Why should you choose eco-friendly clothing?
Buying eco-friendly clothing means choosing pieces that respect the environment as much as possible in their manufacturing process. This is a different approach to consuming: more responsible and more aware of the social and ecological issues of our time.
The textile industry causes high levels of pollution. According to the World Bank, the industry alone is responsible for 20% of the world’s water pollution.
In recent years, a collective awareness has arisen, and people are looking for transparency and a change of consumption habits. An increasing number of ethical and eco-friendly brands and collections are appearing on the market to counter mass production and change the world in their own way.
Here are the reasons why a focus on eco-friendly clothing is important.
Eco-friendly clothing: the choice of quality over quantity
We are all tempted to buy our clothes in large quantities in large stores, without really asking questions about how they were made. These inexpensive clothes are often made by cheap and sometimes exploited labor, a model that doesn’t always respect human dignity.
In addition to being made in deplorable conditions, these clothes are poor quality. Once purchased, they don’t last long: the seams give way easily, small holes appear quickly, or they bleed heavily. This phenomenon is called disposable clothing, or ‘fast fashion’.
A garment’s quality depends on the manufacturing process, as well as the fabrics used. The choice of materials used to make clothing is essential, as they determine a garment’s durability. It’s best to choose natural materials with the least blending possible, more ecological fabrics such as organic cotton, hemp or wool. Materials from petrochemicals such as polyester or acrylic should be avoided.
Buying eco-friendly clothing also means choosing to shop less, buy second-hand, and focus on basic, good-quality pieces that can easily be worn for many years. This habit of sustainable consumption is called ‘slow fashion’.
Choose eco-friendly clothing for ecological reasons
Choosing to dress in an eco-friendly manner means reducing your ecological footprint.
As a matter of fact, the textile industry is the second most polluting industry in the world. Making a garment requires a great deal of energy and resources, especially when manufacturing fabric.
Turning to more ecological fabrics that aren’t derived from petrochemicals and haven’t undergone chemical transformations is therefore preferable. Organic cotton, for example, is 60% less water-hungry than regular cotton. You can also opt for hemp, which is capable of absorbing CO2, and flax that requires little fertilizer and whose yield rate is higher than that of cotton. Lyocell (or tencel), an artificial material extracted from eucalyptus wood pulp that comes from certified forests, is also a good alternative.
Reducing the journey for clothing
After being manufactured, most clothes travel thousands of miles before landing in our closets. Mostly made in Asian countries, these heaps of jeans, sweaters or t-shirts are then transported in containers on highly polluting freighters, sometimes to the other end of the world. In recent years, people have become sensitized to this ecological issue, and the locally-made clothing trend has spread. Many brands have appropriated this certification to inflate their prices, but many small creators are able to provide eco-friendly clothing at an affordable cost.
Much of our clothing is made in Asian countries (China, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan). This part of the globe has long been considered the workshop of the world, and human rights are not always respected. Many workers are exploited, and many children work long hours in deplorable conditions.
Images from these workshops where most of our clothes are made are shocking and lead many of us to rethink our consumption patterns. As a result, an increasing number of us are buying clothes made close to home. In addition to reducing our ecological footprint, it boosts local employment.
Many products used for mass production of garments, such as dyes or certain fibers, cause pollution and present serious health hazards. Workers exposed to these products develop serious diseases in just a few years. These components are also harmful to those wearing the clothes, as many substances contain endocrine disruptors. Technical, sports or outdoor clothing is often singled out. They contain chemicals that are harmful to the environment and health.
The economic, environmental and social issues of the clothing industry have lead us to rethink the way we consume. For many years now, several alternative solutions have emerged for manufacturing eco-friendly clothing. Whether it’s innovation in textiles that pollute less, local clothing manufacturing or clothing recycling, solutions are being developed to offer cleaner fashion.
Visit our site to discover a wide range of responsible clothing.