Shaping the Future of Sustainability in Clothing and Footwear

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The fashion industry is centered on the idea of change. Trends come and go quickly, but hopefully not when it comes to sustainable sneakers and clothing. Ultimately, brands want to sell their designs and if factors like sustainability are en vogue, then they will implement new eco-friendly practices to satisfy customers. However, when it comes to being sustainable, it’s essential that brands adopt policies that not only last for the season, but for years to come.

Fast fashion, or the mass production of clothing and footwear made with inexpensive materials and sold at low cost to consumers, went mainstream in the 1990s. Unfortunately, this fueled the mindset of a throwaway culture for fashion; of wearing items a few times and then getting rid of them. With clothing and shoes treated as disposables, consumers have contributed to a huge waste of water, energy, and raw materials. To put it into perspective, around 85% of textiles end up being deposited in landfills after use. They take 200+ years to decompose.

Luckily, people are finally waking up to the realization that we have a responsibility to care for our planet. When fast fashion production is creating immense amounts of plastic and pollution, it’s impossible to ignore the consequences as we face climate change, polluted oceans, and overflowing landfills. 

Many companies, from Reformation to CARIUMA are determined to lessen the impact of fashion on the planet, creating sustainable collections made from organic materials that were produced ethically. Initially, the brands on the forefront of sustainable fashion were not mainstream, appealing only to a small audience. Today, there are many options for sustainable clothing and shoes, making it easier for shoppers to make good choices no matter where they are. 

If we want to keep sustainability as a priority in the fashion world, and foster a sense of responsibility for our planet, we must all be a part of the solution. From choosing women’s and men’s sneakers that have been produced sustainably to wearing vintage clothes, fashion can work for us, rather than against us. Of course, consumers won’t know what they are purchasing if they don’t do their homework, so it’s up to the brands to show certifications and signs of sustainability on their products. The more companies that make it easy to tell whether or not the product has been ethically produced, the more positive change there will be.

Quick Check: Factors to consider when choosing footwear: 

  • Does it have certifications from organizations like the Global Organic Textile Standard, Global Recycled Standard, or Leather Working Group?
  • Is it easy to clean?
  • Does it seem that the materials are durable and long-lasting?

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