Can Sustainable Fashion be pocket-friendly?
What comes to your mind when you hear sustainable fashion?
Unaffordable? For the elite? Impractical?
You are not alone. The discussion surrounding sustainable fashion is mainly about its exclusivity. Many believe that it is not for us.
We are here to give you a little more insight.
Sustainable fashion vs Fast Fashion
Sustainable fashion (or ethical fashion) implies clothing produced, sold, and used in environmentally-friendly ways. Ethical fashion takes every stakeholder involved into account. It means using eco-friendly raw materials (like chemical-free dyes) which are safer for the environment. It also ensures fair wages and better conditions for the workers. The purpose of sustainable fashion is to own clothes that last for a long time.
Fast-fashion, on the other hand, refers to cheap, mass-produced clothing. It is meant to be consumed and thrown out quickly. It is not uncommon to see fast-fashion brands launching a new collection every few weeks. By using low-cost synthetic materials and engaging in other malpractices, fast-fashion brands cause irreversible damage to our planet.
Now that we have explained the terms let’s address the bigger question.
Why is sustainable fashion expensive... Or is it?
The answer is not simple. Sustainable fashion is called 'slow fashion' for a reason. It involves a complicated process of choosing everything right. Buying a sustainable garment may be costly if we look at it as a one-time purchase. But here is a thought. Consider the higher quality of the fabric used to make that garment. You may not realise, but the quality makes all the difference. It means the piece of clothing will last longer. And if it lasts longer, we would be less tempted to buy more. See where we’re going with this? The fewer clothes we purchase, the better it is for our pocket and also the environment. That’s right, folks. By choosing sustainable fashion, you can save your money and also help save the planet.
Sure, fast-fashion is more accessible and affordable right now. But the amount of waste it produces increases the overall cost of living on Earth. The idea behind it is pretty simple.
One (expensive) upcycled garment > Many (inexpensive) fast-fashion garments.
Alexa, Play Thrift Shop by Macklemore
We understand that not everyone is in a position to shell out thousands on a single piece of clothing. Many new brands are entering the market with the sole purpose of making sustainability affordable for the masses. Several existing brands are also turning towards ethical-fashion to make it more pocket-friendly.
But the idea of sustainable fashion is not limited to just that. Thrifting aka buying used clothes is another way of sustaining an eco-friendly, low-waste lifestyle. Instagram is one platform for eco-conscious people with their own versions of thrift stores. Thrift clothes are a great way to reduce your fashion footprint.
Need for change
We cannot overlook the fact that our clothing choices have a huge impact on the environment. People who try to make sustainable choices believe in the sustainable philosophy. For Indians, the idea of upcycling is not new. We employ sustainable practices in our everyday lives. Using an old T-shirt as a duster is not just ‘meme-worthy’. The fashion industry is in need of an overhaul. What you and I as consumers can do, is make eco-conscious choices. If we create a demand for sustainable fashion, an affordable supply will become a reality.