What Is Environmentally-Friendly Fashion?

Jessica Ellis

Environmentally-friendly fashion refers to clothing, shoes, and accessories that do not harm the environment in production. This popular form of fashion allows eco-conscious people to incorporate their beliefs into their closet without having to sacrifice style. Environmentally-friendly fashion comes in many different varieties and may be found in any price range from budget to couture. Some of the basic principles of environmentally-friendly fashion include animal product-free items, fashions made through environmentally safe processes, and even fashion recycling.

Vintage or used clothing is an example of environmentally friendly fashion.
Vintage or used clothing is an example of environmentally friendly fashion.

One type of environmentally-friendly fashion involves clothing and accessories made without any animal products. This typically means shoes, purses, or belts without leather, and the use of faux fur instead of real fur. While not everyone agrees that animal products should be excluded from an eco-friendly closet, avoiding animal-based products is one way to fight against cruelty to animals and the pollution caused by animal processing plants, such as industrial cattle farms. Some people exclude wool and silk from environmentally-friendly fashions, since these also come from animal sources.

Some fashion designers may specialize in environmentally-friendly fashion.
Some fashion designers may specialize in environmentally-friendly fashion.

Buying clothing made from organic fibers is another way to help keep a wardrobe green. Organic cotton is becoming very popular in the 21st century, as many people grow more educated about the dangers of chemical pesticides. The downside to organic fashion products is that they often are quite expensive compared to non-organic clothing, but for some people, this is a worthwhile price to pay.

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One great way to purchase environmentally-friendly fashion is by shopping at secondhand clothing stores. Reusing already-made fashion helps cut down on the amount of goods needed to fuel fashion demands. Secondhand stores can often be the source of fantastic bargains on high-end clothing, and may be a great place to shop for any vintage fiend. With so many retro fashions constantly being declared “in” for the season, shopping secondhand make sense for personal style, environmental concerns, and the pocketbook.

Many clothing companies are jumping on the environmental bandwagon, taking steps to ensure that their production is not doing harm to global ecology. Some companies may demonstrate this commitment by making sure that their manufacturers are preventing pollution of local water or air, using recycled or organic fabrics, invest in biodegradable fabric dyes, or even investing in programs to help restore the environment in their communities. In general, companies that take a strong environmental stance make that information public, making it easy to find out which companies abide by ethical environmental practices.

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