You might have come across the word sustainability, maybe not sustainability fashion (it is kind of new). But before diving into that, I will tell you a little bit about how harmful it is to make your clothes.
Now there are a lot of resources and environmentally damaging processes that go into the transformation of raw materials into finished clothes. These processes have contributed to making the Fashion and textile Industry the 2nd most harmful/polluting Industry in the world, after the Oil and Gas industry. For example, to produce a Kilogram of Cotton (the equivalent of a T-Shirt), it takes about 20,000 litres of water.
Again, it involves about 8,000 types of chemical combinations to give fabrics colour. Even the popular Adire-made from a chemical dye, that contains Benzidine, which is highly carcinogenic. But all these wastages and health risks can reduce drastically with sustainable fashion. Also note that when big companies like H&M, Ralph Lauren, Chanel and the likes produce clothes and don’t sell out, they might choose to burn them in incinerators- thus increasing already heightened ozone layer depletion concerns.
The Solution to this is Sustainable Fashion. In simple terms, it is the recycling of clothes and other materials, second hand clothes, slow fashion, local production and organic cotton all in a bid to reduce production, transportation and wastages to make a healthy environment.
Below are some of the forms sustainable fashion can take.
– Second Hand Clothes: Popularly called Okirika, they are some of the cheapest and easiest things to get in Nigeria. This reduces the demand for new outfits, thus causing a reduction in production and hence the masses get to have more clothes and can slay on a budget.
– Slow Fashion: Yes! Don’t throw that Cloth, jewelry or shoe away, because you think it is out of season. Who knew vintage, leather jackets, durags, mom jeans, and denim short skirts, all from the 90s would make a comeback in 2019 trends. Keep all of them!
– Recycling Clothes and Other Fabrics: This is basically turning old materials into new ones. For example, an initiative was launched in 2012 in Yola, Nigeria, where women were trained to transform plastic carrier bags into mats, bags and other accessories.
– Local Production: This helps the environment by reducing carbon footprint. Garment transportation produces a huge amount of CO2.
Go Green: As an extra tip, go for detergents that support the environment.
Here is the reality though, it is impossible to be 100% sustainable, because we still crave trendy items after all, we wash our clothes with detergents that are not ecofriendly. However, there are currently sites where you can get informed about ecofriendly products, such as The Spruce.
Brands aren’t left out in the quest for sustainability. Retailers like Zara, purchase a number of clothes and then purchase more on popular demand to avoid wastage.
Fashion Workers are to be taken care of on the job, to avoid health complications that arise from constant exposure to harzardous substances.
In the end, we are all involved.
Together we can save Lives, Money, Resources and the Planet, through sustainable fashion.
Go Sustainable Today!
This article was written by Oreoluwa Babalola; connect with her on IG here