MANILA, Philippines — As global warming and other ecological crises reach breaking point, everyone is now encouraged to be more considerate of our planet.
This is why people are getting steadily becoming conscious of how their lifestyle impacts the planet. They are now starting to change and act—from pushing for big systemic changes to taking smaller individual steps like choosing sustainable and eco-friendly alternatives in what they eat, buy and wear.
In a recent webinar by Philstar.com and Levi’s dubbed "Sustainability starts with you," fashion experts and environmental advocates stir the discussion on the importance of making smarter choices in fashion, and how aside from systemic changes, sustainability can also start with you and simple lifestyle changes.
If you missed it, don’t worry because we took down notes! Here are some simple ways we can show our love for the fashion and planet:
1. Shop lesser but wiser
Shopping is one of the most cathartic activities, most especially now that looking for stuff to buy can be done online and at home. But did you know that excessive consumerism has negatives effects?
Paul Dilinger, vice president at Levi Strauss & Co., who was the webinar’s guest speaker, advises to be more intentional when shopping.
It would be helpful to ask ourselves some questions before proceeding to check out cart. By doing this, we think better whether our desire to buy is just out of impulse or it is something we really need.
More than items that give fleeting happiness, we should look for clothes that truly spark joy.
2. Care for your clothes
Another way to lessen fashion consumption is by taking better care of clothes so they last longer. One of these is by rethinking how you wash your clothes.
It is said a washing machine can release over 700,000 microscopic plastic fibers into the environment, which can poison aquatic animals.
What can we do? Dillinger shared that some clothes, like jeans, don’t need to be washed after each use. Wear it more than once before putting them in energy-efficient washing machines.
It is also recommended to air dry clothes rather than throwing them into the dryer as this could wear them thin and shorten their life.
3. Repair and resell
For Reese Fernandez-Ruiz, founder of eco-conscious fashion brand Rags 2 Riches, one of the most practical ways to be more sustainable is to learn one practical skill—sewing.
With imagination and some sewing skills, we can save and extend the life of damaged clothes. She recommends to learn how to sew as repairing and mending could even add character and a bit of history to our fashion pieces!
Plus, we can also help reducing fashion waste by donating or reselling clothes that no longer fit.
4. Buy better, wear longer
We also need to think long-term, not simply about being on-trend.
As Filipino mountaineer with passion for the environment, Javy Cang mentioned that we can shop fewer clothes if we start buying quality and functional products, because this assures us that we can use them again and again for a long time.
Similarly, Levi’s, one of the leading sustainable brands in denim fashion, believes that products should be made to be worn and designed to get better with age.
By only choosing items with the best quality, we are not only able to keep our clothes longer, but we also challenge brands to create better products, making it a win-win situation for us, our wallets and the environment.
5. Support sustainable brands, like Levi’s
Ms. Earth 2015 Angelia Ong, who served as moderator, noted that change requires both small and big actions. Similarly, the move towards sustainability requires a joint effort between brands and consumers.
Aside from our individual actions, brands take an active role in changing the fashion industry by pushing themselves to do better in creating apparel pieces that embrace sustainability.
Fashion giant Levi’s is one of those who are leading the way. It has been continuously developing ways to make its production process more sustainable, as seen in its innovations in Cottonized Hemp, Water and make less waste.
When consumers also support brands that are actually trying to save the planet, we enable them to continue innovating the needed technologies to improve the fashion industry.
Together with sustainable brands like Levi’s, a future with a more environment-friendly fashion is something we could all look forward to.