The positive environmental benefits of using organic and recycled materials for sustainable fashion
August 2020 _ The positive benefits
There is nothing more powerful than voting with your dollar and when it comes to investing in your wardrobe, it’s no different.
The apparel industry, by some estimates, is the second-biggest polluter in the world, after the petroleum sector. Fast fashion, as it’s so accurately called, is churning out mountains of product at an alarming rate. Daily practices are unsustainable, from excessive water usage, to dangerous chemical dyes and fertilizers negatively impacting soil, the list goes on.
When we think of pollution, we envision smoke producing power plants, plastic-filled seaways and raw sewage piped into our waterways. We don't often think about the shirts on our backs.
The truth of the matter is, fashion no longer means wearing the latest trends, buying the cheapest brand or striving for aesthetic perfection, In the 21st century, the question goes much, much deeper.
In the search for the perfect outfit, these questions are quickly becoming paramount:
Am I choosing a consciously made product?
Am I supporting and contributing to a sustainable process?
Our primary goal, at SAYE, has always been to make beautiful sneakers you’ll want to wear for years. However it’s hugely important for us to be a conscious-driven, zero-waste brand, using as many organic and recycled materials as possible along the way.
We believe in wearing modern, comfortable shoes while also making a positive impact on the environment. It doesn’t need to be one or the other.
Choosing to offer sustainable footwear and work with organic and recycled materials isn’t the easiest process and certainly not the cheapest. However, it’s important to us. And we regularly get to see, first hand, the difference we make to our workers, our clients, and perhaps most importantly, our Earth.
As a consumer, it can be tough trying to think about everything from - sustainable practices and fabrics, working conditions, what’s best for your skin and finding products that make you feel cute, sexy and comfortable.
So we wanted to share a bit more information about the impact that you have, as a clothes-wearing citizen, on this wonderful planet of ours.
And how you can support those brands making a difference, by beginning to make changes yourself.
First and foremost, WHAT are organic and recycled materials?
Organic textiles are made from fibers that are grown in controlled conditions, where no chemicals like fertilizers or pesticides are used. Which offers the lowest impact on the soil and allows nature to do its (natural) thing.
The production and use of natural fabrics have created an impressive and optimistic future for the textile industry. And everyday, there are more innovative, organic materials exploding onto the market that will transform the very way we perceive and engage with fashion. From using collagen, to funghi and even cow manure is beginning to be tested as a viable option.
Organic cotton is healthier for consumers, too. As exposure to pesticides can cause a range of health issues—from headaches and nausea to long-term, chronic illnesses.
Some examples of organic materials on offer are : Organic Cotton, Hemp, Rubber, Linen, Silk. To be certified organic, the fabric needs to hold at least 95% of organic fibers.
Textile recycling is the process by which old clothing, waste or other textiles are recovered for reuse. Necessary steps in the textile recycling process involve the donation, collection, sorting and processing of textiles.
Using recycled materials also lessens our need to extract raw material from the Earth and puts, what would otherwise be waste, to good use. There are many amazing facts and figures outlining the real numbers behind the movement, and it’s inspiring to see that change is on the horizon.
Some examples of recycled materials on offer are: Recycled polyester material (plastic bottles are widely used), Recycled cotton wool and down, Recycled paper (mainly for packaging), Recycled steel and aluminum.
Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.
Why should I choose to support organic, eco focused brands?
Below are 3 reasons to support slow-fashion immediately:
Why should I choose to support organic, eco focused brands?
Creating a meaningful connection with what you wear is fiercely underrated.
Good quality can not be faked and when you wear a garment that feels, smells, looks valuable, it completely changes your experience.
Clothes and shoes that have been carefully and consciously created, every step of the way, gives you the knowledge and freedom to enjoy them all the more.
Doing The Right Thing.
The more awareness, studies and conversations started within the world of fashion, the easier it is for the greater community to realise the impact we are all making. And the easier, in theory, it will be for us to make informed decisions.
Be the change you wish to see!
Protecting And Preserving The Environment.
There are numerous studies explaining and proving the positive environmental benefits of using organic and recycled materials.
However, it’s always important to read up on these things personally… but here are a few ways in which the Earth is profiting.
Using organic, recycled textiles and the environmental benefits:
- Decreases landfill space requirements.
- Generates less emissions through decomposition.
- Reduced consumption of energy and water.
- Earth is free of pesticides, herbicides and synthetic chemical fertilizers.
- Respects Earth cycles and maintains balance of land.
- Pollution avoidance.
- Lessened demand for dyes.
“We do not
Earth from our
borrow it from
How can I have an immediate impact on myself and my environment, through my
Below are 3 ways you can make a difference, starting from today:
Reduce, Re-use, Recycle and Don’t Throw Out.
Re-using and up-cycling your wares is fun, creative and healthy for the environment.
Think about gifting your pre-loved dress to that friend that would look great in it.
Re-style those old jeans into cute denim cut-offs for Summer.
Think about buying less, and invest
in those garments that are sustainable and last longer.
Get together with friends and create a clothes-swapping party. Buy your family eco-certified christmas presents.
Start chatting to your local brands about what they are doing to make a positive change.
Say NO to non-recycled or non-organic packaging.
If we all began to steer our conversations towards sustainability and the intention behind our wardrobe, we will grow awareness collectively and be well on our way to improvement and change.