With sustainability, reusability and self-care at the top of brand-conscious new-age consumers, an evident shift is seen in how customers interact with brands and their products while supporting sustainability is the new fashion trend and rightly so. Fashion brands are implementing consumer-centric strategy to see what customers really want and all roads lead to the fact that the future is sustainable fashion where on any given day, a functional and versatile closet is preferable – one which allows styling of an essential piece in a variety of ways to blur the borders between casual and formal attire and evolve fashion to the point where it recognises that customising a silhouette is not limited to a specific demographic.
The sustainable fashion is influencing the post-pandemic fashion choices as Covid-19 lockdowns lift across the globe after two years of the coronavirus pandemic. The fashion industry underwent a complete overhaul during these two years of Covid-19 lockdown and now, the way we dress has changed dramatically and style experts assert that fashion that can be worn for multiple purposes is here to stay.
In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Namisha Gupta, Founder of RETAG, shared, “Everybody loves to look trendy and always be in up to date fashion and this means doing a lot of shopping but we forget and ignore the cost with which it comes and that is the environment. According to the BBC, fashion accounts for about 10% of the World Carbon Emission and nearly 20% of the world’s wastewater. All these figures hint at the impact on the environment that fast fashion is making.”
To stay in fashion but not at the cost of the environment, she listed 5 sustainable fashion choices that everyone should make so that the environment is not harmed:
1. Always choose quality over quantity – Always buy clothes which can stay in good shape for a longer period of time rather than hoarding clothes which will become unwearable only after a few washes.
2. Donate rather than throwing – As it is rightly said, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” So if you think your clothes have become outdated or you don’t want to wear them anymore but are in good wearable condition, donate those clothes instead of throwing them out. This way the carbon footprint would be reduced.
3. Increase clothes lifespan – The lifespan of a cloth or a garment can be increased by taking care of your garments. always iron them, dry them with eco-friendly and light detergents and do not wash them after every wear.
4. Maintain a wash cycle for every garment – There is a myth that every garment has to be washed after every wear. This is false as it decreases the lifespan of the garment and makes it look colourless and flaky. Except undergarments, no garment has to be washed frequently. Maintain a proper cycle so that the garment can be worn longer and also saves water and detergents.
5. Support brands that sell sustainable fashion – Always research well and look for brands which are selling eco-friendly and sustainable fashion wear. This way you can make a contribution in keeping the environment clean and safe.
Asserting that we all have a choice and we can all make a difference when it comes to environmental degradation, Dhruv Toshniwal, Founder and CEO of The Pant Project, said, “From big and small purchases, to everyday habits and choices, we can strive to do better. So why not do it while purchasing luxury goods too? Clothing, for instance, can be purchased mindfully for longer periods of time. Sustainability, consciousness, mindfulness and care can be applied to every purchase; it need not be fully sustainable but your choice must be conscious.”
According to him, opting for these 5 ways can incorporate healthier buying habits into your lifestyle:
1. Choose custom-made – When you purchase custom-made garments, you are making a conscious choice to select items that will be made only once you place an order. They are not manufactured in bulk and there is less waste because your order gets altered to fit you better; not remade.
2. Choose high-quality – Materials of high-quality and traceable sources that last longer than off-the-rack options. For example, if pants are made using high-quality merino wool, they will last you longer, offer comfort like none other and are more often than not, cruelty-free. Another similar example is choosing cotton pants for your summers. If you choose cotton that is certified by the Better Cotton Initiative, you know you are purchasing quality that is organic, controlled and traceable.
3. Going the extra mile with D2C – Brands that go through various channels of selling and distribution tend to be lighter on the quality and heavier on the cost, making you feel like you are purchasing premium products. However, if you go the extra mile and look for a brand that offers Direct-To-Consumer services, you are eliminating middlemen, paying for high-quality products which are directly manufactured at a unit and sent to you. Consciousness comes in every form; sometimes it is as simple as rewarding those that actually put in the work of creating your clothing.
4. Choose core designs – When it comes to garments, styles tend to come and go but there are always the same 24×7 pieces that will never go out of style. These timeless designs are what you should be looking for; items that you wear everyday to work, regular parties or social gatherings. Black, blue, grey, brown and so on, are colours that build the core of your wardrobe and never, ever go out of style and last you for the longest duration. Choose consciously!
5. Research – We cannot stress this enough. Researching the brands that you buy from; their history, their processes, their offerings, their raw materials and their values, helps you understand whether you are making a conscious choice or just an easy one.