The two biggest crimes of the fashion industry are mass production followed by low quality.
Those two factors have a great impact on our Planet and our People. They continuously increase the pollution of the environment in which we live and reduce standard of living for many people worldwide.
So what should customers do in order to reduce the environmental and social costs of fast fashion?
1. BUY BETTER
Buying less but buying better is the most crucial factor in order to improve the current and future environmental situation. But what does Buying Better actually mean?
Better Quality. Generally, good quality clothes cost more. They also last longer, which in turn allows you to reduce long term spending and recede the carbon footprint of the fashion industry.
Better Design. Very original, trendy clothing usually goes out of the fashion within one season. Classic and timeless garments can last for years and always remain chic and stylish.
Better Brands. When buying new clothes, make sure that the brand you support produces their garments in ethical and socially responsible way. Usually that approach carries implications on the price as well. Remember that by paying fair, you can be sure that people involved in the production process of your clothing was paid adequate. One easy way of checking if your favorite brands follow ethical guidelines is doing quick online research about them using their own websites or press articles.
Giving Back. In LA MILLA we truly believe that Giving back to the Nature and the Society is crucial. All types of production have their own implications, but what is important, is the continuous efforts in transforming the negative impact into positive one. That makes a huge difference to the Planet and People - NOW and in the FUTURE.
2. CHOOSE NATURAL FIBERS
Natural fibers come from the earth, are easy to recycle and decompose quickly. They are also the best choice for your skin, helping it to breath freely. It is really difficult to imagine better fibre than natural one.
The most popular, fully natural, plant fibers are cotton, linen and hemp. Animal fibers like silk or wool are also natural ones, however LA MILLA chose not to focus on them, since their production raises many questions regarding ethical treatment of animals.
When choosing natural, plant fibers make sure that they are not mixed with synthetic ones like polyester or lycra. Synthetics definitely improve the performance of the textile, making it crease-resistant, stretchy or even more comfortable, but they are most certainly not environmentally friendly nor good for your skin and health.
Fully synthetic fibers are essentially plastic! They are made from synthesised chemicals, known as polymers, that are derived from petrochemicals. Their production process is long, hazardous to the environment and toxic to the workers. They also take a long time to decompose and create long-term pollution.
According to Comité International de la Rayonne et des Fibres Synthétiques (CIRFS), synthetic fibers account for 75% of all fibres produced worldwide with even higher percentage of usage in Europe.
3. DO NOT THROW AWAY
Take Care and Repair. Increasing the lifetime of the clothes you wear is the most effective way of reducing your fashion environmental impact.
Donate. If you do not need something anymore - give it away or donate it to those who may still want to use it.
Recycle. Nowadays it is very simple to look for textile recycling bins in your area. Many stationary shops offer also a garment recycling service for free.
The Boston Consulting Group calculated in 2017 (Pulse of the Fashion Industry - Report) that consumers buy 60% more clothes than in 2000, but discard them much more quickly. Overall 57% of all discarded garments ends up in landfill, which is the worst case scenario for our planet and environment.