Source: | Anna Sulivan

Sustainable fashion; green fashion, eco-fashion / ecological fashion, slow fashion, environmentally friendly fashion, ethical fashion... So many different words, one issue: sensitivity . This will be an article that will push you to deepen what the sustainable fashion movement is. Our starting point is the fact that we may have all heard one or more of the names above, but probably very few of us have the desire to learn about the subject in depth, research it, and still fewer of us are willing to question our own consumption preferences and go further and take action on this issue. Our intention is to make every aspect of sustainable fashion understandable and applicable. So, we start from the basics. We roll up our sleeves and answer: What is sustainable fashion?

Sustainable fashion; It is a movement that almost says ' another way is possible ' to the fashion industry, which is one of the sectors where production and consumption are fastest, and aims to open the door to radical changes in the fashion industry by defending ecological integrity and social justice . It stands in direct opposition to fast fashion, rapid production and the 'disposable' attitude developed by today's consumers towards fashion. In its simplest form, we can say that its aim is to transform all processes from a to z in a way that makes them environmentally friendly , by changing the way fashion products are designed, produced, transported, used and eventually disposed of.

Now, let's take a closer look at the 2011 "Trend "Slowing" the Fashion Industry: Eco Fashion and Sustainability in Fashion" report. While the report defines sustainable fashion as 'a fashion trend that includes environmentally friendly, recyclable, high-quality products' ; expresses the aim of the sustainable fashion movement as follows: 'supplying environmentally friendly green products by ensuring high quality and low production figures in the products produced, thus slowing down the fashion industry that is rapidly fueling today's consumption frenzy'. We think that the data in the report, which you will read shortly, clearly reveals the importance of sustainable fashion: According to the data, 70% of Zara's product range is renewed every 15 days, and 8,000 products are cut per day during the production phase. Moreover, the research we mentioned is dated 2004 . Considering the incredible pace of growth and development of the fashion industry, you can imagine how much these data may have changed today.

When we examine the sustainable fashion literature, we come across 5 criteria:

1) producing fashion to local standards,
2) ethical production,
3) use of recycling materials,
4) additionally, using organic and natural materials,
5) Producing products to last a long time.

Source: | Karina Tes

We see points that intersect with these five criteria in the items that the United Nations describes as 'the 3 basic outlines of sustainable fashion': fair trade that does not harm the environment, using organic and recycled cotton, extending the life of the product by using eco-branded and recycled materials. As you can see in these definitions, sustainable fashion is a trend that not only includes environmental values, but also goes beyond that and includes cultural, social and ethical values.

We mentioned that another concept frequently used to indicate sustainable fashion is 'slow fashion'. This concept was first put forward by Kate Fletcher in 2007 and 'designers, buyers, retailers and consumers; It is defined as 'an approach in which they are more aware of the impact of products on employees, communities and the ecosystem'. That's why sustainable or slow fashion; Above all, it is a movement that aims to leave a minimal impact on nature . In this direction; It includes long-lasting, high-quality and durable products produced with natural materials and environmentally friendly processes . It offers ethical working conditions and respects local cultural diversity in socio-economic terms . Another definition that Fletcher created for slow fashion by blending all these points: an ecological, sustainable and ethical fashion movement in terms of production and all other processes .

Let's give a few examples: Organically degradable fabrics, redesigning recycled clothing, producing plastic-free packaging, using non-toxic dyes, using zero waste pattern cutting methods, creating limited collections by designing seasonless and timeless pieces; Such practices are shown among the practices suitable for the sustainable fashion trend.

Think of it this way, just as our awareness of removing single-use plastics from our lives is increasing day by day; It is also possible to apply this to our perspective on fashion. 'Do I really need this outfit?', 'What stages did this shoe go through?', 'What will happen to this bag next?' It's time to start asking questions like: Simply put, studies show that a single sneaker made mostly of plastic can take 1,000 years to break down in a landfill. At the end of this period, the pieces turn into small pieces of plastic that spread into the soil and ocean. Try to think about the damage that the entire fashion industry is causing to nature, using the example of a sports shoe...

The good news is that another way is possible. If we are willing to do our part as producers and consumers, we can create a new system. We, the manufacturers; If we create sustainable innovations in the sector, if we adopt production methods that do not harm the nature, if we provide fair and ethical working conditions and create versatile, timeless designs, if we choose our materials from among natural and high-quality ones, and if we search for ways to recycle them ... Again, we, but also the consumers; If we choose fashion products that embrace sustainable fashion principles, if we buy by thinking about what we will buy and why, if we turn to ways of reusing and repairing our clothes, and if we start to prefer second-hand products ... In summary; If we adopt a cyclical approach rather than the buy-throw cycle , then we can shed light on radical and radical changes in today's fashion world, start reducing the ecological damage caused by fast fashion, and leave a more livable world to the next generations.