What are the pros and cons of sustainable fashion?

Disadvantages of eco-friendly clothing

When we talk about sustainable fashion, or ethical fashion, we are talking about fashion that is environmentally friendly and socially responsible. It is based on the conservation of natural resources, the low ecological impact of the materials used and respect for the working conditions of workers who have participated in its production and sale. Here are 7 main advantages of sustainable fashion:

1.- It reduces the negative impact with the environment.  As we mentioned, sustainable fashion reduces the negative impact on the environment, using natural materials such as organic cotton or recycled fibers.

Promotes recycling and reuse. Sustainable fashion is committed to the need to reuse garments as well as second-hand clothing. Let’s give a second chance to those garments and not throw them away for the simple fact that they went out of fashion.

Promotes fair and responsible consumption. Sustainable fashion promotes a new approach to the fashion and textile industry, based on respect for the environment, betting on a new form of moderate consumption and always with quality products.

Disadvantages of fast fashion

Is sustainable fashion in fashion? Buying eco-friendly clothing is no longer a fashion, but a trend. Conscious consumers are looking for fashion brands that respect human rights and the environment. What is the goal of sustainable fashion? Is organic cotton really sustainable? Consumer habits have changed. Some people believe that what they don’t see, doesn’t exist. And there are those who buy more calmly, less and just what is right and necessary.

Fad consumers are buying clothes more and more frequently and they last less and less. They give clothes a lower value and get rid of them after a few wears. Or they hoard them until they need the Marie Kondo method.

Clothes take decades to decompose in a landfill and can end up in the sea in the form of microplastics in the case of synthetic fabrics. Biodegradable clothing, on the other hand, decomposes more easily.

Fair trade takes into account the whole community where it is produced and takes care of people’s rights, a dignified life and their environment. Conventional clothing is mainly made by exploited young women who work 16 hours a day.

What is fast fashion advantages and disadvantages

Organic clothing is made from raw materials such as cotton, recycled paper, linen and others. All of them come from organic farming, which does not use pesticides, insecticides or aggressive or harmful chemicals for the environment or for the consumer.

Currently, the most relevant problems of conventional cotton cultivation worldwide are the contamination of running water by the use of chemical fertilizers, the abusive use of water (1200 liters of water for each kg of cotton harvested) and its salinization.

Extremely harsh working conditions: wages per piece produced, abusive working hours, lack of protection during layoffs, exposure to hazardous chemicals, lack of hygiene in the workplace.

In strambótica we use organic cotton to manufacture our T-shirts, because of all the advantages and benefits we have mentioned before, and also because it allows a better ventilation and transpiration.

Disadvantages of sustainable clothing

However, certifications, quality raw materials and fair pay for artisans and workers in the production chain make the costs of the final product rise, causing consumers to be hesitant when making a purchase. “It is still not economically profitable to engage in this (…) The fabrics are much more expensive, such as organic cotton – for which no pesticides are used, the plant is left to grow well and when the cotton is extracted the plant is not broken so that it can grow again” explained Gema Gomez, founder of the sustainable fashion platform Slow Fashion Next to El Diario.es.

As sustainable fashion activist Livia Firth explains in XL Semanal, the industry has become an unsustainable model in itself. “We’ve been sold the myth that buying a dress for less than ten dollars is democratic, but for whom? We throw away faster and faster. We consumers have become trapped in an absurd cycle of micro-trends. There are two mini-seasons a week in stores. Clothes are meant to last in the closet for about five weeks before being thrown away, all in the name of democratizing fashion.” However, in a capitalist world whose main law is supply/demand, is it possible for the sustainable fashion industry to survive?