4 Common Myths About Sustainable Fashion and the Truths Behind Them
With the emphasised value of living sustainably, you’re likely assessing all the different ways you can make this lifestyle change to minimise your carbon footprint.
Now that there are even more environmentally friendly labels and ethical clothing brands in Melbourne and Australia, you’re now spoilt for choice
The truth is that there’s much more to living a sustainable lifestyle than replacing your wardrobe with ethically sourced clothing. For instance, favouring luxury fashion over fast fashion doesn’t exactly halt sweatshops or labour exploitation. It’s all about making conscious, deliberate choices, ensuring that you take meaningful action whenever you decide to buy something.
Here are four of the most common myths about sustainable fashion and the reality behind them:
1. Buying Sustainably Made Clothes Is the Best Way to Eliminate Your Fashion Footprint
While you probably have many clothing items sourced from popular fast fashion brands, swapping them out for sustainably made clothes doesn’t make you the ‘perfect consumer’. The core concept of sustainability is to consume and dispose of less, emphasising using what you already have.
As such, the best way to eliminate your fashion footprint is to purchase fewer clothing items instead of regularly going on a shopping spree. You can try altering old pieces, restyling them, or even trading with your friends after the pandemic. However, if you can’t resist buying a new item, second-hand clothing or purchasing from sustainable clothing brands is your best bet.
2. Luxury Fashion Is More Environmentally Friendly Than Fast Fashion
Another misconception surrounding ethical fashion is that the cheaper the garment, the more likely it’s fast fashion, which means that it exploited workers to produce them en masse. However, spending more on your clothing, especially on luxury brands, doesn’t guarantee that it was ethically made and sustainably sourced, either.
There is no direct correlation between a higher retail price and a lower risk of unethical practices.
While some fashion houses have dedicated themselves to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and establishing greener practices, they still have a lot to do before being considered sustainable. According to Ordre, fashion weeks are incredibly unsustainable, given the carbon footprint of fashion buyers attending multiple shows, resulting in 241,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide. That’s roughly equivalent to a small country’s emissions!
3. The More Expensive the Clothes, the Less Likely Worker Exploitation Was Involved
Like the previous point, expensive clothes don’t guarantee that they were ethically made. The truth is that many factories produce clothing for both mid-priced and high-end labels, which means that labour conditions for these people may be exploitative across all price points.
Additionally, a clothing item’s price does not guarantee that the workers earned fair, commensurate wages since labour costs make up only a tiny fraction of production costs. After all, large corporations aren’t well known for passing their profits down the supply chain.
4. The Most Sustainable Way to Clean Your Closet is to Donate Old Clothes
Many people have decided to throw their clothes away when cleaning their closet, which is undoubtedly a wasteful way to tidy up. However, donating your old clothes isn’t the most sustainable way either, as much of it ends up being shipped to other developing countries for resale.
While it’s true that charities and thrift shops give away clothes to those in need or resell some of them, the clothes that end up overseas harm their local industries. In the worst-case scenario, they clog up landfills even more or get burned, contributing further to greenhouse gas emissions.
Choosing fairly made clothing will always be better than buying fast fashion, but there’s more to living sustainably than meets the eye.
By keeping the truths of these four myths in mind, you’ll have an easier time making more conscious choices about your consumption habits, creating more meaningful change in everything you do.
Stride is the leading destination for sustainable Australian made apparel. Whether you’re looking for ethical clothing brands in Melbourne or cruelty-free beauty products, we have everything you need; you can even shop by value on our website!
We make shopping ethically incredibly easy, so get started by checking out our brands today!