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Sustainable fashion for a better environment is the need of day

"June 5 th was World Environment Day, a day when United Nations wants everyone to reflect on ours and others evil doings towards the environment. This year the theme was: Zero tolerance for illegal trade in wildlife. Wildlife here is not restricted to animals only; it includes everything grown in the wild including plants, fungi, deserts etc ."

 

 

Sustainable fashion for a better environment is the need of day

June 5th was World Environment Day, a day when United Nations wants everyone to reflect on ours and others' evil doings towards the environment. This year the theme was: Zero tolerance for illegal trade in wildlife. Wildlife here is not restricted to animals only; it includes everything grown in the wild including plants, fungi, deserts etc. The 2016 theme highlights the fight against illegal trade in wildlife. Its slogan ‘Go Wild for Life’ is aimed at encouraging everyone to spread the word about wildlife crime and the damage it does, and to challenge all those around you to do what they can to prevent it.

Fashion and environment

Sustainable fashion for a better

Indeed, one aspect of fashion and wildlife is fur and fabrics made from animal skin. But the focus here is more eco-friendly clothing materials since we relate more to cotton and textiles than fur in everyday life. According to Shani Himanshu and Mia Morikawa of 11.11/eleven eleven, the true cost of a garment lies not in the price tag, but in the impact its production has had on the environment. As per, Earth Pledge, an NGO, an average American throws away nearly 70 pounds of clothing every year. And at least 8,000 chemicals are used to change raw materials into textiles and 25 per cent of the world's pesticides are used to grow non-organic cotton. These may just be numbers, but the irreversible damage to people and the environment’ is what needs attention.

For years, eco-friendly brands and designers have pleaded for sustainable fashion. But if numbers are to be believed the message hasn't reached the ears of fashion lovers and consumers. No one sees the ugly truth behind the glamour of fast fashion and designer clothes. In fact, fashion industry is the second largest polluter in the world.

As Dilip Kapur, President and Founder of Hidesign puts it, fashion is critical to involve the young in environmental activities. Ecology is not just for the serious academician for it affects all of us and what is the best way to take the message forward than fashion: cool, aspirational and what makes us all look the way we want.

Sustainable fashion the way forward Sustainable fashion is the way to combat the bad reputation earned by the industry. Use of environment friendly materials and socially responsible methods of production is what defines sustainable fashion. So, what does the industry think about the practice and feel about the environment.

Already there are high fashion brands like Stella McCartney that are frontrunners in sustainability and more surely will join for a more sustainable fashion future feel experts. The industry can contribute by using natural materials, natural dyeing methods, recycled materials, zero water usage dyeing methods etc. Less usage of electricity generated from conventional means will also be a step forward to save the environment.

Often, the industry jumps on the bandwagon to sell more and many so-called ecological collections by spending big on PR initiatives but very rare are designers like Stella McCartney who live up to their ideal. However, these behavior and attitudes are changing worldwide and one can expect it will change in India also. By making eco-friendly clothes with organic raw materials, organic dyes, high quality clothes made from recycled and reused articles, use of solar power plants as an alternative power source to minimise pollution, the fashion industry can play a significant role in minimizing the carbon footprint.

 
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