What is all the hype about sustainable clothing?


Sustainable Fashion isn't some buzzword made up by some LA hipster FIDM grad; it is actually a natural solution to an enormous problem. Sustainable Fashion are garments designed, produced, marketed, and sold in the most sustainable or renewable way. Every part of an item's life cycle, from creation to recycling and reuse, is considered with a focus on leaving as little environmental impact OR carbon footprint as possible.

Believe it or not, clothing production is one of the most environmentally detrimental industries on Earth. From non-biodegradable textiles to harmful chemical dyes, the issue goes far beyond pointing the finger at the "fast fashion" giants. While brands across the spectrum are addressing the need for sustainable production, a few labels, such as Gros Americain Drapier, only produce ethical, sustainable lifestyle apparel.  However, each sustainability-focused brand isn't exactly the same as any other, but there are a few things that brands tend to focus on. See below.

1. Textiles and Farming

From organic cotton to ethical farming practices, sustainable brands emphasize not just responsibly sourcing their textiles. They'll actively work with partners who avoid using pesticides and chemicals that could actively damage the ecosystems where the materials are grown.

2. Water Use

With water scarcity, a genuine concern, how much water goes into clothing production can be shocking—from growing crops to dyeing. Brands like Levi's have incorporated a Water<Less initiative, which aims to save 50 billion liters of water while increasing the number of Levi's products that use reduced water waste practices.

3. Waste and Garment Recycling

There are two main facets of this topic. At the beginning of a product lifecycle—as the garment is being designed and manufactured—brands will incorporate recycled textiles or repurpose older garments to create the "new" piece for consumers; At the end of the lifecycle—as the consumer is moving to stop wearing and dispose of the item—brands either rework and refurbish their own items. Brands may request that their consumers recycle their own garments by ethically discarding them, repairing them, or reintroducing them to consumers via peer-to-peer marketplaces. This is the basic framework behind sustainability. 

Be on the lookout for next week's entry on ethical apparel and why it is so important.

Restez gros mes amis.

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