7 R’s of Sustainable Fashion
This is for you if you love fashion and are passionate about protecting the environment. The fashion calendar used to have two cycles: Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter, but thanks to rapid fashion, there can now be up to 50+ micro-seasons. This implies that every week, new items are put on the shelves for us to buy. However, it’s cheap and poorly made, so we buy a lot of it and then discard it because it won’t last or because we don’t care. Global fashion consumption increased by 60% between 2000 and 2014, yet consumer retention of clothing has decreased by 50%. Since the 3Rs — Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle — have been a part of school curricula for more than three decades, most people can easily list them off, but because our global fashion consumption problem is so severe, it’s time for a few more R’s — Research, Repurpose, Repair, and Rent!
7 R’s of Sustainable Fashion:
The 7 R’s of Sustainable Fashion are a set of principles to promote responsible consumption and production practices in the fashion industry. These 7 R’s of fashion are discussed below.
- The life of our clothes could be extended much, much longer if we reduced the amount of machine washing and drying (and we’d reduce our water and energy consumption, too).
- The most important thing is to massively slow down our fashion consumption. Try shopping for VALUE instead of COST. Investment pieces that can be worn through the seasons for many years have a cost per wear that makes them more inexpensive than fast fashion! The value of a garment also increases when it has an emotional appeal of some kind.
- The most crucial idea on this list is to purchase less. Our closets become less cluttered as a result. We can see our possessions so we can look after them better. The pieces we own are more likely to be worn because we don’t forget about them. Try buying for value instead of price. Fast fashion is more expensive per wear than investment pieces that may be worn throughout the seasons for many years
The fastest-growing type of municipal garbage, textile waste contributes to CO2 emissions and overcrowded landfills. Reusing is a fantastic method for lowering textile waste. Reselling and donating to thrift stores benefits those in need while also reducing waste. Additionally, some brands have return policies. However, try to give it a second life by up cycling it or giving it to a friend before you recycle it or donate it.
- Many textiles can be recycled — even your undies and holey socks. They can go in the donation bin along with household textiles and clean, dry garments, shoes and accessories. (In this context, “recycle” means the breaking down into raw materials, such as fiber or thred’s, and being made into something else.)
- The more we divert textiles from landfill, the more we can reuse, repair and recycle materials, and the more we can decrease our GHG emissions which are creating climate change. For every 1 kg of textiles that decay in landfill, there are 4 kg of carbon dioxide emitted.
- When shopping, be conscious of packaging and hang-tags that are recycled or recyclable. Better yet, refuse to purchase garments that are over-packaged and definitely refuse a bag with your purchase, as most cannot easily be recycled.
- There’s a difference between clothing made from recycled materials and clothing that can itself be recycled.
- Making new materials from recycled clothing is a whole other process, complicated by the fact that most of our garments are made from mixed fibers (i.e. natural and synthetic).
- Most of us consider plastic bottles, coffee cups, cartons, etc. when we think of recycling. Clothing is typically discarded in the trash since it is not generally considered recyclable. 60% of clothing is discarded in landfills within a year after purchase. Additionally, the decomposition of synthetic and some natural fibers can take hundreds of years. The majority of clothing can be recycled, which is fantastic news. Even ripped clothing can be donated in your neighborhood together with clean, dry clothing, shoes, and accessories. There are even take-back programmers at several stores.
Spend some time investigating and contrasting brands’ production standards before making a purchase. Many companies post this information on their websites, but if you read it carefully, you can tell whether it’s accurate or just green washing. Check to see if they specify precise factory sites, follow reputable standards, and pay workers fairly. Read evaluations on durability and rep arability. A tremendous job is done by businesses like Patagonia and Everlane in terms of production transparency. There are many other fantastic apparel brands that have been featured on Tree Hugger over the years.
Utilize your old garments in inventive ways. There are many creative applications for vintage cloth in the Pinter est age. “Leather that has been used or torn can be made into clutches, bags, and totes. You can up cycle T-shirts to make totes, pillowcases, jewelry, and even braided rugs! Wool dryer balls can be created by combining leftover wool from old sweaters with fresh wool roving. Additionally, search for companies that market recycled apparel. These can be seen in person at artisanal fairs and makers’ markets. When purchasing outdoor equipment, look for repurposed items at discount prices at the big-box stores. The Renewal Workshop is leading this initiative and is one outstanding company.
Damaged clothing can be donated for re-purpose and recycling, but it’s even better if you can repair the item, which is an even better alternative. The longer we can extend the life of the garment, the better impact it is on the environment. The fast fashion industry has made this difficult because of the cheap quality. Some simple ways to make a piece of clothing to last longer is:
- wash in cold water and wash less
- Stay on top of repairs, fix them when they are still small. Learn to use a needle or take them to a tailor
- line dry instead using the dryer
One of the three sustainable fashion trends Triple Pundit predicts for 2023 is the market for renting out garments. Recently, it is noticed a lot of references to rental companies and fashion libraries around North America and Europe. This idea is not all that dissimilar from other rentals in modern society, such as housing and transportation.
Everything started to change for the better once we began utilizing these 7 R’s and making better choices regarding what we purchased and wore. It could seem challenging at first, but as you begin to put these “R’s” into practice, you’ll begin to realize the benefits of your decisions and how they relate to the greater picture. Knowing that each choice, no matter how small, may have an impact is such a wonderful thing.