What is sustainable fashion and why is it important?

What is sustainable fashion and why is it important?

Of late there has been an emerging trend of Sustainable fashion in the industry. But what exactly does it mean? Does it have any significance or is it just a marketing gimmick? Let us try to understand this topic better.

Sustainable fashion aims to create clothing that fosters ecological integration, social justice, eco-friendly, animal welfare, and carbon neutral.

black rosa cotton dress shazahn padamsee bollywood actress

Why is sustainable fashion important?

It may come as a surprise that the fashion industry is the second-largest polluter with a carbon footprint of approximately 10% of the global greenhouse gas emissions and about 20% of the global industrial water pollution. The chemicals used in textiles further pose a threat as majority of them are carcinogenic.

It is evident that the environment is at stake and change is much needed. The way out is to opt for sustainable fashion and to create awareness of the fashion practices.

We can put this change into effect immediately by shifting from fast to slow fashion. Fast fashion is cheap and produced in bulk with alternative fabrics made from plastic and petroleum-based materials.

Here are the reasons why one must opt for sustainable fashion:

  1. Creates less wastage

An enormous amount of waste is created by fast fashion due to poor quality and cheap prices and a staggering 85% ultimately ends up in landfills and pollutes the oceans. Sustainable fashion emphasizes on quality clothing that lasts long.

  1. Fair wage and healthy working conditions for workers

Cheap fast fashion garments are made possible by harsh working conditions for workers. Most of these are produced in developing countries where the workers are underpaid, exploited for long working hours, and not provided with health and safety conditions. Sustainable fashion prioritizes fair wages and healthy working conditions with the elimination of child labour.

  1. Reduces CO2 and greenhouse gases emission

Fast fashion has a huge carbon footprint as a result of material creation, manufacturing, transportation, and even textile waste decomposing in landfills.

  1. Saves water:  

Fashion industry is one of the largest water consumers globally. The water is consumed for washing garments, manufacturing, dyeing, and finishing processes. It takes about 2,720 liters of water to make one cotton shirt and 7,000 liters for a pair of jeans. Toxic chemicals are released into waterways and pollute freshwater in the manufacturing process. Sustainable fashion is made from organic textiles such as hemp, cotton, and linen that require little or no water during the production process.

  1. Animal welfare

Animals are a vital part of our ecosystem. Any threat to animals indirectly affects the eco system. Goods made from animal leather, fur, wool and horns, affects the animal population and thus affecting the balance of life on Earth. Sustainable products use leather and fur alternatives by propagating vegan and cruelty free methods, saving the animals from exploitation.

  1. Naturally and locally grown

Fast fashion is made from materials like acrylic, nylon, and polyester; of which production and disposal require a significant amount of energy. Sustainable fashion on the other hand utilizes biodegradable materials from natural or recycled fabrics.


  1. Provides employment opportunities and financial empowerment: 

Sustainable fashion uses naturally grown products like hemp, cotton, linen, etc. as raw material rather than lab grown synthetic products. This provides better financial assistance to farmers and an opportunity to earn fair livelihood for their hard work.

  1. Longer life of products

Fast fashion is manufactured in poor quality so clothes do not last long and promises a wardrobe upgrade in 6 months.

  1. Health benefits: 

The raw material used in sustainable fashion such organic cotton, linen, hemp, etc. is grown naturally and locally. Garments made of animal leather or synthetic materials start leaching toxic chemicals on the skin, over a period of time.  These substances affect hormonal balance, and affect the skin, hair, nails, and so on.

  1. Does not affect natural resources and environment

The materials used for sustainable clothing require little to no chemical treatment, less energy, less water, and no pesticides or fertilizers to grow. The harm from chemicals entering the water table and in turn affecting environment is minimised.


As a buyer it is our choice to change the trend of the industry from fast fashion to sustainable fashion. We have to be conscious and aware of the impact our fashion choice has on the environment.

Sustainable fashion can be vegan, ethical, slow, eco-friendly, recycled, upcycled. We must ensure the brands we are buying from minimize their negative climate impact while working for improving the working conditions for those who put in their sweat and blood.

Try to optimizing the lifespan of your clothing and accessories by repairing, upcycling, remaking, restyling and reusing your products.

One must support the brands that use renewable sources of energy at every stage of manufacturing and processing. We have to be the change we want to bring.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.