Can you call it green fashion?


Green is a small word used a lot by marketing people. But the issue it´s not that simple. Ecological fashion has multiple levels, depending on which part of the product chain you look at. I´ve come up with about ten different ways to use and consume fashion ecologically and ethically. If some of the terms are new to you, look them up.

For designers / fashion brands / clothes producers:
ZERO WASTE
INDUSTRY WASTE / RECYCLED MATERIALS
ORGANIC MATERIALS
FAIR TRADE
SUPPLY CHAIN VISIBILITY

For the consumer:
LOCALLY PRODUCED
CUSTOM MADE
DIY (with recycled materials)
ECOLOGICAL CARE

Prolongate the usage time:
SECOND HAND
SWAPPING
REPAIR

Guess what my studies say of these points helps the environment most and the fastest? Nope, it´s not the ways used in clothes production, but ECOLOGICAL CARE. The way we wash and care for our clothes is about 30% of the environmental impact of the garment production in total. It´s a huge impact compared to the other points as it is both a fresh water usage, power and chemical issue. Change your detergent, water wash less (ventilate more) ect. The change can be made in a day.

The second biggest point are related to production and logistical impacts so also clothes manufacturers will have to look their selves in the mirror. BUT if you only buy second hand and swap, the environmental impact of production and logistics is close to zero. That´s a big chunk.

So if you see something advertised as "green" or "environmentally friendly", ask the retailer what exactly is the point (from mentioned above). Ask for specifics. "Green" or "environmentally friendly" are fluffy expressions just to make you feel better about your consumption. It´s called green washing and it has nothing to do with laundry...



Outi Les Pyy

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2 comments:

  1. Excellent! Especially that the consumer pays a massive part in the TOTAL energy of the piece of clothing. Less washing, no tumble drying and for heavens sake no dry cleaning!

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  2. Olen niiiiiin paljon miettinyt näitä asioita viime aikoina! Ja tulut loppujen lopuksi siihen tulokseen, että on melkeinpä sama, mitä materiaalia vaate on, kunhan niitä vain ostaa tarpeeksi vähän (siis todella VÄHÄN!) ja pitää pitkään. Tietty suunnittelijoiden ja firmojen pitää miettiä, kunnolla, käytettyjä materiaaleja ja prosesseja, niillä voi olla iso vaikutus. Mutta kuluttajan pitää lähinnä miettiä oman kulutuksensa määrää.

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