In the age of fast fashion, it may seem behind the times to argue for sustainability's place in fashion. However, the trajectory of the fashion industry is one that will undoubtedly lead to detrimental pollution levels and increasingly unethical labor practices. We may not realize it, but there is a price to pay for the volume of clothes we produce and the means by which they are made. It may seem too daunting a task to try and stop or reverse the damage done by the fashion and textile industry, but if each consumer was more conscious and deliberate of his/her consumption habits even a fraction of the time, we could all make a tremendous difference.
Most generally, we as consumers can be more aware of where our clothes are made and how. Does the brand in question pay workers fairly and assure safe factory conditions? Is the fabric sourced sustainably without the threat of chemical runoff and clogged landfills? Even a simple internet search of a clothing brand's production practices can be enlightening enough to influence or deter a purchase. Take the time to feel good about where you put your money.
Unfortunately, the time and effort a brand makes to produce sustainable fashion and textiles may go unnoticed, or may even negatively affect the brand due to cost or volume restraints. However, large brands such as Ikea are paving the way for smaller brands to take risks with their means of production. It may be tempting for a brand to cut costs by choosing the cheapest factory or fabric to make their goods, but the conversation around sustainable fashion is not going to end soon. Soon, brands will be rewarded for the efforts in creating conscious clothing.
An individual consumer can make a difference with his or her dollar by doing research and making smart decisions. It may not seem like one person can do a whole lot, but even the decision to choose sustainable fashion is a step in the right direction. The Earth will thank you!
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