Did you know that the fashion industry is the third most polluting industry in the world after oil and agriculture?
Today I am sharing something a bit different, and hoping to do more written pieces like this to shed light on other aspects I am passionate about aside from food. Chris and I are, as you may have seen, including more travel and lifestyle posts on our website, and I hope you enjoy reading these as much as we enjoy putting them together!
I became more aware of ethical fashion because of a youtuber named Kristen Leo, and from there began doing more research on the subject. According to the Ethical Fashion Forum, ethical fashion “represents an approach to the design, sourcing and manufacture of clothing which maximizes benefits to people and communities while minimizing impact on the environment” >> it means benefitting, not harming, communities involved in the process and development of the clothing, as well as not harming the environment AND also (what is not emphasized) NOT harming animals.
What makes fashion “ethical”?
“1. Countering fast, cheap fashion and damaging patterns of fashion consumption
2. Defending fair wages, working conditions and workers’ rights
3. Supporting sustainable livelihoods
4. Addressing toxic pesticide and chemical use
5. Using and / or developing eco- friendly fabrics and components
6. Minimising water use
7. Recycling and addressing energy efficiency and waste
8. Developing or promoting sustainability standards for fashion
9. Resources, training and/ or awareness raising initiatives
10. Animal rights”
A lot of people don’t realize the harsh environmental impact of fashion:
- The fashion carbon footprint is tremendous, but is hard to be determined as there is a large variety from one garment to the next — pollutants, pesticides in cotton farming, the toxic dyes used in manufacturing, the waste discarded clothing creates, the natural resources used in extraction, farming, harvesting, processing, manufacturing and shipping.
- About 70% of textiles are made from fossil material.
- More than a half trillion gallons of fresh water are used in the dyeing of textiles each year.
- It can take more than 5,000 gallons of water to manufacture just one T-shirt and a pair of jeans, and the manufacturing and dyeing of fabrics is chemically intensive.
- More than 60 % of world clothing is manufactured in developing countries to save money on labor costs, meaning they don’t pay fair wages and often times have children employed in their factories! The clothing then travels halfway around the world to its destination, using fossil fuels in the process.
- About 70 million barrels of oil is used to produce virgin polyester in fabrics each year, the fabric used for swimwear and athletic wear.
- The U.S. still has a very low rate of plastic recycling, only 6 percent. So clothing manufacturers who want to create “recycled” clothes out of plastic old soda bottles are now buying NEW AND UNUSED bottles from manufacturers to make polyester clothing so they can label them recycled.
- 22 billion new clothing items are bought by Americans per year, with only 2 percent of those clothes being domestically manufactured.
- Pollution by the shipping industry, which has boomed over the past 20 years, is beginning to affect the health of those living in coastal and inland regions around the world, yet the emissions of such ships goes mostly unregulated.
- Dyes are creating a chemical Fukushima in Indonesia. The Citarum River is considered one of the most polluted rivers in the world due in great part to the hundreds of textile factories lining its shores. According to Greenpeace, with 68 percent of the industrial facilities on the Upper Citarum producing textiles, the adverse health effects to the 5 million people living in the river basin and wildlife are alarming.
It is really important to realize that these fabrics can be recycled and reused! Fortunately now a days the knowledge is spreading and more people are voting ethically and environmentally with their dollar, and I myself have been consciously making the change to do the same. Look into buying ethically made AND eco friendly swimwear (and fashion in general) as their are so many amazing companies choosing that route!
Eco- and ethical-consciousness on on the rise, and there is a good number of swimwear brands working to cause minimal harm. I have rounded up a list of ethically produced swimwear as well as tried and reviewed a few of my own. A video is down below, as well as a list (in no particular order) and photos for you to check out 🙂
PS: If you have old swimsuits you are wanting to get rid of, look into donating them to a second hand shop or even a facility that will recycle them for reuse of their material.
This is my favorite way to find recycled fashion as it is one of the cheapest ways to shop. I know some people are skeptical about using a strangers swimwear, but with proper washing, everything is fine! And I have great success doing so. Use you’re money consciously, vote with your dollar, and don’t just think on the spot! And with all of the money you are saving just not buying cheap clothing here and there, you can send on one nice ethically produce item. How many items do you have n your closet that you have never worn AND never really see yourself wearing in the future? how many times have you gotten rid of clothing, donated new or barely used clothing or felt like you had TOO MUCH stuff. I don’t know about any of you, but speaking for myself here, I have experienced all of the above, a little too many times.
“The fashion industry as a whole is quite detrimental to the environment, but if we can instigate a change in the way our competitors work, then we may be able to start a landslide of eco conscious decisions and practices.”.
Manakai Swimwear is made from regenerated nylon, and have found that their fabric lasts 2x as long as virgin stretch fabric.
The team purchased an already existing swimwear company and completely revamped their mission and brand. They wanted to really make a change to think about who we are impacting, what they could do to help preserve ocean, and what they can do to give integrity to the people building their products.
Their view is that what we choose to wear is sacred, and what we wear passes onto us the energy we carry. They want to inspire others to follow the lead and consumers to think about what they are purchasing, educate themselves.
My favorite part about their swimwear is that all of it is reversible, so you are getting 2 suits in one! I brought my piece to Hawaii, and I was able to rock both sides without anyone knowing it was the same suit 😉
Wolven Threads– you can use the code ‘jasmine30′ for 30% off!
ECO PEACE is a the swimwear by Aqua Green, and is a collection of thoughtfully created swimwear combining sustainability, glam, bohemian spirit and fun, festival-chic trends. The made-in-America young designers collection is locally designed, sourced and produced in sunny southern California using sustainable materials and new “water free” printing technology that gives the line its sustainable edge.
“We want our footprints washed away in the sand and surf, not left to scar the earth for future generations.”
The only thing is their website is a bit confusing and they don’t directly sell their swimwear, but they are available from different retailers online if you simply search for ‘Eco Peace Swimwear’!
Shapes in the Sand is an eco conscious swimwear label handmade in Australia, and made from 100% regenerated materials. Each collection is designed and produced in the most environmentally friendly way possible, and a portion of proceeds are often parts of projects to help donate to nonprofit organizations.
Shapes In The Sand also has a whole section on sustainability on their website, with info on the process they use for recycle, fabrics and how to wash your swimsuits!
Below is a list of all of the brands that I have gathered for you to check out, including the ones discussed above! I have not tried out all of these brands, but have been recommended to them when I was on the search for brands for this post! If you see there is something I have on the list that is missing, please let me know and I can add it <3
- wolventhreads– you can use the code ‘jasmine30′ for 30% off!
- Aurai Swimwear
- Jets Australia
- Koru Swimwear
- Mime Swim
- Abysse Official
- Shape In The Sand
- Liar The Label
- Vege Threads
- Elle Evans
- Greenlee Swim
- Mens: Outerknown
- Elle Evans
- Aqua Green Eco Swim
- La Isla Swimwear
- Summerlove Swimwear
- Eden Eco
- Sage Larock
HELPFUL LINKS/SOURCES USED
- Kristen Leo on Youtube
- Ethical Fashion Forum
- Eco Watch “Fast Fashion Is the Second Dirtiest Industry in the World, Next to Big Oil”
- The Washington Post “The fashion industry tries to take responsibility for its pollution”
- Beginners Guide to Ethical Fashion