Today is Earth Day, which coincides perfectly with Fashion Revolution Week.
We know that the fashion industry breeds significant environmental impacts and is majorly responsible for marine pollution by textile dying and microplastics. Our love for synthetic clothing (which I’m guilty of as a purchaser of activewear) is causing our waterways to become filled with plastic fibres with every wash. This harms our wonderful marine biodiversity, but you may not be aware of the fact that it also affects human health as a result of microplastics ending up in our food. That’s why it is crucial to consider the materials your clothes are made from and what the potential environmental impacts are.
I was basically ignoring these impacts while on an activewear purchasing-spree during the beginning of the year. It’s a bit embarrassing to admit, but I failed to consider what they were made from and who made them. Although I made sure that I needed the items and knew that I absolutely loved them prior to purchasing, I should have done better. It’s difficult to think consciously all the time, especially with the number of brands out there, the lure of greenwashing and hefty discounts. It used to be that we saw something, liked it and bought it. But we can’t be so ignorant anymore. I love the guide for choosing well from Every Woman’s Guide to Saving the Planet.¹ She recommends asking yourself the following before buying clothes:
- Is it made well?
- What’s it made form?
- Who made it?
- Do I love it?
Actively considering these four questions may be a longer process than usual, but it’s not going to hurt us. On the contrary, we really should be taking this time to make sure that our spending habits aren’t hurting people or the environment. This Earth Day, I’m going to find out from my favourite brands #whatsinmyclothes to learn about what materials are being used and whether their processes are environmentally friendly and kind to their garment workers. As consumers, we need to urge our favourite brands to be transparent and hold them to account if they are failing to implement environmentally friendly and safe manufacturing standards. Things need to change, and there’s no better time to use our voices than during Fashion Revolution Week.
To find out more about what you can do this Fashion Revolution Week, head to: https://www.fashionrevolution.org/about/get-involved/
If you’re interested in Australian activewear brands that use recycled materials – and even plastic waste! – to produce their garments, head to: https://www.brittslist.com.au/article/sustainable-activewear-brands-australia/
Thanks for stopping by! x
¹ Natalie Isaacs, Every Woman’s Guide to Saving the Planet (2018, HarperCollins) page 245.