Do you ever think about the environmental and social impact of your fashion choices? This is the second most-polluting industry, with large ethical issues on labour exploitation, but your informed decisions can make a difference.
Yes, we all expect the ideal dress to make us look our best and feel great. But since we are smart, educated women, we should also be expecting something more - which is for it to be produced in an ethical, responsible way.
Over the past few years I have become more and more preoccupied with this subject and with finding ways to make Deilani eco- and social- friendlier every day. However, the key component of this project is you and your willingness to make sustainability a priority. So here are some ideas on what sustainable fashion means and on how we – both industry and consumers – can choose to make a positive difference.
The goal here is to minimize our negative impact on the environment, but also to encourage fair treatment of textile laborers. Labels like “Made in India” or “Made in Bangladesh” make me think twice, after having read about child labour in those countries. The social component of sustainability is a difficult one, since it is impossible to know who everyone in the supply chain is, but I, personally, feel more at peace when choosing garments and fabrics that are made in Europe.
The most sustainable materials are the natural ones, so you might want to choose fabrics made from natural or recycled fibres. If you aspire to help reduce the use of pesticides, choose organic fabrics whenever you can.
Another critical issue is dyeing, which can produce enormous amounts of chemical waist. Just use Google search and look at the images of rivers polluted because of textile dyes. You’ll never want to wear that “red” dress ever again! That is why, at Deilani, we favour European textile producers who are using the digital inkjet printing technology, a modern technique (patented in 1968) - more expensive than the traditional ones, but eco-friendly.
Learning about fibres, fabrics, production methods and technology is complex and time consuming, but what is simple to understand and remember is this (I am borrowing a few words from dresswelldogood.com):
We can make ethical choices simply by stepping away from the fast-fashion mentality, by purchasing clothing that we intend to get a lot of use out of.
My personal strategy is to buy less, to choose quality and timeless design. Apart from reducing the impact of human production and waste, you will discover that, especially after a certain age, these are the pieces of clothing you will enjoy most and feel most confident wearing.
Delia, July 2018