Sustainable fashion, also known as eco fashion, is a concept defined by methodologies and production processes that are not harmful to the environment. That is, the creation of clothing and accessories without harming the ecosystem that exists around the production chain of this item. This concept applies to the entire production chain of a fabric and then derives from the production chain of a piece of clothing. In a third assessment, the entire distribution chain for these finished garments must also be assessed.
For an administrator or engineer to be able to do a good job when evaluating a clothing production chain, several factors have to be taken into account in the evaluation process. These factors vary according to the supply chain of each company, but there are three pillars that cannot be neglected during the assessment: the carbon footprint of each piece of clothing, the amount of water needed to produce each unit and the amount of pesticides used in the planting of the raw material for this fabric (in the case of cotton-based fabric) and or quantity of chemical and synthetic components used in the fiber (example of acrylic and polyester). According to a recent IISD survey, a 250-gram cotton T-shirt made in China uses an average of 160 grams of pesticides like Temik 150, which contaminate groundwater easily.
Sustainable fashion includes practices that are less polluting and that minimize the environmental impact along the production chain (such as the use of ecological fabrics or the reuse of materials in the manufacture of clothes, for example) and consumption (such as reuse, exchanges, repairs etc.). ). The practices most commonly associated with sustainable fashion are:
- Manufactured with organic fibers, sometimes certified by international organizations such as GOTS or USDA
- Manufacture with more eco-friendly fabrics, like linen or bamboo (which need less chemicals and / or water to grow)
- Dyes of natural origin
- Use of discarded fabrics
- Upcycling of used materials
- Production with recycled fabrics
- Use of less toxic glues
- Clothes made to have a long cycle of use
Information and Certification
- WRAP, Worldwide Responsible Apparel Production – http://www.wrapcompliance.org/home
- GOTS, Global Organic Textile Standard – https://global-standard.org/
- ECOCERT – https://www.ecocert.com/en
- Fair Wear Foundation – https://www.fairwear.org/