Clothes

Ethical and Sustainable Clothing in NYC

Ask yourself…how ethical is my wardrobe?

New terms like sustainable fashion and ethical wear-ability are spreading like wildfire both on the runway and on the streets. From NY to Tokyo young and old are starting to use umbrella terms like ethical fashion and slow fashion. Similar to the slow-movement, slow fashion advocates environmental control, and fair labor practices.

New values placed on upgrading standards of ethical labor, fair trade and the environment are changing both manufacturing practices and design. And that is just the tip of the iceberg. The time has come to research where that new sweater of yours was made, how it was transported to this country as well as how eco-friendly the material is.

It has been a long time coming, but change is in the air.

For generations, pollution, excessive waste and human exploitation have all been an ugly aspect of the fashion world. Growing cotton absorbs precious water and resources from nations where water is precious. Synthetic fabrics release toxic waste into main waterways and harmful microfibers kill underwater life.

In fashion for 2019, sustainable clothing NYC is taking a holistic new approach to ethical clothing. Manufacturing and design approaches are both going through a complete overhaul of change. Designers are using a more conscientious approach. With mainstream brand names now heeding the smaller brands that first had the courage to begin this sustainable and ethical fashion revolution, the change is real.

So, what fabrics are hot, and which are not, you may ask?

Look for new vegan materials, eco-cotton and recycled fabrics. New fabrics are both lush and comfy from Tencel, a fabric woven from eucalyptus trees on the rise, as well as a processed beech tree fiber called modal. Reclaimed fabrics are emerging as alternative options for sustainable clothing NYC. Companies are becoming increasingly more conscientious in their efforts to refrain from filling our already overfilled landfills.

Currently dominating the clothing industry, is polyester, which is found in 60 percent of clothing. It has been well-loved since its invention in the ’70s for its long-lasting durability, comfort as well as its stretch capacity. It holds its shape well and is a staple among most major brands.

Unfortunately, polyester is a plastic manufactured from crude oil and is awful for the environment. Designers are beginning to use recycled polyester, as well as sometimes sourcing plastic bottles in manufacturing.

Although this is surely a step in the right direction, polyester on its own is still a serious environmental hazard. Its fibers cause contamination into our air and waterways.

So, what can you do to live both fashion-savvy and ethically conscientious?

Just pay attention. Make good ethical and sustainable choices by buying select organic choices for your wardrobe. You may find that these options are more expensive. Which will most likely cause you to buy less, and to be more selective? Buy fabrics that feel good and look great.

This can be a good thing.

Be selective and ditch the old-fashioned fast fashion notion of seasonal Disposal. Only buy what you love and recycle when you can. The more we can shy away from the common American view towards fashion the better. Americans still throw away more than 13 million tons of clothing each year.

While Europeans are known to keep clothing for years before recycling. If each of us committed to purchasing fewer, better-quality clothes at a higher price we would mark a major step toward reducing that waste.

As Coco Chanel said, “Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.”

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