As the summer of 2023 is in full swing what better time to upgrade your style with some sustainable summer fashion, lighter natural materials and longer lasting items. It was quite a grey start to the year but now the summer sun has truly arrived – concerningly this goes together with the hottest week ever recorded for the first week of July as reported by The Guardian. The thought might cross your mind – how are these things connected and it is clear that polyester has a massive impact on the environment in its lifecycle: being created from petroleum, bleeding microplastics into the environment when washed, and damaging ecosystems by taking years to break down into smaller microplastic pieces in the environment.
That’s why we’re more than happy to dive into summer fashion to give you some outfit tips to the range of plastic free clothing and accessories. In this article, we delve into the concept of sustainable fashion and slow fashion, and how to pivot to natural long lasting materials that go back to the earth without damaging it.
Understanding Sustainable Fashion
Sustainable fashion, also known as ethical or slow fashion, encompasses a holistic approach to clothing production and consumption. We know that sounds really good but with these terms thrown about, they can sometimes be used incorrectly to describe an unsustainable item containing polyester which bleeds microplastics into the environment when washed. In this guide we will go through what sustainable fashion means.
Wearing that sustainable summer shirt might give you a great feeling, because you know you’ve made an ethical choice. Nothing wrong with that, but it would be good to have some background information about why it’s such a great choice.
Let’s start with how fashion is traditionally produced. Textile production requires the usage of extensive amounts of water.
Let’s say you want to buy a pair of new jeans. The Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) conducted a study in 2017, analysing the water footprint of various consumer products, including clothing.
While specific data for jeans was not provided, the study estimated that the average water footprint of a pair of cotton trousers is approximately 8,000 litres, which sounds pretty insane to us!
Next to the use of water, chemical pollution is another result of the production of dresses, shirts and other clothing wear. It also creates a lot of waste because of overproduction and packaging.
The good news is: sustainable fashion is getting more and more accessible. Consumers are making more conscious choices and that includes sustainable fashion items.
There are lots of new fashion brands popping up that are focused on eco-friendly fashion, and even the big players out there (we see you!) are taking steps to become more sustainable.
What Makes (Summer) Fashion Sustainable?
Sustainable fashion is characterised by several key elements:
- Firstly, it involves the use of eco-friendly materials like organic cotton, hemp, or recycled natural fabrics, which reduce the environmental impact of production by not using a fossil fuel based plastic fibre.
- Secondly, sustainable brands prioritise ethical manufacturing processes, ensuring safe working conditions, fair wages, and workers’ rights throughout the supply chain.
- Thirdly, sustainability focuses on durability, emphasising timeless designs that can withstand changing trends and seasons.
- Last but not least, sustainable fashion promotes conscious consumption by encouraging consumers to buy in to sustainable enterprises which may also use part of their revenues to donate to protecting the environment and therefore giving the product more purpose.
Why Choose Slow Fashion Over Fast Fashion?
Fast fashion has long dominated the industry, but it’s time for a change, as all good things take time.
As said before, slow and sustainable fashion encourages conscious shopping habits, promoting a shift towards quality over quantity. So basically, it’s not about how much you have – but what you have.
Opting for sustainable summer dresses means supporting brands that prioritise fair wages, safe working conditions, and transparency.
By the way, this doesn’t always mean you have to buy new items, it could also mean you buy second hand clothes, or you could have another look into your closet, maybe you forgot about those summer shorts that are hidden in the back!
If you want to become a ‘slow fashion shopper’ just look for sustainable pieces that are timeless. Ask yourself: is this something I can wear in 5 years?
Shopping Sustainable Summer Fashion
Of course we couldn’t let you go before showing you some of the best sustainable summer style available on ecomersh. Check out some of our picks below but to browse all sustainable style on the platform you can view it here on the Style section.
Wild Nettle Bucket Hat
Made from wild nettle fibres and an organic cotton lining, rest assured the materials in this hat are all from natural fibres. The rim will help to shield your eyes from the sun, and the breathable material will help to keep your head cool, making this the perfect summer hat.
Pleated Ruffle Tote Bag
Beautifully sewn cotton fabric gives this bag a light natural feel with a floral pattern. Moon Water Treasures work with a small and family owned block print fabric makers and sewers to make these tote bags.
The Rosewood From The Sustainable Watch Company
Upcyled from natural material, this watch is a great example of when a sustainable ethic meets style. Handmade from recycled natural Chacate Preto and Olive wood furniture. A rich olive wood watch body encases the impressive exposed gold mechanical movement, at the heart of this wooden watch. Maximising the use of sustainable materials, carbon offsetting shipping, using eco-friendly packaging and supporting reforestation through partnerships with One Tree Planted and Ecologi, planting 10 trees with every order. Why not buy Mother Nature some time?
Coco Dual Hoop Earrings, Ethically Sourced Jewellery From Harfi
These beautiful ladies dual hoop earrings are a must-have jewellery box staple. Fabulous for wearing everyday and a lovely gift of gold for any occasion. This eye catching piece combines high quality craftsmanship and precious metal without the hefty price tag. Ethically-sourced and affordable, so you can look as good as you feel, every day.
Mens Hemp & Organic Cotton Henley Shirt
This light and natural Henley Shirt is a blend of hemp and organic cotton. Himal Natural Fibres is all about being eco-friendly. No chemicals, no synthetic dyes, no animal products, and definitely no plastic in sight! A great way to also protect your skin with longer sleeved light and airy material.
Sustainable Summer Dresses & Fashion for 2023
It’s all about making mindful choices and supporting sustainability. Forget about those fast fashion trends that come and go. It’s time to rock those timeless, durable sustainable & natural styles that not only look good but also make you feel good about your impact on the world.
So, what are you waiting for? Let’s make 2023 the year of eco-friendly and stylish summer dresses and fashion.
Click here to see more fashion at Ecomersh.