The overproduction and overconsumption of cheaply made clothing are killing the planet, animals, and people living on it. You get it and want to buy sustainable fashion but wonder how you know whether a brand is really sustainable? Easy, ask the right questions! We put together the top 5 questions to ask to help you out.
- Is it durable and high quality?
It is better to buy less but buy high quality clothing. More durable materials and well made garments mean you can enjoy them for longer keeping our planet cleaner and healthier. And yes, it may cost you extra at first but you will save money in the long run.
- What type of material is it made of?
A lot of materials used in the fashion industry (especially fast fashion) are highly polluting and wasteful. Often toxic for our skin and harmful to our health. So read the label before you click ‘Buy now’. Avoid polyester and nylon (made using fossil fuels) and choose eco-friendly and sustainable fabrics such as organic hemp, tencel, organic cotton and recycled materials.
- Is it certified by third-party organisations?
Look for certifications/standards from third-party organisations to give you assurance that the garments are manufactured responsibly with the least impact on people, animals and the environment. Here are few examples:
The Fair Wear Foundation supports the improvement of working conditions in factories.
The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) is recognised as the world's leading standard for the processing of textiles made from organically produced natural fibers.
OEKO-TEX standard- means the garment is free of harmful substances and therefore safe to humans and the environment.
- Is it cruelty- free?
Many materials in the fashion industry are made by harming and exploiting animals e.g. leather, silk and wool. It is cruel to use animal derived products or animal testing. Sustainable brands are kind to our planet and all its habitats. Look for PETA Approved or similar labels to ensure no animal has suffered in the process.
- What are the values behind the brand?
Ask a brand what their values are, this will tell you a lot about them. Are they transparent, accountable, and accessible? If they avoid answering your questions you might want to go somewhere else. You can also look up a brand’s Corporate Social Responsibility/Sustainability policy.
These are just a few questions you can ask a brand to find out if they are sustainable. What other kinds of questions would you ask? We’d love to know! And do you have any questions for us? We’re always happy to talk about sustainability with you.