Moving Toward Sustainable Style

Written by Loren Dingwall on February 24, 2017

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It’s no secret that global warming has become a serious concern in recent years. As global warming is an issue that affects us all on some level or another, environmentally friendly consumer products have become increasingly common in our everyday lives. But how has the fashion industry responded?

As someone who loves both fashion and preserving our beautiful planet, I’ve been thrilled to see the recent attention in the fashion industry turned toward sustainable fashion. The great news is that not only are high-end brands getting in on sustainable practices, but fast-fashion retailers like H&M have started creating environmentally-conscious lines too. This trend likely won’t be going away anytime soon!

H&M’s Conscious line has been a great start for making commitments to sustainable environmental practices in the fashion industry. H&M’s line has attempted to address issues like clean water and textile waste. Their website goes into detail about how H&M is working toward more sustainable practices. For example, in 2015 H&M pledged and succeeded to make 300% more garments from recycled fabric than it did in 2014.

Fashion brands in our own backyard are making strides in promoting sustainable fashion as well. The Saltwater Collective is a Canadian brand focused on ocean conservation. All garments are made locally in Toronto and fabrics are chosen with environmental responsibility in mind.

Fashion Takes Action is Canada’s only non-profit fashion industry organization, which was founded in 2007 to show the potential for sustainable fabrics to be used in high-end garments. With over 300 partners in the Canadian apparel industry, Fashion Takes Action goes to show that Canadian brands are taking steps to collaborate with NGOs in their efforts to make fashion more sustainable.

Last but not least, I have to give a shout out to Emma Watson. The actress and activist has made supporting sustainable and conscious fashion a priority, as seen in her Instagram posts. As  part of her press tour for Beauty and the Beast, Emma started a new account called The Press Tour to profile her outfits and highlight the designers and sustainable practices behind her fabulous outfits. Though we don’t have the budget for her Louis Vuitton dress made from recycled plastics, there are definitely little ways for everyone to reduce their environmental footprint in fashion.

So what are some small things you can do, aside from supporting sustainable brands?

  • Buy used clothes – you never know what vintage finds you’ll come across!
  • Recycle your used clothes instead of tossing them. H&M has a program supporting this!
  • Or, donate your used clothes to those in need.
  • Consider buying local brands too! They may have smaller ecological footprints.
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