Home > Finance > The Rise in Eco Fashion

The Rise in Eco Fashion

By: Scott McBride - Updated: 26 Dec 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Fashion Organic Eco-fashion Clothing

The fashion industry has a huge impact on the environment. Many of the clothes worn today are manufactured using synthetic materials such as nylon and polyester, made from petrochemicals which pollute the environment and cause global warming.

Eco fashion relates to clothing manufactured using environmentally-friendly processes. While it includes organic clothing, eco fashion is not necessarily made from organic fibres. Eco-fashion clothing can use recycled clothing or recycled materials such as eco fleeces, made from recycled plastic bottles.

As people become more environmentally aware, so the numbers demanding sustainable eco fashion have increased. Cosmopolitan, busy, funky and fashionable people who are ecologically-aware but do not want to sacrifice style for content are now being catered for by designers and retailers. It is now possible to walk down a high street and find even small companies who are adding eco-fashion and organic ranges.

Eco Fashion Sweeps Europe

Eco fashion is no longer about hemp jerkins or homespun cardigans dyed with woad. Fashion designers, boutiques and clothing companies all over Europe are riding the wave of ethical, environmentally-friendly, sustainable products that account for £24billion of the UK market alone.

The high street is becoming more ethical too, with Marks & Spencer, Topshop, Oasis and Tesco stocking organic clothing and Fairtrade collections. By 2007, 12 of the Oasis flagship stores stocked ethical designs made from 100 per cent organic denim and jersey, while Topshop stocked a variety of ethically-conscious labels, including People Tree, Hug, Made and Gossypium.

Half a million tonnes of clothing is added to British landfill sites every year and many environmentally-aware people shun clothes made from synthetic materials that are non-biodegradable and so do not break down easily and are difficult to dispose of.

Pollution Problems

There are other pollution problems associated with synthetic materials. For instance, during the manufacture of nylon, nitrous oxide – a greenhouse gas 310 times stronger than carbon dioxide – is released. Viscose, another artificial fibre, is made from wood pulp treated with toxic chemicals such as caustic soda and sulphuric acid.

The production of natural fibres can harm the environment too. Cotton farming uses only one fortieth of the world’s cropping space but accounts for almost a quarter of global insecticide use. This equates to seven tablespoons of chemicals being used to make one cotton T-shirt. Cotton farmers exposed to dangerous pesticides every day can become ill and even die, while pesticides can affect local ecosystems, killing plants and animals and causing an imbalance. People wearing these clothes can be affected too, as the chemicals remain in the fabric and are released during the lifetime of the garments.

Hazardous chemicals are used on wool, for example in sheep dips, and have been linked with illness amongst sheep farmers, while most polycotton and all easy care, crease resistant, permanent press cotton products are treated with formaldehyde, another toxic chemical. Certain dyes are believed to cause cancer. If garments are dyed or bleached using toxic chemicals without proper precautions, chemicals can affect workers and flow into sewers and rivers, damaging local ecosystems.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
  • Rob
    Re: Grants Available For Your Business
    Any grants for installing double glazing in commercial building in highlands.
    1 December 2020
  • Gregor
    Re: Grants Available For Your Business
    Hello All, Can anyone point me in the right direction for eco friendly business grants, we are based in Hertfordshire.
    30 November 2020
  • Reg
    Re: New Build Grants and Funds
    Planning to convert a run down small stone barn into a cozy one-room stone cottage. It's in Devon. Planning to insulate, use double…
    29 November 2020
  • Spence
    Re: New Build Grants and Funds
    Hi, I have found land and in motion of purchasing without planning (high risk high reward I know) I would like some information to…
    29 November 2020
  • Pat
    Re: New Build Grants and Funds
    I am just about to purchase a building plot and I’m going to build an oak timber frame bungalow,are there any grants available which…
    29 November 2020
  • Bob
    Re: Grants Available For Your Business
    Is there a grant for changing from electric heaters to central heating at my holiday let's in Blackpool?
    24 November 2020
  • Mina
    Re: Eco-School Grants and Funds
    Hi I am enquiring on behalf of Claines Church of England Primary School which is based in Worcester. How would they go about…
    4 November 2020
  • Rach
    Re: Eco-School Grants and Funds
    Starting a gardening club from scratch in a school and would like to know how to work towards getting the bronze award.
    21 October 2020
  • Julie
    Re: Eco-School Grants and Funds
    Hi - we have our bronze award. Working hard for silver. Any tips/grants for progress in this would be gratefully received. We would…
    15 October 2020
  • Nicola
    Re: Grants Available For Your Business
    Good morning I am looking for some advice please. I work for a village community centre, a community interest charity.…
    15 October 2020