Education: But what is Sustainable Fashion?

Sure, it is great being able to buy a piece of clothing for less than $10 (Primark, I'm looking at you!) and we have certainly all done it. But didn't you also feel that little sting of guilt when you were waiting in line and wondering how that blouse was actually made? 

Unfortunately, it is still very easy for consumers to claim that they simply didn't know better. Even though companies are being more and more open about where and how their garments are made, it is still a very grey area. We want to start giving you more knowledge and understanding of the topic in order to inspire you to become more conscious of your own clothes and shopping habits.

So, let's get started! But what even is sustainable fashion?

According to the American Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), sustainability "creates and maintains the conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony, that permit fulfilling the social, economic and other requirements of present and future generations." 

But what does that mean for fashion?

In terms of fashion, the definition is a little more complex. Sustainable fashion means that a garment is produced in consideration of its environmental and social impact all throughout its lifespan. As you may see, it is very hard to find a universal definition that everyone can use as a reference. 

Especially, in today's economy it is hard to implement sustainable changes and still maintain profitable. Sandy Black, expert on sustainable fashion and professor at London College of Fashion, knows the complexity of the topic: "The big definition is about long-term sustainability, but also there's the economic sustainability, then there's ethical and social issues. So in a way, the best type of businesses have combined all sorts."

And that's what most clothing companies have been trying to do: Finding a balance between the sustainable, ethical, social and the economic requirements. In the next weeks, we will look at some companies that are doing a pretty good job at being more sustainable.

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