What is Sustainable Fashion?

There is a saying attributed to Yves Saint Laurent: “Fashion fades, style is eternal.” We here at Conscious Concept are pretty sure this is no longer the case.

There was a time when going clothes shopping was an occasional event, when seasons changed or when we outgrew what we had in our wardrobe. In recent years, things have changed, enter fast fashion.

Fast fashion is the mass production of cheap, poor quality, disposable trend lead clothing. Manufacturers are churning out trends in as little as 48 hours after Kim K West debuts a new look. The production of clothing has never been cheaper, but as the price falls, so does the quality. Trends are accelerating and this is putting consumers under pressure to discard their latest purchase and move on to the next.

Zara, which has been credited as having the first successful fast fashion business model, has a design-to-retail style of about five weeks and introduces more than 20 different collections a year.

Ok, so what’s so wrong with this I hear you ask?

Fast fashion creates a ‘throw away’ culture. The consumer is never left feeling satisfied, it’s all about the next look, the next trend. More than 60 percent of fabric fibers are now synthetics, derived from fossil fuels, so if and when our clothing ends up in a landfill (did you know that the average garment is only worn ten times?!), it will not decay.

But let’s place the environmental factors to the side for one moment and I’ll explain why Conscious Concept is so committed to a more ethical sustainable approach to clothing: People.

In April 2013 the fabric on the western world’s skin suddenly became extremely itchy and uncomfortable as the news unfolded of the collapse of the Rana Plaza building in Dhaka, Bangladesh, which housed five garment factories, killing at least 1,132 people. This disaster awoke the world to the poor labour conditions faced by workers in the ready-made garment district in Bangladesh.

People became opposed to these supply chains, to the unethical treatment of workers and most importantly to child labour.

'Sustainable' fashion refers to garments that have been made in a way that is mindful of the many environmental issues the fashion industry touches upon.

We at Conscious Concept, want to ensure that all our products are sustainably chosen, so it's an easy choice for you! We advocate for sustainable and ethically produced clothing. You can be sustainable and stylish! Win win!

Want to know more about sustainability and fashion?

Lady boss alert: I talked about sustainable fashion with Maxine Bedat… (ecocult.com, Oct 16)

'You are what you wear' by Christina Dean (youtube.com, Ted Talk apr 2014)

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