Sustainability vs. The Fashion Industry

About a week ago, I received an email from the Girlfriend Collective. The email explained that they would increase the pricing of their clothing from $4 to $10.

The Girlfriend Collective is a clothing company that makes its clothes eco-friendly by using recycled materials and reusing offcuts to minimize text tile waste. In short, they are considered more of a sustainable clothing brand compared to a competitor like Lululemon.

After receiving the email, I started to think about sustainable clothing in general and why the cost of sustainable clothing is so high. Last year I had listened to a virtual seminar from MATE the Label, a sustainable loungewear brand. The question that was brought up the most is, “why is the brand’s clothing so expensive?” And while the company explained it was due to labor wages, the materials, and the sourcing of the products that led to higher pricing, some were still hesitant to give their money to the brand.

Sustainable and eco-friendly clothing is looked at as a privilege to buy, and I can’t help but agree. While clothing is a necessity, well-made clothing has been turned into a luxury. When a T-Shirt made from an eco-friendly company is $50 versus a T-Shirt that’s $10, most are going for the $10 shirt.

However, some things need to change.

It’s a little hypocritical when I see someone share a $500 SHEIN haul on their Tik-Tok and then claim they can’t afford to buy sustainably. Hauls, in general, need to be slowed down when a clothing item goes viral on social media, and everyone is buying it. We all know it’s not going to look good on everyone and people tend to forgo returning clothes a lot of the time. So now these brand-new clothes are piling up in landfills and creating bigger waste.

I want to clarify that I am not perfect when buying sustainably. I do buy from what is considered “fast-fashion” brands, except SHEIN. (Sorry to anyone who is reading this and shops at SHEIN. Keep shopping there if you want; I just can’t.) In the past year, I have tried to be an overall conscious consumer and become more aware of where my clothing is coming from.

This is not a post to guilt trip or shame anyone for where they get their clothes. None of us are perfect when it comes to buying sustainably, and that’s okay. Ultimately, it’s down to the big corporations to make some profound change. But I think it’s a topic that needs to be discussed, and more need to be aware of the implications of fast fashion and the harm the fashion industry is doing to the environment.

Thanks for reading!

Megan

7 comments

  1. This is such an important discussion. I’ve been trying to be sustainable for the past year and honestly fashion has been one place where I haven’t been able to wholly go sustainable. Most sustainable fashion brands are expensive but now that I have my own small sustainable brand – I understand why. Quality products, paying everyone properly in the supply chain, smaller batches, sustainable packaging, etc. – all add to the costs greatly.
    I think buying cheap, fast fashion that you can’t us for more too long is a huge issue as it creates a lot of waste. Shein, H&M, etc. – are part of that problem.
    Whereas other regular brands like M&S, Zara – do have some really good quality products that can last years.
    Also being conscious about the materials you buy is another way to be more sustainable. Mixes and poly products made from plastic – can be avoided.
    Super long comment. 🙈

    Liked by 2 people

    • I agree with everything you said!

      Fashion is an area where it’s difficult to go fully sustainable. Could it be done? Sure. But it is expensive and time consuming. But I think more people need to be aware of the impact fast fashion is having on the climate.

      You’re comment is everything I was thinking.

      Like

  2. It has honestly been a struggle for me to shop sustainably too when it comes to clothes (budget). Unfortunately I have not been able to get away from fast fashion brands but I have managed to limit the times I do go shopping. I try really hard to wash my clothes carefully to make them last too (hand wash). Thanks for the read.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sustainable clothes/brands are so expensive. I too still shop at fast fashion brands. As they are much more affordable. I always say it’s down to the big corporations to make the difference. If we are at least trying to be sustainable that is all that matters.

      Thank you for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

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