With the prevalence of fast-fashion retail (or what my mother calls “disposable fashion”), it’s hard to imagine how fashion can contribute to social or environmental protection.
There are many dark secrets hidden beneath our clothing including water pollution and high energy expenditure, labor conditions, low wages, and child labor. Unfortunately, these are still ongoing issues. Fortunately, the consumers (us) are becoming more aware and demanding of fair practices and sustainability in all aspects of our lives, and that now includes fashion. We can affect change just by gaining knowledge and making choices that matter.
New and existing clothiers* have embraced being responsible and are paving the way for the future of the industry. Even fashion-fashion retailers like H&M are seeing the necessity of being sustainable, with their program that recycles old clothing and donates to charities.
There are even some B Corp certified fashion brands, including Patagonia, Eileen Fisher, Reformation, and Warby Parker. Here’s the full list
*According to Merriam-Webster, this is in the bottom 30% of words, which I think is a bummer
Please enjoy John Oliver yelling at you about this subject: