No true fashion lover likes seeing clothes go to waste. Remember this quote everytime you're out retail hunting. It's sales time, and many of you are already out there combing the stores looking for the best discounts. Buying something at half price may make you feel great for a while, even though you know that you'll never wear most of that stuff. But before you continue filling the trolley, take some time to ask yourself a question: If you buy an extra t-shirt, do you think you will wear it at least 30 times? This is how you know if it's really a sustainable purchase.
The key to eco-fashion is to find solutions to be able to fully reuse and recycle all textile fibres and minimise the risks of garments ending up in the dump.
Eco-fashion is clothing made out of green materials that don't harm our environment. Many people don't realise the negative impact that textiles and unnecessary clothing purchases have on the environment.
If clothing has hit the end of its life cycle, there are ways to recycle it. Here are some eco-friendly fashion habits:
- Textiles can be recycled back into raw materials and turned into new products.
- Encourage hand-me-down clothing.
- Repair or tailor your classic jeans and turn them into fitted skinny jeans instead of throwing them away.
- Give clothes you no longer need to friends or family members.
- Up-cycle clothing or textiles into something new.
- Avoid buying a one-time dress to attend a wedding and borrow it from a friend.
- Support clothing manufacturers who use eco-friendly materials.
- Rock your classic clothes with your newbies in many different ways.
If your clothes have definitely hit the end of their life cycle, there is no need to dump them. Think about how many people in the world could make use of them. The textile recycling statistics are cruel. For example, an average US citizen throws away 70 pounds of clothing annually.
The world is using more resources than is advisable for the health of the planet, and our wardrobes are no exception. At least 95% of the clothes sent to landfill could have been recycled.
For example, most polyester clothes are already made of 100% recycled polyester alongside up to 20% recycled cotton or wool fibres without any reduction in durability.
Closing the cycle
Nearly 150 million tons of clothing are sold worldwide every year, and 85% are later buried or burnt instead of returning into the loop again.
There is a significant lack of consumer awareness, and we seriously need to change our consuming system. The take, make and dispose of formula must no longer be acceptable.
The take-back system is already successfully used by many companies like H&M who in 2013 started the race against the problem and began collecting second-hand clothes in all their stores worldwide. The idea is that the products circulate in a closed circuit and be used repeatedly for the production of new products.
H&M wants people to drop off whatever they no longer need and give them a new purpose. The clothes are sorted into various categories: rewear (clothing that can be worn again), reuse (textiles to be turned into other products, such as cleaning cloths) and recycle (everything else, to be turned into textile fibres). Since they started, they’ve given more than 32,000 tons of clothes a new life. H&M has stated that by 2030 everything inside their stores will come from sustainable sources.
This easy process helps them reduce the natural resources they need to make new garments. When you drop off your clothes, they give you a discount on your next purchase and from every kilo of clothes collected part of the money is donated to local charity.
Other brands like Adidas have even teamed up with environmental initiatives like Parley for the Oceans, Together they have created the UltraBoost shoe made out of plastics found in the ocean. Three versions of this shoe were launched, and the German sports brand sold 1 million pairs last year. Each pair of shoes reuses 11 plastic bottles.
At Porto Brazil, we strive for innovation and style offering textile and services with a proposition to provide more friendly products for the environment. The brand has an outstanding presence in the Brazilian beachwear fashion scene, always prioritising for a creative and innovative dynamism and looking for sustainable garments. Porto Brazil´s products are certified with the Oeko-Tex 100 – Class I, which verifies the non-existence of toxic products.
Our manufacturer in Brazil makes sustainable use of industrial wastewater in the printing process, using recycled water during this stage and avoiding the use of drinking water. The company also has the European Flax certification that guarantees the origin of the linen Porto Brazil uses, ensuring the use of non-polluted soil from its source in the plantation. The collection is made of biodegradable Amni Soul Eco nylon, DuPont’s APEXA compostable polyester fibre and Micro modal and Tencel cellulosic fibres, known worldwide for their environmental certifications such as the European Eco-Label.
In Spain, Ecoalf represents the intent to create a sustainable fashion brand. The company manages the full process from waste collection to recycling, manufacture, design and retail. Fishing nets, plastic bottles, old car tires and industrial cotton are turned into swimsuits, sneakers and accessories. All are 100% recycled materials.
Also, especially significant is Bethany Williams, a British brand that promotes the values of recycling and organises workshops for people with social integration problems, teaching them to create textiles based on packaging materials.
In Asia, brands like Doodlage are proving sustainability and innovation using eco-friendly materials like organic cotton, corn, banana and other materials, which are left unused by other retailers. Doodlage takes advantage of the tons of waste produced by India, Bangladesh and China to create their garments from bits and pieces from the leftovers.
Apart from all these kind of textiles, many other Eco-Friendly materials can green your wardrobe
1. Organic Wool - A fabric that´s fire-resistant and doesn’t require chemical inputs. Produced from humanely-treated animals and using sustainable practices.
2. Recycled polyester - It comes from polyester fabric and soda bottles and is 75% less contaminant than the first polyester.
3. Hemp - Doesn´t require pesticides or fertilisers, it´s easy to grow and doesn’t deplete soil nutrients.
4. Bamboo - Biodegradable and grown with few chemical inputs
5. Soy cashmere - Made from soy protein fibre leftovers.
6. Organic cotton - Grown free of toxic and chemical inputs. More than 25% of the pesticides in the world are used in conventional cotton production. Try to look for natural dyes from organic cotton.
The tide of plastic
Collins Dictionary has recently named "single-use" the word of the year. There is definitely a global conversation out there about the more than 16 billion pounds of plastic entering the sea every year. Every day countless fish, mammals and seabirds are affected and die on every shore of the planet.
Many notable stories about single-use plastics have made the headlines this year. Not long ago, a plastic bag was found in the deepest part of the Atlantic ocean, at the Mariana Trench, where the water also contains thousands of pieces of plastics. Also, during another oceanographic investigation, every sea turtle studied by a group of British scientists had microplastics in its stomach. Especially heartbreaking was the footage of the 30-foot whale spotted dead on the coasts of Indonesia. The animal had consumed dozens of pounds of plastic and even had a pair of flip-flops inside.
It's time we all think about how to pitch in a little more so that these situations don't repeat themselves. But plastic isn't the only problem. Agricultural business is a severe threat for places like the Amazonian forest, especially since Tereza Cristina, leader of the farming group in the parliament, was named Minister of Agriculture of Brazil by President Jair
Bolsonaro. The government intends to overexploit the natural sources of the forest (water, minerals, oil and wood among others). This will affect protected areas, promoting the use of agrotoxins and the cultivation of transgenic crops threatening the aboriginal communities and the preservation of biodiversity in general. The Amazon rainforest is a key to combat the effects of climate change and carbon emissions, as well as for human survival in general.
Protecting it is a necessity and an obligation.
The actress Emma Watson put sustainable fashion into the spotlight when she decided to wear a custom-made Calvin Klein dress to attend a Gala in 2016. The suit was made of plastic bottles and was entirely sustainable. Rather than making the plastic part of the problem, the containers were used to tailor Emma’s dress as part of the solution. The suit included three clothing elements: trousers, a skirt, and a top and was designed to be re-worn in many different ways. The British starlet recently decided that all her public appearances would be sustainable fashion.
“The fashion industry is one of the highest pollutants of fresh water on the planet…It has a huge environmental impact…It’s not enough for me anymore that it’s a beautiful item or a beautiful piece, I want to be sure that it’s not leaving a negative mark.”, stated the actress during one of her red-carpet appearances.
TNC, an international organization dedicated to the conservation of biodiversity and nature, suggests that the best way of supporting sustainability in the world of fashion is extending the life of our clothes to the maximum and as an alternative, acquiring second-hand garments, recycling those that don't fit us anymore and repairing the damaged ones before deciding to trash them.
If you decide to join the eco-friendly fashion trend, Porto Brazil gives you the opportunity to look radiant next spring-summer season without having to worry about the environmental impact. Our eco-friendly fabrics are wholly sustainable from the first day.