I can see why a lot of sustainable clothing brands aren’t as sustainable as we think. To be sustainable for me means having as low of an environmental footprint as humanly possible. However, this is by no means an easy feat, as I have come to find out.
A product or brand is not as sustainable as it could be if it is reliant on sourcing its materials and manufacturing overseas, and does not know the processes involved throughout every step of its supply chain. Just like cotton from China isn’t considered sustainable just because it’s not polyester. I also don’t care what kind of cotton it is if it’s not certified Organic its chemical cotton. We need to stop cutting ourselves short and start thinking long and hard about our choices because this kind of thinking isn’t going to solve the environmental crisis of the fashion industry. As consumers today we need to be fashion detectives, as so much about our clothing is left a mystery. We should be asking ourselves WHO made our clothes and the materials within them, WHAT were the workers paid and WHAT are the materials, WHERE were they made, and HOW were they made. Choosing a fabric or an item of clothing just because it sounds better and you could pass it off as being a better option, per say, doesn’t mean we should. There have been numerous websites, companies, and small brands I have come across that label their fabrics and products as “MADE IN CANADA” or “MADE IN USA” only to find out that their products, fabrics, and supplies actually come from China. Not to mention the numerous amount of clothing labels that charge astronomical amounts for their products made from the same chemical cotton and synthetic fibres from overseas that the other cheaper brands are made from.
Now having a sustainable brand myself I can empathize with wanting to take a shortcut. I mean I have been pulling my hair out trying to find sustainable material producers and manufacturers in North America for bra love co., but this makes me even angrier and more determined to be better. This is clearly a problem we take way too lightly, and most people probably don’t even know enough to question it. I mean isn’t it scary though, that we have to look far and wide before finding a product that is 100% made in North America from the materials to the manufacturing. Sure it’s easier and cheaper to buy something made overseas, but is this really what we want? If we just cave to buying the cheap stuff nothing will ever get any better. We need sustainable brands to actually follow through with their claims, by supporting local manufacturing efforts in their own communities. This is the only way to truly promote change and sustainability, create jobs, and keep good quality clothing affordable.