Sustainable fashion

Sustainable fashion is a part of the growing design philosophy and trend of sustainability, whose goal is to create a system which can be supported indefinitely in terms of environmentalism, economics, and social responsibility. Sustainable fashion or "ethical fashion" or "green fashion" is part of the larger trend of sustainable design where a product is created and produced with the consideration of its total life span and the impact that product on the planet, also know as a product's "carbon footprint". According to the May 2007 "Vogue" appears not to be a short-term trend but one could last multiple seasons."Earth to Fashion." "Vogue" (May 2007). 128-132.] While environmentalism used to be manifest in fashion through a percentage of sales being donated to a charitable cause, fashion designers are reducing impacts at the source by making conscious decision to use more environmentally friendly materials and socially responsible methods in clothing production.

According to [http://earthpledge.org/ Earth Pledge] , a non-profit organization (NPO) committed to promoting and supporting sustainable development, "At least 8,000 chemicals are used to turn raw materials into textiles and 25% of the world's pesticides are used to grow non-organic cotton. This causes irreversible damage to people and the environment, and still two thirds of a garment's carbon footprint will occur after it is purchased." [ [http://earthpledge.org/ff Future Fashion ] ]

Materials

There are many factors when considering the sustainability of a material. The renewability and source of a fiber, the process of how a raw fiber is turned into a textile, the working conditions of the people producing the materials, and the marterials total carbon footprint.

Natural fibers

Natural Fibers are fibers which are found naturally in nature. Natural fibers can be categorized into two main groups, cellulose or plant fiber and protein or animal fiber.

Cellulose

Cotton is one of the most widely grown and chemical-intensive crops in the world. [ [http://www.sustainablecotton.org/html/who_we_are.html SCP | Who we are ] ] . Conventionally grown cotton uses approximately 25% of the worlds insecticides and more than 10% of the worlds pesticides. [ [http://www.organicexchange.org/Documents/oe_brochure.pdf OC_legal ] ] . Other cellulose fibers include:
Jute,Flax,Hemp,Ramie,Abaca,Soy, Banana, Pineapple.

Protein

Wool,
Silk,
Angora,
Camel,
Alpaca,
Lama,
Vicuna,
Cashmere,
Mohair

Manufactured

from natural materials:
Lyocell,
Polylactic acid or PLA (Corn Polymer)

Designers

Designers say that they are trying to incorporate these sustainable practices into modern clothing, rather than producing "dusty, hippy-looking clothes." Sustainable fashion is typically more expensive than clothing produced by conventional methods.

Several celebrities and designers such as Bono and Stella McCartney have recently drawn attention to socially-conscious and environmentally friendly fashion.Fact|date=August 2007 The "hot ticket" of the Fall 2007 fashion week was the Edun show showcasing sustainable fashion while songs about war, climate change, and gasoline were performed. Portland Fashion Week, which has featured sustainable designers and apparel since 2005, has also attracted international press for its efforts to showcase sustainable designs in a 100% eco-friendly and sustainable production this year. [ [http://www.portlandfashionweek.net/news/2007/book-moda.htm Portland Fashion Week (October 19-24, 2007) ] ] An increasing number of Hollywood celebrities have been associated with sustainable fashion, including Natalie Portman, Cameron Diaz, Alicia Silverstone, Jennifer Anistonand Selma Hayek.Fact|date=August 2007

Critics of sustainable fashion have argued that the trend merely seeks to stamp high-priced luxury goods with a seal of liberal social approval.Fact|date=August 2007.

Other major criticisms about "sustainable fashion" are that the underlying characteristics of constantly changing fashions means that clothes are not meant to be worn until they are no longer useful and end up being discarded rather than being recycled, or if recycled, then well before the useful life of the garment is reached thus eliminating much of the intended environmental benefit. This is a problem with all fashion and especially to the designers in this niche segment of the industry. Another problem is the use of farm land to produce lower yielding "all-natural" plant materials without the benefit of high-yield modern farming practices such as the use of genetically modified plant strains, high nitrogen fertilizers and pesticides. Lower yielding farm land usually requires the same amount of labor per acre as farm land that uses modern industrial practices to produce sometimes several times more per acre thus leaving an actually larger carbon footprint.

ee also

*Fair Trade
*Cotton
*Sustainability
*Organic Baby Products

References

External links

* [http://www.bbc.co.uk/blast/fashion/downloads/ Customise your clothes with BBC Blast]
* [http://www.bbc.co.uk/blast/downloads/blastcasts/watch_ecofashion.shtml Tamsin Lejeune and Elizabeth Laskar talk about eco-fashion with BBC Blast]
* [http://www.bbc.co.uk/blast/fashion/articles/what_is_ethical_fashion.shtml What is Ethical Fashion?]
* [http://www.bbc.co.uk/blast/fashion/articles/organic_and_eco_fashion.shtml Organic and Eco Fashion]
* [http://www.bbc.co.uk/blast/fashion/articles/fair_trade_and_fashion.shtml Fair Trade and Fashion]
* [http://www.bbc.co.uk/blast/fashion/articles/recycling_and_customisation.shtml Recycling and Customisation]
* [http://www.bbc.co.uk/thread BBC Thread - Eco Fashion]


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