sustainable fashionSustainability in Clothing

Sustainability has become quite the buzz word in American culture these days. From major corporations issuing annual sustainability reports to smaller organizations working toward greener practices, it seems as though everyone is jumping on the trend of doing more with less in regard to our future global resources in mind. Sustainable fashion, often referred to as eco fashion, is no different. According to the May 2007 Vogue, sustainable fashion appears not to be a short-term trend, but one that could last multiple seasons.

Many companies are developing the design philosophy and incorporating the trend of sustainability to support company environmentalism and corporate social responsibility initiatives.

So What is Sustainability?

Simply put, sustainability is the ability to create and maintain the conditions where humans and nature can exist in productive harmony while allowing us to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Sustainability is important to making sure that we have and will continue to have, the water, materials, and resources to protect human health and our environment.

Why It’s Important? The Facts Speak for Themselves

According to Earth Pledge, a nonprofit organization committed to promoting and supporting sustainable development, “At least 8,000 chemicals are used to turn raw materials into textiles and 25% of the world’s pesticides are used to grow non-organic cotton. This causes irreversible damage to people and the environment, and still two thirds of a garment’s carbon footprint will occur after it is purchased.

Numbers like these are astonishing and a big reason why companies are shifting to better practices and more organic materials that lead to a healthier and more sustainable lifestyle.

Companies Who Got it Right

eco clothingCompanies like HRB Movement (the acronym stands for Hope Resides Beneath), started making clothing to combine creative and aesthetic designs made with most sustainable materials that include organic and recycled cotton, recycled water bottles, bamboo and hemp. The company is unique because it created a pledge that for each t-shirt purchase made, HRB will plant a longleaf pine (the most common native tree to Eastern North Carolina at Lake Waccamaw) in partnership with the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

For Royal Dynamite, sustainable fashion is part of the company’s larger trend of moving to a more sustainable process; where products are created and produced with consideration to the environmental and social impact it may have throughout its total life span, including its carbon footprint. The company has also adopted a ‘local to global’ approach in clothing production. It recently launched the Artisans Abroad Program to facilitate the purchase of local goods from regions across the globe including Tanzania and Sierra Leone. Royal Dynamite is committed to hiring local artists that will hand craft items such as t-shirts or hats and offer them for sale on the Royal Dynamite website. For any purchases made, the original artist receives recognition and financial compensation. This program is helping create jobs and foster good will across the globe.

Bonus Material: Bizarre Trends in Sustainable Fashion

prison clothingWe’ll you’re learning it here folks: fashion has no bounds. A new interesting part of sustainable fashion is the so-called ‘prison couture’.  The first Eastern European prisoners are designing sustainable prison fashion in Latvia and Estonia under the Heavy Eco label.

Not to mention that when you think of the clothing prisoners are required to wear, they are typically plain and feature a striped look. Did you also think about how interesting it is that certain fashion designers incorporate this look into their clothing lines to the overall appearance?


Hope you enjoyed our post on sustainable clothing. Click the link to view our recent blog: Techweek Recap or check back for more on effective communication strategies, corporate social responsibility and companies who do social good.

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