazards to the environment or working conditions that are dangerous to workers in the industry.
Modern slavery has been a problem in the fashion industry, and brands like ASOS are fighting it by providing extra training for their employees to ensure that slavery is eradicated from every aspect of the production process.
4. Greater transparency in supply chains and processes
The fashion industry has traditionally revolved around guarded secrets to maintain a competitive edge.
It employs millions of people around the world and collects materials from all manner of sources, and this secrecy has led to many sensitive issues being swept under the carpet.
Advocates of responsible fashion are changing these attitudes, aiming to offer complete transparency to the public so customers can feel assured that what they are buying has not been produced with unethical processes or materials.
This enables consumers to vote with their money, granting them the choice to avoid companies that aren’t open about their supply chains and processes.
5.Exploring sources for natural dyes
The most energy-intensive stage of clothing production is the dyeing and finishing process.
Large amounts of water and toxic chemicals are required, heavily contributing to pollution. Advocates of responsible fashion are shifting the focus onto creative and innovative ways of producing safer, healthier dyes for the fashion industry.
Things like tea leaves and herbaceous plants such as mint are a good option, and biopolymers can be used to coat fabrics. These are a good alternative to petroleum-based polymers that take decades to decompose.
Final Thoughts On Responsible Fashion
Responsible, sustainable fashion has now become more than merely a fad for eco-warriors and hipsters to pursue.
It is becoming an embedded part of society, with a growing presence in the hearts and minds of consumers.
Nevertheless, there is still a need for individuals and organisations to make a genuine paradigm shift towards embracing sustainable fashion.
The modern designer should always consider the sustainability of the materials they use, and responsible processes should be factored in as well.
Let us all join in the movement towards responsible fashion!
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Well, how are you taking part in promoting responsible fashion?
Would love to hear your thoughts below…
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Emily Preston is a family & lifestyle blogger residing in the UK, juggling looking after her 5 and 2-year-old boys with her writing.
With her work spanning from how to look after your family to travelling with them, she writes from experience to provide authentic and useful tips to parents across the world.
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