How and why you should reduce your fashion footprint

Reduce your fashion footprint

How and why you should reduce your fashion footprint

From textile production to the transport of garments to the disposal of clothes, the fashion industry is responsible for a significant amount of pollution and waste.

It’s a global problem that is getting worse, but here’s the thing – it only exists because there is demand for it. At the end of the supply chain lies the consumer, and if they cut down on their demand, that would filter back up the chain, creating less waste.

If everyone reduced their fashion footprint, we would see greater change at a more rapid pace than if we wait on large corporations to do something about it instead.

What is a fashion footprint?

When you buy a garment in the shop or order one online, it comes with a price. Not a financial price to you, but an environmental price to the planet.

From the chemicals used to make the dye for your nice purple T-shirt, to the carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere in transporting it to you, it all adds up. This environmental impact is known as your fashion footprint, and it’s something we all need to reduce.

On top of the damage to the planet, the apparel industry also impacts labour practices and exploitation in developing countries, which is considered part of the ethical footprint.

The goal of reducing a fashion footprint is to minimise the fashion industry’s negative environmental and social impact.

Sustainable clothing

5 ways to reduce your fashion footprint

Buy less

It may seem obvious, but this is the simplest and easiest way to reduce your fashion footprint.

Less demand means less production, resulting in less damage to the environment. Of course, it’s easier said than done, especially when it comes to payday, but instead of buying for retail therapy, ask yourself, “Do I really need a new jacket?”

The answer is almost certainly no.

As Lisa Williams, Patagonia’s Chief Product Officer, said: “The most environmentally sustainable jacket is the one that’s already in your closet.”

Choose eco-friendly materials

If you really do need a jacket, look for one made from low-impact fabrics and materials. What your garment is made of disproportionately contributes to your fashion footprint.

Natural and organic fabrics like cotton, hemp, linen, and jute have little effect on society or the environment, but some of them do need a lot of water to be produced particularly cotton.

Another option is to use sustainable synthetic materials such as recycled nylon, polyester, lyocell, and biobased polymers; nevertheless, some of these materials contribute to the global plastic pollution problem.

Buy from sustainable brands

Sustainability is big on the radar of many companies, so it’s not difficult to find one that actually does try to help rather than simply greenwashing their brand.

American retailer Patagonia is an excellent example of a brand that genuinely cares about the environment.

Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard recently announced he had given his Billion-dollar company away to a charitable trust with the aim of improving sustainability.

From now on, yearly profits from the brand will be distributed as a dividend to help fight climate change.

Patagonia is just one example of environmentally conscious brands out there you can choose from to help lower your footprint.

Buy second-hand

One of the easiest ways to reduce your fashion footprint is to buy second-hand clothing.

Shopping at thrift stores, online marketplaces like eBay, or using apps like Vinted is a great way to find unique, one-of-a-kind pieces while supporting the circular economy.

Not only are you giving clothes a second life, but you’re also saving them from ending up in a landfill.

And if you’re not buying new clothes, that also decreases the demand, and therefore production, of apparel in places like Bangladesh and China.

Selling clothes online

Buy clothes that will last

We’ve talked many times about Fast Fashion and the damage it’s doing to the planet.

Cheap, fast-fashion garments are often made from low-quality materials that wear out quickly and need to be replaced frequently. By investing in clothes that are made to last, you can reduce the number of garments you need to buy over time.

Clothing made from sustainable materials such as organic cotton, Tencel, or linen is always a better choice. These materials are grown without the use of toxic pesticides, and they are biodegradable and compostable.

We understand the reason fast fashion clothes are so popular is that they are cheap, but spending that little more in the first place will save money in the long term, not to mention the planet.

We can help with your sustainability goals

If you would like to lower your fashion footprint as a business, then we can help.

We take sustainability very seriously and do everything we can to help our clients reduce their environmental impact.

Commitment to sustainability shouldn’t just be buzzwords and vague slogans, which is why we are 100% committed to renewable, ethical, and eco-friendly practices.

Big changes are coming in the apparel and fashion industry, and with our help, you can ride the wave, coming out stronger than ever.

We have experience, contacts and resources at every stage of the production chain, from the ethical treatment of workers to packaging materials. Every stage can be made more sustainable in some way.

Contact us today if you would like to know more about how we can help you reduce your fashion footprint.