Sustainable fashion can contribute to the safety of our environment, says Leyla Aliyeva

Leyla Aliyeva Explains Sustainable Fashion and Why It Matters to the Environment

Sustainable fashion can contribute to the safety of our environment, says Leyla Aliyeva
Image by Ksenia Chernaya

With climate change, plastic pollution, etc., the fashion industry isn’t always viewed as either a problem or solution in these times. 

According to Leyla Aliyeva, an environmental activist and entrepreneur, the clothing industry contributes significantly to environmental and human damage. 

Fortunately, Aliyeva believes sustainable fashion addresses many of these issues astonishingly well. She also believes environmental education should be seen as a collective priority.

Read on to learn more about how sustainable fashion protects the environment.

Leyla Aliyeva: The Fashion Industry Impacts the Environment Critically

What is fast fashion? Fashion that is fast, cheap, and produced in large quantities is called fast fashion. Zara, H&M, Boohoo, Pretty Little Thing, Uniqlo, GAP, Primark, and Fashion Nova are examples of fast fashion brands. 

But what makes fast fashion so bad? Fast fashion is based on overproduction and overconsumption.

Because fast fashion brands produce in large quantities, they can offer low prices. The companies can profit hundreds of millions, or even billions, of dollars from each garment.

Although some fast fashion brands now incorporate recycled and organic materials into their collections, this production level is unsustainable.

And, because fast fashion brands produce such large quantities, they can negotiate prices with factories. As a result of these negotiations, wages are suppressed, and safety standards are lowered.

Sustainable Fashion, As Defined By Leyla Aliyeva

Sustainable fashion generally refers to garments and accessories produced and accessed in an environmentally and socially responsible manner. 

Sustainability should not be limited to making or buying new things, so “accessed” is included in this definition. As sustainability marketing campaigns lead us to believe, it isn’t as simple as purchasing our way to sustainability.

Even though we can choose to shop more sustainably, we do not have to buy anything new to participate sustainably.

Wearing what you already own, buying second-hand, and swapping/borrowing from friends can also engage in sustainable fashion movements.

“Green fashion” and “eco-friendly fashion” both emphasize leaving a minimal impact on the environment or the planet.

Sustainable fashion, on the other hand, encompasses eco-consciousness and ethical practices. 

Sustainable clothing does not refer to clothing made from recycled fabrics in sweatshop conditions, as some brands claim.

Leyla Aliyeva Explains How We Can Reduce Fashion’s Impact On the Environment

Undoubtedly, protecting the environment is vital to our global safety. There are some suggestions Leyla Aliyeva has to make sustainable fashion a part of our daily lives: 

Buy Less

Even eco-friendly garments have some environmental impact during production and transportation.

Consumption is at the root of the problem: we buy ten things while our grandmothers buy two.

New clothes make us happy, so we tend to buy them more frequently. Maybe we should reconsider some foundations of our lifestyle.

Buy Clothes from Sustainable Brands

More and more fashion brands consider their products’ environmental and social impact.

Today, there are many great sustainable clothing brands to choose from.

Honestly, the offer is still limited, and it’s easier and cheaper to replenish your wardrobe at the nearest shopping center. 

But the more we demand sustainable clothing, the more it will be available. Like with organic food, it was challenging to find 15 years ago, however today, organic food is available in most supermarkets.

Sustainable clothing costs more than fast fashion, but now we know some of what lies behind those meager prices.

Although sustainable brands will cost more than brand-name clothing, we often pay high prices for the image, not the quality.

Buy Better Quality

Because clothes have become so cheap, we no longer care much about quality. We buy new garments when the ones we have lost their shape or appeal.

It is common to experience disappointment after buying expensive clothes or shoes already worn out two months later. 

If we stop buying poor quality, it will push brands to improve the quality of their garments. It will also allow us to keep our clothes longer, which is good for our wallets and the environment.

Don’t Throw Your Clothes Into the Trash: Repair, Donate, Re-sell or Recycle

Don’t throw your clothes in the regular trash! Most are made of synthetic, non-biodegradable fibers, which pile up in landfills. There are other options:

  • Try to repair them – A torn garment can sometimes be repaired or redesigned with a bit of imagination.
  • Donate your clothes – you can donate to friends, family, neighbors, or charities.
  • Use a second-hand app – There are apps such as Vinted that help in selling clothes.
  • Bring clothes back to the shop – Some clothing shops take back used clothes from their brand or other brands.
  • Place them in the textile recycling bin – It is possible to make new clothing from recycled textiles.

Buy Second Hand, Swap or Rent

Consider these alternatives to buying new clothing:

  • The concept of a second-hand shop is not new – There are second-hand shops all over the world. You can find second-hand clothes on a variety of websites and apps, ranging from the cheapest to the most expensive.
  • Swap clothes – These kinds of initiatives are popping up all over the world. Participants bring clothes they no longer wear and exchange them for clothes they will use. Refilling your wardrobe in this way is both economical and eco-friendly. 
  • Clothing rentals are becoming more popular – This is especially true for clothes you won’t usually wear (baby clothes, pregnancy clothes, party dresses, etc.). A clothing rental service allows you to rent one or more items for an event or for a few days. Some companies also allow customers to renew their wardrobes regularly.

Leyla Aliyeva Says, Don’t Wait For the World to Change – Be the Change! 

It’s a journey, not a destination”, says Aliyeva. Cheesy and cliché? Yes. True and applicable to sustainable fashion? Also, yes”. 

So, consider local production, fair trade, recycled materials, organic fibers, zero-waste design, and toxic-free manufacturing. Choose brands that meet your top values.

Don’t seek perfection. It’s not about making the most perfect “100% sustainable” choice (that doesn’t exist!). It’s about doing better and being thoughtful about what we choose to consume or not consume.

While we cannot directly influence a fashion company’s operations, we can educate ourselves about them. In addition, we can learn more about what goes into our clothes, who made them, and how they are made. Then we can make our clothing choices accordingly.

Remember, we’re all navigating this together. 

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