Updated: Dec 21, 2022
Here is: How to be Sustainable!
Hate to break it to you, but there is no such thing as being 100% sustainable with fashion.
The first reason being: washing clothes infuses nature with microfibers. It also takes a toll on the environment through the use of water, electricity, and most laundry detergent is not eco-friendly. Here you can find a list of some green laundry detergents
There are, however, many different ways of approaching the topic that you can learn from to become more sustainable and decide where you stand.
Before we get started on all the different aspects there are to consider as a consumer, we want to address that there are two perspectives: that of brands and that of consumers.
We will cover this topic from a point of view of -
Pros and Cons of -
FOR BRANDS this means creating in a way which is most considerate of humanity and the environment. The goal is to have a system which works without leaving a negative footprint.
FOR CONSUMERS this means thinking about what you buy, knowing which philosophies you are supporting through your purchases, and also asking yourself if you are really going to wear that new piece to the extent that it was worth being made.
WHERE TO START?
To help make these decisions easier for you, we have listed the pros and cons of the different approaches you can take when rethinking your wardrobe.
PROS - To start off with great and probably the most sustainable solution because you are not only giving the pieces you get a new life, but also the ones you give away = double the save from landfill.
CONS - Organizing a swap event can be time-consuming, but check out locally to find local clothing swaps.
NOTE: have an open mind when attending a clothing swap event as you might not find your style / size in a small closed clothing SWAP events. Also you might not get the similar products for the perceived value of your items!
PROS - Another super sustainable solution because the pieces already exist, so you are saving the entire negative impact of production.
CONS - The downside: buying second hand can give unconscious consumers who sell their clothes less incentive to think about their purchases, which fuels more fast fashion consumption.
NOTE: Buying high quality second hand or vintage pieces is the best way to go, if your budget allows it.
PROS - Environmentally friendly by producing fewer new items.
CONS - If you really want to find a con here's one: slow fashion means sticking with what you have for a long time, so this can get difficult to practice when your tastes change.
NOTE: Quality is key here, take the time to really think about if the pieces suit your style and you can see yourself wearing them for a long time. It's best to start with basics. When something breaks, check to see how you can get it repaired before you toss it.
PROS - Ensuring fair wages supports education and directly improves worker's quality of life. If everyone had a living wage* we would see more happiness in the world = less conflict + more love & peace.
CONS - Certifications can be misleading and mean different things.
NOTE: Many smaller brands cannot afford certifications, so if they are not there this isn't necessarily bad news. Look on their website to see what they say in their philosophy/codex/about page, check out their social media channels, and last of all ASK the brands about it.
PROS - Environmentally friendly because it reduces the negative environmental impact caused by animals.
CONS - Some brands will use plastic or other non biodegradable fibers as a replacement to animal based products. Unfortunately, these materials often end up in landfills after a short amount of time. This directly contributes to eco-pollution.
NOTE: Look for innovative materials like pinatex, lenzing tencil, cork, seacell, mycoworks (mushroom skin) and brands that use recycled materials.
PROS - Minimize your carbon footprint! Garment transport puts out a huge amount of C02, which can be reduced by minimizing the distances during production.
CONS - If you want to have a positive impact on working conditions in developing countries, this won’t get you far..
NOTE: A tag that says 'made in Germany' does not necessarily mean that the entire garment was made in Germany. If you're unsure - just ASK. Brands that are sustainable are generally expressive about their production methods.
PROS - Having as little as possible = less consumption.
CONS - If you are someone who likes to change styles and experiment around with new outfits (like me!) you might get bored of this, leading to stress and unhappiness, only with clothes.
NOTE: Do it right: just discarding whatever you don't essentially need will not lead to a more sustainable closet. Consider keeping that second pair of sneakers and wearing them out. This buys you twice as much time until you will need a new pair.
Blog originally explained on 'SUSTAINABLE FASHION MATTERZ'.
Hope this article helped you to understand some terms and jargon quite often used in 'sustainable fashion'. It is not easy and we will not recommend to adapt ALL the above at the same time. Like any habit, take your time to choose your rhythm and style choices. If possible, try one small change at a time and see how it goes.
You being here, shows that you care and you want to embrace sustainability in your fashion choices - small or a big way! And we wish you all the best in your journey.
Before we finish, I would like to showcase our brand's sustainability efforts. We are no way near where we would like to see our brand as we grow, but as mentioned above, every small steps in sustainability is a big win for mother Earth!
Sustainability at Handmade by Tinni:
Our brand was launched in 2020 to address the lack of colourful, fun biodegradable jewellery for fashionistas who love expressing their personality with unusual, statement jewellery but I knew that I wanted to fulfil this demand whilst keeping the environment at the forefront. Below I have listed just some of the ways I am striving to keep Handmade by Tinni as planet friendly as possible.
Made to Order - Fundamentally every piece I create is made by hand and therefore with minimal impact on the environment.
Organic Cotton - I choose cotton, not only because natural fibres feel like the right choice for my designs, but also because it is sustainable and biodegradable.
Partnership with Ecologi - In June 2022, we completed a 15-month partnership with Ecologi and planted 187 trees in Africa. I am proud that we have achieved 12.2 certified tonnes CO2 reduction from our efforts only.
Zero-Waste Design - One of the most impactful things we can do to reduce our impact is to reduce our waste. My zero-waste collection showcases unique items made from the leftover rope from other designs. By using every scrap of material, it is possible to transform every off-cut into a treasure.
As a small business, I ensure I’m eco-conscious in every decision I make. My vision was to create statement jewellery and personalised art for the home that brings joy.