We understand that the word sustainable is booming right now and in lots of the cases it is used only in order to sell the product when having little in common with the true meaning of sustainability. This is when another word - greenwashing comes along with the meaning that the companies want to look better than they really are. So what does sustainable fashion really mean?
Before getting deeper, let’s take a look at the official meaning of sustainability, which was defined in 1987 by the United Nations Brundtland Commission: “Sustainability is meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
Fashion brands, as every other brand can be evaluated by using ESG criteria which stands for Enovironmental, Social and Governance aspects. What do they mean and how can we asses whether fashion brand or it’s goods are sustainable or not? From our point of view, brand sustainability can be easily evaluated with the help of such questions:
- Is clothing made from natural materials that are biodegradable?
- Were toxic chemicals, dyes and bleaches used in clothing creation process?
- Are local communities suffering from fresh water contamination & animal extinction?
- Is the creation process generating more CO2 than it‘s actually required?
- Is the company’s surplus of clothing being wasted and polluting our planet?
- Are workers ensured with safe working conditions with no harm to their health?
- Are workers being paid fair wage? Or more than average wage in the market?
- Do you know whether your clothes were made by children or forced labour?
- Does the fashion brand give back to the local community?
- Is diversity of employees encouraged and supported?
- Do you know if company’s tax strategy is honest and fair?
- Are you sure that the company is not involved in corruption, bribery or lobbying?
- Is gender diversity encouraged?
Be curious and ask questions. Take your time to figure out whether the company is actualy trying to do everything in their hands to be more sustainable or do they just pretend to look better in the competitive market. We challenge you to be reponsible & conscious buyer. Big changes come from small steps!