The Pros and Cons of Sustainable Fashion

Sustainable fashion aims to minimize the negative environmental impact of the fashion industry. In order to truly benefit from sustainable fashion, also known as ethical or eco-friendly fashion, we need to look at the upsides and downsides to move in the right direction. 

Here are the pros and cons of sustainable fashion: 


1. Cost

This is a big one for a lot of people. Sustainable fashion is usually more expensive than fast fashion, which is a barrier for people who want to participate in sustainable fashion, but simply can’t afford it.

2. Limited Options

Fast fashion produces a larger volume of styles and designs, so the options seem limitless – especially online. Sustainable fashion has a limited amount of styles, which may be less appealing to those who seek a plethora of options when they go shopping.

3. Time

There are limited clothing options because it takes longer to produce the products. Companies will use slower, more labor-intensive processes and may prioritize ethical and environmentally friendly practices over speed. 

4. Difficulty identifying truly sustainable fashion

How can you really know if a company is sustainable or not? In a way, you have to take their word for it and hope they’re being honest. Some brands truly commit to sustainability and others just greenwash their products (market themselves as sustainable, but continue to source from unsustainable suppliers). 


1. Better for the environment

Sustainable fashion is better for the environment and reduces the carbon footprint compared to fast fashion. Fabric production is responsible for 16% of the world’s pesticide use and consumes enough water to meet the needs of five million people. 

Sustainable fashion does things differently. Organic cotton, a textile commonly used in the sustainable sector, has a carbon emission contribution 46% lower than conventional cotton.

2. Social benefits

Sustainable fashion prioritizes ethical practices, like fair wages and safe working conditions for the people who make the clothes, whereas fast fashion often involves sweatshops and child labor. 

3. Quality

Sustainable fashion brands use materials that will last longer because they often use higher-quality materials and construction techniques. 

4. Increased awareness

Sustainable fashion has brought more awareness to the impact fast fashion has on the environment and encourages consumers to be more aware of what they buy and how they buy it.

Sustainable fashion has a long way to go, but as time goes on, it’s important to acknowledge the pros and cons to help the industry figure out how to improve its practices.


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