SLOW, SUSTAINABLE FASHION
The rise of fashion to save the planet
How many shirts do you own in the same colour? Think about every time you saw a “two for the price of one” deal and couldn’t resist a bargain. Think about every sweater you claimed you needed. Think about every trend you couldn’t miss and ended up buying a ‘here today, gone tomorrow’ item. How many clothes sit in your closet that you never wear?
Now think about what happens to all the clothes you donate or sell.
The problem with falling for fast fashion
The truth is that the clothes we give away likely end up in the same place that the majority of garments that don’t get sold end up – in the landfill or incinerator.
And as they sit in the landfill to decompose, they release methane – a greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming. What makes methane particularly nasty and devastating to the climate is how it absorbs the sun’s heat. In the first two decades of its release into the atmosphere, it’s more potent than carbon dioxide.
That’s not all. Because textiles often contain dyes and other toxic substances due to the chemical treatments they undergo before they are ready for market, the textile waste disintegrates into a poison that seeps into the soil and groundwater.
There’s also the issue of textile waste that doesn’t decompose because they’re made of synthetic fabrics. Did you know that human-made textiles such as lycra and polyester take hundreds of years to biodegrade?
The fashion industry’s dirty little secrets
Textile waste overwhelming landfills isn’t the only disaster impacting our environment.
Few brands will ever admit that unsold clothes go through incineration. And that’s why programmes like Operation X have exposed the systematic practice of waste incineration by several high street brands. They are doing it to protect their coveted intellectual property and exclusivity.
When the unsold stock goes up in flames, the environment pays the price. By incinerating textiles, carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere, exacerbating global warming. And when the clothing contains synthetic fabrics, incineration leads to the release of plastic microfibers into the atmosphere, further contributing to harmful air pollution.
Who is to blame for fast fashion?
Clothing consumption is at an all-time high. And because of it, so is fast fashion and fashion waste.
But who do we blame for fashion waste? Are the fast fashion clothing manufacturers and retailers who produce clothing at excessive rates at fault? Or should the consumers who don’t consider their carbon footprint and how they contribute to the cycle be held responsible?
The fashion industry will reason that they’re merely trying to meet the demands of the public. Consumers, on the other hand, may say that they had no idea how their actions impact the environment and say that the clothing manufacturer has to act responsibly.
Stopping the blame game and taking responsibility
Fortunately, the rise of slow, sustainable fashion is forcing fast-fashion to slow down. More and more eco-friendly brands are emerging, proving that there are alternatives to synthetic fabrics; which dominate in fast-fashion because they’re so inexpensive to mass produce.
We see more brands who have come up with patented processes for recycling textiles rather than allowing old clothes to end up in landfills. We understand the rise of clothing designers who put more value in the creation of apparel that boasts form and function rather than follows fleeting fashion trends.
Clothing manufacturers who practice slow fashion know that the secret to promoting sustainability is by providing consumers with more options. They want the market to not only demand transparency but also call out for more creativity.
Because the fashion industry has such a significant social and economic influence, many responsible brands are taking on the challenge to make a change for the better and put a stop to careless consumption while there’s still time.
How you can help fast track slow-fashion
Stand up for sustainable fashion. Slow fashion and intelligent consumers must rise together. Demand transparency from the brands you purchase. Care enough to know where your clothing comes from, how they were made, and who distributes them.
Educate yourself, do your research, and find companies that are transparent about their processes. Only buy from those who align what they claim with what they do. You’d be surprised by how many brands claim to be advocates of sustainable fashion by using only recycled materials and yet continue with practices that are wasteful and harmful to the environment.
The OORR difference
At OORR, we embody sustainability in all our processes and practices. Not only do our fabrics contain between 35%-75% recycled materials but it’s important to us that the majority of OORR production is carried out in one city; by streamlining transport, we help reduce carbon emissions.
We also use carbon neutral shipping within Australia via Sendle, and all of OORR packaging is made using recycled or eco-friendly materials.
Before buying from a brand, regardless of how well-known, learn about their processes. Do they practice and promote sustainability? Check the labels. What fabric is the garment made of? Is it synthetic?
At OORR, our cycling apparel is made with unique fabric, incorporating used coffee grounds and recycled plastic bottles. Our fabrics wick moisture more effectively and dry 25% faster than other technical polyester fabrics. And because of the coffee, the material boasts permanent anti-odour qualities.
We also prove that using recycled products does not mean you must sacrifice performance, comfort or style. Not only does this combination look and feel awesome (oops, I meant to say OORRsome), the technical execution is arguably better than fabrics used by other high-end manufacturers.
Together, we can challenge consumer perception of recycled materials, and change purchasing habits. When you support brands like ours, you contribute to promoting a shift in the broader market towards production that is good for the planet.
At OORR, we believe that demanding performance from your apparel shouldn't cost the earth.
All of our jerseys and athletic tops use this technology, and OORR is the only manufacturer in the world currently offering this unique option for your cycling or athletic apparel needs. Take your passion for sustainability, coffee, and fitness to the next level, and shop now. CLICK HERE