Eco fashion uses eco textiles such as organic cotton or bamboo or vintage items. Those fabrics are kinder to the environment as they are grown without pesticides and insecticides. The vintage items reused help save the earth and our water by keeping these vintage items out of the waste sites.
Organic cotton is often known as the natural fiber, conventional cotton uses around 9% of the world’s agrochemical pesticides, about 20% of the world’s insecticides and 8% of the world’s chemical fertilizers. This is because cotton flowers are very prone to attacks from insects forcing conventional cotton growers to use high levels of chemicals and genetically modified seeds. A typical conventional cotton t-shirt uses about 150 grams of very toxic pesticides and insecticides. Keeping these fabrics out of the landfills is a must.
A love of fashion and vintage is used to tackle domestic abuse and to empower women. In Port Talbot, South Wales a company called Material Girls. It uses volunteers from the charity to run this shop and all proceeds are reinvested into the charity.
This charity is Port Talbot and Afan Women’s Aid to provide support for women and children who have been involved with domestic abuse. It was founded in 1979. One thing supported is emergency housing so the women and children can rebuild their lives and move forward. PTAWA offers support services that prevent the cycle of domestic abuse
This charity has used the proceeds from their fashions to operate a safe house and accommodated nearly a thousand women and 1200 of their children. They have a 24 hour service for the community. They also offer services exclusively to aid children impacted by domestic abuse and early intervention for fathers and couples.
PTAWA has created its own social enterprise in order to help them become more sustainable and generate funds to help them provide full support for those affected by domestic abuse. Material Girls was created as a business that takes vintage clothing that they repair and donate.
At Material Girls, they work to generate donations of clothing and accessories that they repair and sell online in their online boutique or on eBay. They also sell at other events. All profits are used to keep running the charity.
Eco fashion also uses upcycled materials such as wood, plastics or leftover fabrics to transform waste into clothes. By using upcycled fabrics has a lesser impact on the environment.
But eco fashion does not only benefit the environment and our health, it also benefits the community. With fair trading practices it enables disadvantaged communities to earn a decent living far away from sweatshops that plague conventional fast fashion. Different schemes/certifications exist around the world to ensure a fairer deal and that no child labor is used.
Eco fashion takes vintage items and material to make runway-ready fashion. It is not plain, earthy and unattractive as eco fashion was once thought to be. Eco fashion follows some runway trends with innovate ways. Eco fashion researches the top trends of the current year and designs fashion items from that.
What makes eco fashion different from conventional clothes is not their style but the fabrics and vintage material used and the way it is manufactured. Eco fashion is handmade, making it one-of-kind, art-to-wear at reasonable prices. In a world of fast, cheap and disposable clothes that may or may not be made in “sweat shops” by under privileged children, eco fashion brings us clothing made from eco textiles under fair trading practices from vintage shops that contribute to good causes and the community.
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Jo Stewart Wray