What is ethical/sustainable fashion? Is sustainable fashion affordable?

Brands across the world have recently started working with materials that one could never imagine in the fashion industry. From using pineapple leaves and recycled plastic bottles to organic cotton, companies and customers alike are progressively finding interest in creating and buying ethically/sustainably made garments and accessories.

This wave of change was caused due to the detrimental changes in the climate  when people realised that small lifestyle changes were key to fixing the bigger problem at hand. But there is still a major chunk of shoppers that are quite unaware of everything that sustainable fashion involves, which leads to tonnes of annual textile wastage. To understand this industry better, take a look at the breakdown of sustainable fashion and its features including affordability:

So, what does sustainable fashion mean?

Sustainable fashion is the process of manufacturing and selling fashionable items like clothes, shoes and accessories with methods that help or heal the environment as opposed to hurting it. This ethical and eco-friendly way of trading also includes recycling, reusing, upcycling and most importantly, restoration of items in place of merely picking up newer ones just to keep up with the ever-changing trends. Sustainable fashion also focuses on utilising lesser hazardous chemicals and finding alternatives to fibres or crops that require heavy use of pesticides. This keeps the environment in check and allows some breathing space (literally), for the upcoming generations.

In simple terms, sustainable fashion works as an opposite choice to ‘fast fashion’ – a very popular idea that encourages buyers to repeatedly and rapidly use and throw clothes to match fashion trends. Fast fashion thrives on profits which means high volume production and heaps of water wastage with a decent price tag that is enough to attract customers while making them forget about the earth.

Sounds expensive? Think again.

Most shoppers dismiss the idea of sustainable fashion thinking it might be heavy on the pocket. The concept of additional procedures and fabric alternatives gives out the idea that this form of fashion comes with extra costs, pushing them further away. While this might be true on some level for high end brands that try to minimise wastage as much as possible, it isn’t the whole truth.

Brands around the world are trying to find better ways to make ethical fashion both – accessible and affordable. Some labels donate a large chunk of their profits to charities, others ensure giving their workers fair wages and managing the volume of production. Being eco-friendly also revolves around buying clothes that have been worn before or created out of previously used materials making it an affordable and easy option. Borrowing and renting services allow buyers to be sustainable as they discourage the concept of using a piece of clothing or accessory for just one event before putting it in the trash.

That said, like any other industry, sustainable fashion also relies heavily on customer demand. Higher the demand, cheaper the products (due to the rise in volume of production). Communities need to understand the importance of this movement and invest more in the sustainable industry, while shoppers need to make smarter choices while shopping to make these items as affordable as the ones that exist in fast fashion. Supporting labels like ATHAH that work constantly and solely to produce ethical fashion goes a long way in meeting evolving demands of the public as it boost production and brings rightful attention.

Summing up:

While it is next to impossible for clothing manufacturers to create zero waste in their processes, several of them have decided to start their journey towards being more ethical and eco-friendly in their businesses. ATHAH is no different, we focus on creating a stylish clothing line for women that strikes an important balance between being trendy and comfortable. From our dresses and shorts to our blouses and jackets, our products are ethically manufactured to help the environment while you look your best!

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