Want to find out more about what makes a clothing brand sustainable?
At RAINE Clothing, we pride ourselves on offering high-quality sustainable clothing that’s made to last – but we do appreciate that with so many questions around the clothing industry and how clothes are manufactured, it can be an overwhelming topic. That’s why, today, we’re trying to demystify eco-friendly fashion, and explain a little more about what you should be looking out for when it comes to making more ethical clothing choices.
What makes a clothing brand sustainable?
Right now, there’s no industry-accepted definition of sustainability, so it can vary by retailer; generally, an eco-friendly or ethical clothing brand tends to value using high-quality fabrics that are ethically sourced, as well as ensuring that the workers creating their garments are treated fairly, and given fair pay. These retailers tend to focus on creating clothing that’s made to last, versus the more ‘fast fashion’ options that can often be popular for their lower price points.
Curious about our ethical values? Head to our ‘Companies that Care Day’ blog for more information on what we’re doing to remain as eco-friendly as possible.
What’s the problem with fast fashion?
Fast fashion retailers tend to prioritise creating trend-led garments that can be made as quickly as possible, so consumers can wear the latest trends as soon as possible, and can therefore tend to be less durable than well-made alternatives. A lot of fast fashion brands tend to offer clothing for very cheap prices, so that consumers can wear them a handful of times before they inevitably fall apart.
Whilst fast fashion can tend to be more accessible than its sustainable counterparts, there are also a number of issues that this type of manufacturing can cause, particularly because it is made to be such a cheap clothing alternative; producing clothing for such a low price point does tend to mean that it’s simply impossible for the farmers, producers, and factory-workers involved in the making of these garments to receive a fair wage, and workers in these conditions are often victim of unlivable wages, as well as forced overtime and unfair working conditions. This practice also contributes to the overconsumption of fashion, whereby consumers now purchase 60% more clothing per year vs. 15 years ago, contributing to greater consumption of resources and more landfill waste.
This, then, is why sustainable clothing needs to become more mainstream to truly create more ethical and eco-friendly practices within the industry.
What can I do to ensure I’m shopping more sustainably?
The most important step in beginning your eco-friendly clothing journey is to remember that no one’s perfect! Small, gradual steps over time is a great place to start when it comes to shopping more ethically.
Do some research on your favourite clothing brands, and find out what they’re doing to contribute to more ethical practices within the industry, as a starting point, choosing more ethical fabrics where possible, and work on beginning to shop from more eco-friendly brands to ensure your wardrobe reflects your values. As we discussed in our ‘What is Organic Cotton?’ blog post, sustainable clothing choices can sometimes be more expensive to purchase than their fast fashion counterparts, so start small, with basic, wearable wardrobe staples.
What steps are you taking to shopping in a more eco-friendly way? Let us know below!