Eco-friendly or environmentally friendly fashion or sustainable fashion seems to matter more today than ever before in history. Environmentally aware and fashion-conscious consumers seem to be looking for more sustainable clothing items globally in the same way as they do for other eco-friendly products and services.  It is surely not just a frivolous fad or an ephemeral short-lived fashion trend. It comes indeed as part and parcel of the fashion revolution in its many shapes and forms.

environmentally friendly fashion
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Eco-friendly fashion is a social and cultural movement within the fashion and clothing industry that aims to lower the environmental impact of the clothes industry both production and consumption, in the same way as green, slow, and sustainable fashion do. 

The fashion industry has had a disastrous impact on climate change so far. It is viewed as one of the largest polluters globally. It is liable for too high amounts of carbon emissions, pollution, and waste.
If eco-friendly fashion is a new concept to you, it can come across as an overwhelming area to sink your teeth in at first.  There appears to be a range of different types such as: conscious, responsible, ethical, slow, fair, green, sustainable, and eco-friendly fashion that it is rather difficult to tell them apart because they seem to overlap each other. 

How do you start creating and wearing an eco-friendly wardrobe? What to look for in new clothes? How to tell if a fashion brand is eco-friendly? It’s a complex issue that requires a lot of research.
Shall we look at this more closely so as to find out what eco-friendly fashion is and what its relevance is at this point in time? 

What is eco-friendly fashion by definition? 

Over the past two decades or so, clothing has turned into a commodity which can be thrown out at a whim i.e. easily available and easily disposable. Buying new clothes is a daily routine for most consumers and rather frivolous to some. It’s now easier, faster, and cheaper to go shopping at every corner and enjoy your spending sprees in high-street shops or small boutiques just down the road due to the ever-growing trend of fast fashion.

Fast fashion has been a global phenomenon. It has gained enormous popularity for a number of reasons. It provides a number of advantages for consumers. It was created to meet the ever-growing demand for fashionable and trendy clothes at an affordable price.

environmentally friendly fashion
Photo via istockphoto

Regrettably, the excessive production and excessive consumption of clothes produced using inexpensive methods and techniques are harmful to the environment. Textile waste is piling up in landfills as a result of the throwaway culture.

Fast fashion wreaks havoc to ecosystems in that it puts wildlife in danger and human health at huge risk. It disposes of hazardous chemicals into the environment and causes deforestation, global warming, and air, land, and water pollution.

eco-friendly wardrobe
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Environmentally friendly fashion has come into being so as to solve the issues caused by fast fashion. It fosters a  more careful way of consuming and producing clothes to decrease the environmental impact of the fashion choices we put on our bodies on a regular daily basis without putting some more thought into the whole issue.

From our standing point of consumers, we can drive a change for the better in the clothes industry. The choices we make about the clothes we buy and who we support with our money are ours only. We can raise more awareness of the issues and make more responsible purchasing decisions.

Environmentally friendly fashion does not cause harm to the environment to some extent. It fosters a more ecological approach to fashion. There is a similarity to slow, green, and sustainable fashion.
Ethical, conscious, fair, and just fashion encourages a more morally responsible and socially engaged way of producing clothing items and accessories. The main goal is to simply avoid those fashion producers, organizations, and activities related to the industry which cause severe harm to people and/or the environment.

Environmentally friendly fashion places a special emphasis on the ecological issues within the textile and fashion industry. All of us have a role to play in creating a more eco-friendly fashion world including the general public, governments, organizations, and small and big businesses alike
This raises the issues as follows: 

How can fashion be more eco-friendly and sustainable?

Eco-friendly fashion
Photo via Canva PRO

Here are a few ideas for you to mull and muse and possibly use: -use environmentally friendly fabrics and textiles

  • send your parcels and packages via carbon-neutral shipping and forwarding
  • organize your waste management better by reusing, recycling, and upcycling
  • put eco-friendly packaging to good use and use it on a regular daily basis
  • produce by making use of green energy sources

Why eco-friendly fashion matters

Climate change continues to pose a threat and the fashion industry is its chief contributor. Humans should introduce changes in the way we produce and consume fashion to preserve the environment, ecosystems, wildlife, and health of us, humans.

Sadly, the fashion industry is the second-largest global polluter after the oil industry. It does damage to our society and the planet in a detrimental way. We are on the verge of a global climate crisis.

Cover image: photo via Canva PRO

Author: Natasha Jovanovich

Natasha  is a seasoned ELT professional: an English teacher, teacher trainer , a translator and ELT material developer. She has led a number of workshops, seminars and teacher training for fellow teachers and translated a number of books and specialist translations. She mostly teaches business English, legal English, Cambridge exams main suite and/or IELTS and TOEFL preparation courses.
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