Sustainable Clothing

Going green is by no means easy. It requires hard-work and dedication as you make the necessary changes to help give earth every chance of surviving for generations to come.

As the brilliant Kenneth E. Boulding theorised, the capitalist system in place in most of the developed world led to “cowboy economics” in which we believe the world’s resources to be limitless and therefore available to be vastly over-exploited. We have now left that phase behind, we are in the “spaceman economy”; nothing is infinite and henceforth we need to become more sustainable.

Extending on Boulding’s idea of sustainability, you have the ecologist Fritjof Capra who advocated the idea of holism. As you may guess from its naming, Capra argues that the world cannot be looked at as individual parts but rather as a collective whole, messing with one element alters the structure of the entire thing, which in this case is earth.

Sustainable living is of huge importance if we are going to ensure the world’s survival. If we can become more sustainable the amount of greenhouse gases that we emit will reduce significantly. There are numerous ways that you can save the planet through sustainability. This piece will actually look at sustainable clothing.

Let’s save the planet one pair of jeans at a time. Below are some clothing brands that you can purchase which help planet earth

Adidas

We will start with one of the largest sportswear companies in the world. German company Adidas are one of the leading lights in the environmental fight. The company has a five-year plan which they hope will reduce the environmental impact of their clothing. They plan to end all of their hazardous chemical discharges by the year 2020 as well as reducing their carbon emissions by 30 per cent by the end of 2015. In Indonesia, one of their main manufacturing hubs, their energy efficiency programs has saved nearly 5,000 tons of carbon dioxide.

Their outreach doesn’t just stop with the environment but their philanthropy is also commended. They spend vast sums of money in helping the developing world, focusing explicitly on education, child welfare, and numerous sports programs.

What is fantastic about Adidas is that they sponsor so many famous faces, spreading their message even further. In the world of sport you have names like David Beckham and Lionel Messi – two of the most marketable football figures – golf favourites Justin Rose and Jason Day, cricketing messiah Sachin Tendulkar – all the more important considering India’s role in global GHG emissions – and basketball players like Derrick Rose and Dwight Howard, to name just a few.

And to put the cherry on the cake, not only are Adidas a key actor in sustainable clothing, but their actual clothing is still in its own right extremely good. Thankfully Nike are now starting to follow their lead.

Freitag

Bags are an essential for everyday life, but despite seeming innocuous enough they too come with a carbon footprint. By buying from Freitag you are circumventing this carbon pollution whilst also getting an extremely trendy shoulder bag.

The company’s ethos is one of real beauty. Freitag source their material – tarpaulin – from lorries, which they then cut, wash, design, and stitch. The end result is a niche product that is unique, practical, durable, and most importantly sustainable.

Alabama Chanin

Whether you want an eco-friendly wedding dress or a nice new quilt, Alabama Chanin will be able to satisfy. Each item sold is created by hand by talented artisans who live in the local Florence area of Alabama, whilst each item has a unique, earthy aura to it, something that is very much in right now.

By using a combination of new, organic and recycled materials they are making small inroads in turning fashion green. The company’s mantra of “slow design” puts it in stark contrast to the majority of the industry, which right now would not dream of moving away from “fast fashion”. Slow design looks into the short and long term impacts of products whilst also delving into social factors and the sourceability of materials. Sustainability is a philosophy that they swear by.

Titania Inglis

Ingenius would be the best term to describe Titania Inglis. Thanks to the quirky designer out of the box thinking, the fashion world may be about to embark on an adaptability revolution.

Each garment, which is sewn in a minute factory in the Big Apple, consists solely of sustainable materials like organic cotton from Japan, vegetable-tanned leather imported from France, and dead stock wool from the local garment industry. But what really makes Inglis stand out is the fact that her innovative designs allow consumers to wear their items of clothing in a multitude of ways. Getting three outfits out of one dress is brilliant for numerous reasons: one, it means that the consumer is getting more value for money; two, it means that production can be scaled back; and three, what Inglis is doing is exactly what sustainability is about.

Feral Childe

Even if they were not sustainable you would probably still be tempted to treat yourself to some items from the Feral Childe shop. Their clothing range has to be marvelled. The tandem of Moriah Carlson (Brooklyn, NY) and Alice Wu (Oakland, CA) produce one-of-a-kind outfits via their collaborative drawings – the mixture of New York and California really is dope!

Sourcing local, sustainable fibers is one thing but it is how they deal with their waste which is impressive. The old ideal of “waste not want not” still strikes a chord with these two; all of their material waste is either donated to schools or sent to a recycling factory. In order to prevent the inventory getting too excessive they will only produce to order and even provide customers with transport reports about their sourcing and manufacturing techniques.

Loomstate

There are not many mainstream, mass-produced fashion lines that operate within the confines of eco-friendly techniques and utilise sustainable fabrics. The reason: there isn’t enough money in it. Luckily Loomstate see the bigger picture and are starting to carve out a fairly nice slice of the pie with the popularity of their pieces rising daily, thanks in no small part to their cool-casual look.

Tencel is a natural man-made fiber and serves as the backbone for most of Loomstate’s clothing, which is certainly of benefit. Production practices utilised by the brand has seen water consumption reduce and eliminate manufacturing waste. Moreover, their 321 collection uses cutting-edge design to create products that can be worn up to five different ways. How sustainable is that?

If everyone on the earth tried to make their life a little more sustainable the results would be profusely beneficial. Although these clothes may come with a slightly larger price tag, can you really put a price on earth’s survival?

 

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