Does Eco-Friendly Clothing Really Matter?

Have you ever become really passionate about a cause only to have it shut down right in front of you? I can imagine this is the case only too often. However, in my opinion, incidences like these should not be discouraging. Instead, they should be viewed as incidences that prove the validity of the cause; incidences that show just how important the message is. They are proof of the importance of sharing the cause. Yes, ignorance is frustrating, but people cannot be blamed for what they do not know.

Upon asking someone close to me to complete the survey in last week’s blog, her response was, quite blatantly, but honest never the less, “does it really matter?” Well you can imagine the emotions that immediately fired up inside but I stopped myself from replying abruptly. The fact of the matter is that her response to the survey was important to me, regardless of what the response was to be. People who hold their image and style of high regard and do not preoccupy themselves environmental issues, are just as important as the tree hugging hippies who don’t care what the fashion is, as long as there is peace and harmony among all living things.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a happy medium; fashionable eco-friendly clothing?

The question has stuck in mind, though; “Does this really matter?” If one person is thinking it, then many others must be too.

What matters is that people are given the freedom and opportunity to wear and present themselves how they so desire. That may be utterly creative and artistic or simple and purposeful. But does this mean we jeopardise the planet in the process?

Although the overall global Co2 emissions from humans seems to have stabalised over the past 3 years (see graph (a) below from carbonbrief.org), the fashion industry remains the second largest (second to oil) polluter of the world. What people don’t know is that it is possible to change these statistics dramatically just by using alternative natural fibres and slowing down fashion with more sustainable designs… it just simply isn’t done. Well, not to a global industrial extent. This, I suppose, is the contributing factor that allows people to think that it is not important.

global-emissions-graph

I believe, as I’m sure many do, that the feelings and emotions that come from wearing something beautiful or just something that simply suits your mood are paramount in this day and age. I am by no means emitting the brilliance and creativity of fashion. But, at the same level, I am regarding the importance of making conscious environmental decisions of the highest regard.

In an interview with Derek Blasburg on CNN Style, in regards to her red carpet designer sustainable dress, Emma Watson said that “fashion is something that touches our lives every single day. We get dressed every day. I want to look good, I want to feel good, I want do good. And that to me is luxury.” Fashion allows us to express ourselves, which of course is so important. But using fashion to help us feel good while ruining the planet, which in turn affects our lives, simply does not make sense.

Fashion Futures, an initiative partnered with Levi Strauss & Co. aims to inspire the fashion industry also, by building sustainability in all that they do. Dilys Williams, the director of Sustainable Fashion at London College of Fashion says that, “Designers need to design for the future, not just for now, and Fashion Futures will challenge and inspire their thinking.” If designers hold sustainability of high importance from the beginning of the fashion industry, imagine the affect it will have on people’s perceptions of fashion now and our planet in the future.

So … coming from celebrities, huge fashion industries and foremost fashion universities… yes, it really does matter. And if it does not matter to you, that is still ok. Please do let me know, though, by completing the 3 question, 15 second survey.


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