You may be hearing a lot about sustainable fashion these days. Companies that work in this area of the fashion industry aim to lessen human impact on our environment while promoting social responsibility. Many of the materials used in production are recycled, organic, or highly sustainable. The companies behind these labels make sure their workers are treated fairly and do everything they can to decrease our environmental footprint. Why does that matter?
The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that 84% of unwanted clothes from the U.S. go to landfills and incinerators. The chemicals from these items end up in our groundwater and, if burned, are released as toxins into our air. Synthetic fibers take hundreds, if not thousands, of years to biodegrade!
Often inexpensive “fast fashion” (clothing made by manufacturers who get the latest trends to the marketplace as quickly and cheaply as possible) comes at a high humanitarian cost. The people who make these articles of clothing in developing nations work in under horrific conditions for minimal pay. The documentary The True Cost paints an eye-opening picture of this reality. In it, you’ll see that people who work in the fashion industry are essentially slaves. They’re sickened by the pesticides sprayed over the cotton crops used to make the garments to the tune of cancer, deformities, severe depression and suicides. Their children are born with disabilities. It’s really hard to watch that and then go back to your old ways of shopping! Is that $5 shirt really worth it after all?
We as consumers are encouraged to buy more simply because clothes cost so little. Our society teaches that the more we have, the happier we’ll be, but many of us are starting to awaken from this slumber. Is life really about quantity or quality?
When you buy from a sustainable clothing company like prAna, for example, you can feel good knowing you’re participating in a number of forward-thinking initiatives. They promote ethical fair trade practices ensuring garment workers have safe working conditions, a voice in the workplace, higher earnings, and that women are treated equally. The company is a member of the Fair Labor Association, which works to improve conditions in the factories where their products are made. While prAna uses recycled paper in their offices, stores, and packing materials, they also take protecting the earth a step further by working to eliminate any wood fibers in their fabrics harvested from endangered, ancient forest regions. The majority of their products are shipped without the use of polybags, which only end up in landfills and oceans.
Are you starting to understand the difference a sustainable fashion manufacturer can make?
The good news is that more companies are getting onboard with this movement. The Sustainable Apparel Coalition exists to improve the apparel, footwear, and home textiles industries so that they’ll produce no unnecessary environmental harm and actually have a positive impact on the people and communities associated with their activities. You can find a huge list of companies who have teamed up with them on their website. Consider supporting only those companies who are making an effort to change.
For this post I'm wearing the Liana Sweater in a lightweight blend of soft Hemp and Organic Cottton. For the weather we're currently experiencing, I layered it with a cami so that I could stay cool. The wide neck gives it a casual feel while the asymmetrical hem totally makes it feminine.
I'm also wearing the Mantra Pant and I have to say that this is one of the most comfortable pants I've ever worn. Now I'm 5'10" tall which isn't average for a female, and you can totally see the length on these pants. I've always had a problem finding pants that fit well, including giving me the length that I require without it looking like I'm wearing capris, these fulfilled both requirements. They are so versatile and can be worn from morning to night flawlessly, you wouldn't even want to change out of them.
So if you were still on the fence on whether or not sustainable clothing is right for you, I hope I was able to convince you, and if I was, why not give prAna a try, you won't regret it!
Where to purchase prAna
prAna clothing is available to purchase online at prAna.com and in some retail locations in cities and stores like REI. To find prAna in your area, visit: prana.com/dealer-locator.html for the full list of locations.
Here are the ways that you can connect with prAna