It will come as a shock to many people but the fashion industry is the second biggest polluter in the world, second only to the oil industry. Conscious fashion is a movement that is working towards rectifying this situation.
In many countries, toxic untreated wastewater is dumped directly into rivers, lakes and the sea. A scandalous 20 percent of water pollution comes from textiles being treated and dried. There are more dreadful statistics: Some estimates suggest 2 trillion litres of water are used by the fashion industry every 12 months. In some instances, 200 tonnes of water are required to dye just one tonne of fabric! And yet, according to the World Health Authority, 1 in 3 people globally do not have access to safe drinking water.
Meanwhile, 200,000 tonnes of textile microplastic fibres find their way into our seas and oceans each and every year. These are just a handful of facts and figures to give you a sense of the toll the fashion industry takes upon this planet. This is a monumental sin that we must all do something about.
What is conscious fashion?
Conscious fashion is one of the ways this dreadful situation can be rectified. Conscious fashion seeks to reduce the human impact on the environment, human health, and animal welfare. This is achieved by significantly reducing water use, avoiding toxic chemicals, using sustainable recyclable materials, and using cruelty-free products. But conscious fashion goes much further than this. Those of us who really care about positively changing the way the fashion industry operates hope to ultimately influence the whole structure and system of the industry from the sourcing of materials to educating customers and changing their buying habits, to drastically improving workers’ pay and conditions throughout the whole supply chain. By transforming the way we look at fashion today we can positively change the way things are done and help guarantee there is a future for this planet and all that reside here.
Why is it important to know where your clothing is made?
Many clothes manufacturers do not give any consideration to the negative impact they are having upon the local ecosystem or the people and creatures that live there. They certainly aren’t concerned that their actions are killing the planet and causing pain and misery to millions of people and other sentient beings far away from them on this earth. Sadly, the fashion industry is still primarily interested in the bottom line: profit and sales.
It is important to know where clothing is made because by discovering this, you can know whether the clothes you purchase and wear are having a detrimental effect on this world or not. By choosing to purchase environmentally conscious fashion from companies that genuinely practice conscious fashion and not from the ones that don’t we can make positive change happen. By choosing not to purchase your clothes from companies that lie and pretend they practice conscious fashion but are actually greenwashing, we can force the fashion industry into positively changing the way it operates.
How can we find out where clothing is made?
The general rule of thumb here is transparency. By taking a look at fashion companies we can usually quickly ascertain whether they are genuinely practicing conscious fashion or not. Many of the big brands now claim they practice environmentally conscious fashion but more often than not are guilty of greenwashing as their product range is simply too large and diverse to possibly be able to offer this reality without completely overhauling the way they do things. If we want to understand where clothing is made and whether a fashion company is practicing conscious fashion, consider:
- Researching a company’s sustainability and ethics policy.
- Is that company’s social media consistent and on point about this topic?
- What does that company say on their website about conscious fashion?
- Look for positive and negative news stories about that company’s business practices
- Check product reviews
- Look for third-party certificates
- Ask yourself whether this clothing brand is behaving transparently about its practices throughout the whole supply chain and in its marketing and sales.
What is HAV doing to change the way people think about fashion?
Humans Are Vain is actively trying to change the way people think about fashion. We realise this is not a simple task and that it is something that needs years of action and good practices to make the changes we want to see happen, happen. We are changing the way people think about fashion by:
- Creating ethical vegan clothing products that do not harm the planet
- Using materials in our products that do not end up as trash in the oceans
- Designing high quality long-lasting and timeless environmentally conscious fashion
- Considering our carbon footprint in every action we take
- Supporting charities, NGOs, organisations, and like-minded individuals who actively work to protect the planet and its oceans.
- Developing the next generation of sustainable materials.
- Developing the next generation of sustainable production methods.
- Rejecting the take-make-waste industrial model and, instead, practicing a circular economy model that will lead to designing out waste and pollution, and keeps materials in use.
- Working solely with ethical factories in Europe.
- Showing that vegan sustainable products offer maximum quality, comfort and style.
- Providing those who wish to buy fashion with a better alternative.
And...always remaining transparent and honest about our business practices through every single stage of the production cycle from sourcing materials to shipping the finished product.
Fast Fashion or Conscious Fashion?
The cost of looking stylish and fashionable not only hits our pockets; it hits the environment too.
Fast fashion is mass-produced poor-quality clothing that is cheap and disposable. Close to 100 billion garments are manufactured every year. Yes, 100 billion! It is absolutely mind-boggling. Clearly, things need to change and they need to change quickly.
Ironically, Fast Fashion often ends up costing you more as an individual consumer. Those cheap 20 euro sneakers that only lasted you 3 months need to constantly be replaced. Investing instead in a pair of high quality, sustainably made sneakers that are likely to stay in style might well end up saving you more money in the long run. Very often in life, it pays to buy less and buy better! Indeed, Fast Fashion is often a state of mind. Consuming fast fashion it might be argued makes us more likely to consume faster lower-quality news (free MSM) which diminishes our brains, and consume poorer cheaper fast food which ultimately diminishes our health.
5 ways you can change the world as consumers
As a consumer, you have much more power than you imagine. If you want to positively change the world of fashion, here are some suggestions as to how you personally can make a difference:
- Boycott companies that are operating unethically. By hitting the big players where it hurts them most - in the pocket - they will be forced into thinking differently about how they do things and will act more sustainably in the future. Vote with your purse or wallet!
- Invest in timeless, high quality, cruelty-free environmentally conscious fashion
- Influence your friends by discussing this topic and educating them.
- Follow like-minded ethical brands and individuals online.
- Don't be a slave to fashion! Choose experiences over things!
What are we doing right now?
Actions speak louder than words so we Humans Are Vain are practicing what we preach by producing high-quality cruelty-free leather products made from natural byproducts such as pineapple skin. These ethical vegan clothing products are cruelty-free, with no animal byproducts. Not only this but these products are produced with reduced water usage, and by avoiding toxic chemicals. All our latest products are 100% vegan as always and hand-made in Portugal using the very latest advances in sustainable materials.
What is our future vision for Humans Are Vain?
Our vision is to create the most sustainable production methods possible. To this end, we are currently pioneering new developments in vegan sustainable materials and production methods. We have several projects up and running including our groundbreaking research in collaboration with Stockholm University to 3D print footwear and accessories from old discarded clothes and textile waste. All of our latest developments are regularly announced on our social media pages and website. We hope to have a market-ready 3D printed product by 2023. And, of course, we have many other ideas that we are beginning to work on that we believe will positively change the face of fashion forever!