How to tell if your clothes are really sustainable
Let’s be real ladies - most of us are probably guilty of not knowing where on earth our clothes actually come from. And it’s no surprise really. There’s no clear guide on what to look for and that’s because it’s something we don’t speak about enough. But here at Earth + Society it’s one of our top priorities - and so is educating the amazing women who wear our clothes.
The question we’re answering today is: what should you be looking for to figure out if your clothes have actually been sustainably produced?
What does ‘sustainable’ clothing ACTUALLY mean?
It’s always a good idea to know what you’re talking about before you get into a subject. So we’ve referred to Wikipedia for an internet agreed definition:
Sustainable clothing refers to fabrics derived from eco-friendly resources, such as sustainably grown fiber crops or recycled materials. It also refers to how these fabrics are made.
So to qualify as ‘sustainable’, clothes should be made from eco-friendly resources and recycled materials. This is part of the reason that every Earth + Society piece is made using bamboo and organic dye - which are both super eco-friendly - and regenerated nylon.
Using the right materials
Garments made from vintage, upcycled or waste fabrics are fantastic but outside of this, textiles used by sustainable clothing brands (like ours!) should be made from recyclable, renewable materials like linen, hemp, or silk, organic cotton or (our personal favourite!) bamboo.
Bamboo fabrics are made from heavily pulped bamboo grass. Clothes made from bamboo are considered sustainable because they don’t require the use of pesticides and agrochemicals since bamboo is naturally disease and pest resistant - yay for bamboo!
The other thing to think about is dye. It can be hard to know the origins dye but it’s a super important one to check since non-organic textile dyes are often very toxic - both for your body and the environment! At Earth + Society we proudly use certified organic dye for our pieces.
Where and how your clothes are made
The other factor which should be taken into consideration is not that obvious – it’s the conditions under which your clothing is made. This can include basic factors like working hours, conditions and wages (from a human rights perspective) and also how far away your clothes were made (from an environmental impact perspective).
While there’s a lot to consider, educating yourself at a basic level is always the best place to start - and so is choosing a company like Earth + Society to help you on your sustainable fashion journey!