We live in, and often live for, our clothes, yet we are not as educated as we should be as to how these clothes are made and why it matters. For those of us learning to balance our fashion interests with a conscious consumption, a wider awareness of the materials used and the environmental impacts that they have can guide us towards more sustainable decisions and choosing clothing that uses sustainable fabrics is a step in the right direction.
It is estimated that each year we consume around 80 billion pieces of clothing. Clothing is made up of materials, so producing this large volume of materials year after year puts a huge strain on the planet, both in terms of the environmental impact, such as waste and pollution, and natural resources. So, buying items made from sustainable is sure to come with its own set of benefits.
Natural materials come from and exist within nature and come from the same places that our food does. Like food, these natural materials can come from animals or plants. Plant-based materials, such as cotton, hemp, linen and raffia are very much the fruits and vegetables of our wardrobe. These materials, if produced for sustainable clothing, are often organic.
Animal-based materials, such as wool, silk cashmere and alpaca are also sustainable and viable options for clothing. Much like how meat can come from organic and sustainable farms, the same goes for our clothing.
Using organic and sustainable fabrics, such as cotton, is better for the environment as it is the result of a naturally environmentally friendly method. Producing organic cotton uses less carbon due to lesser fuel and energy consumption. As it goes through a chemical-free production process, it also helps to prevent water consumption.
Effects On Ocean Life
A lot of plastic is dumped in the oceans each and every day. Despite many positive moves in the right direction, such as the fight against plastic straws and fines on plastic bags, the ocean is still being choked with six billion tonnes of plastic packaging, pollution and waste.
Using sustainable fabrics and materials within the manufacturing process will, undoubtedly, stop even just a small percentage of these waste materials from entering and polluting the ocean further. Here at Horizon Athletic, we use our love of the ocean to help raise awareness of the issues that our planet faces, including the enormous amount of waste currently in our oceans.
We source our fabrics in order to function alongside sustainability. Our activewear and swim range is made with Econyl, which is a recycled fibre made from consumer waste and abandoned fishing nets. Econyl is woven with LYCRA® XTRA LIFE™, which is known to be up to 5 times more durable when exposed to salt water, chlorine, UV and suncreams.
Protecting The Environment
When it comes to our sustainable practices, we believe in using traceable production chains where fair working conditions are guaranteed. All of our clothing is made by trusted partners in Australia. We also use high quality and recycled textiles and our packaging is completely compostable to minimise the impact we have upon the planet and try to limit any long-term damage should any of our packaging get into inappropriate waste channels.
For some brands, their dedication to using sustainable fabrics for their products often goes further than just their products. As fashion is one of the most polluting industries in the world, brands get a satisfaction from developing their own sustainable passions and beliefs. Whether they work to replace the fashion industry standard developments and practices or donate to sustainable charities, it shows that the fashion industry is becoming more aware of the impact on the environment.