Sustainable fashion has become increasingly popular over the past few years as consumers have grown increasingly aware of the importance of reducing their ecological footprint. But there's another type of fashion that's quickly growing in popularity, too: circular fashion, which advocates using materials in ways that allow them to be continually reused instead of being recycled into new products, ultimately keeping those resources from being used up completely.
There are plenty of brands out there dedicated to both sustainable and circular fashion, but which one is the better choice?
Here are some points to consider when deciding between the two options.
What is sustainable fashion?
The future of fashion that cares about the Earth is sustainable. Sustainable fashion does not harm the environment and is made of organic fabrics. Today, many of the world's top designers and brands are turning their focus to ecologically-friendly, sustainable clothing. Sustainable fashion brands make environmentally conscious clothes free from harmful chemicals and materials.
Even eco-friendly products on the market can help a person live an eco-friendlier lifestyle. For example, the organic fabric can be used in place of traditional cotton cloths or silk taffeta. It includes wool, hemp, linen, and organic cotton - all these have been known to cause detrimental effects on humans and the planet.
What is circular fashion?
The circular fashion industry has evolved to create eco-friendly products that use sustainable materials and are not harmful to the environment. This type of clothing is made with as many recyclable materials as possible, meaning that it can be reused or repaired later without being thrown away. It also uses less ecologically harmful fabrics than regular fast fashion brands.
Buying sustainable clothing helps keep these goods out of landfills where they will never biodegrade but instead break down into microplastics that can pollute the planet indefinitely. Clothing like this prevents soiling our oceans which have already been heavily polluted by microplastics and are eaten by sea life and then enter the human food chain when we consume seafood.
Sustainable fashion & circular fashion have given rise to more ethical brands.
Organic fabrics are one of the most sustainable and eco-friendly options for clothing. They are often made from organic cotton, which doesn't use pesticides or insecticides to produce them. This means that they have a lower chance of being ecologically harmful. Organic fabrics also come in an array of colours and styles, so you don't have to compromise on style just for sustainability. Buying sustainable clothes is easy if you know where to look!
Nowadays, it has also become a trend to buy products that are handmade and do not cause any harm to our planet.
Also Read: Sustainable Fashion & Textile Design Journeys
There's a huge difference between these two, and people usually need to understand these two terms. So to make clear what you should choose first, let's discuss some differences and similarities between them.
You should be clear about what's in your mind. Do you want affordable yet sustainable items or fashionable and trending items that are not even harsh to earth? To be clear with this, read out the difference between these two types:
Sustainable Fashion V/S Circular Fashion
Sustainable fashion and circular fashion are two approaches to designing and manufacturing clothing. It focuses on making clothes that are eco-friendly, ethical, and sustainable. This type of clothing aims to minimize environmental impact by reducing resources needed in production and increasing design longevity so that clothes can be passed down from generation to generation. This also promotes reuse instead of wastage. Sustainable fashion brands have a slower turnover rate, with new products coming out less frequently than fast fashion brands.
Whereas circular fashion aims to eliminate waste and promote an ecologically sound future through continuously reusing garments or parts of garments. With this approach, designers focus on creating an affordable product that stays good for comparatively less time.
Sustainable Fashion -
Buying sustainable clothing is less harmful to the environment: Eco-friendly brands use more environmentally friendly materials, processes, and supply chains that have a lighter carbon footprint and less negative environmental impact than fast fashion brands.
Sustainable clothing is better for your wallet: Eco-friendly brands sell their products at an affordable price as opposed to buying high-end designer clothes, which cost an arm and a leg.
Sustainable fashion has better quality fabric: Organic cotton, hemp, and bamboo fabrics are much softer than polyester or rayon.
Stays for years: Sustainable clothes last longer than fast fashion clothes because they're made with higher quality fabric that doesn't fade in colour or stretch out as easily;
Fulfils social responsibilities: It generates employment opportunities for farmers and weavers. It can even help decrease poverty rates in developing countries by promoting farming and weaving work.
100% decomposable: Organic cotton, hemp, and bamboo fabrics can be completely composted, while plastic textiles will take years to break down.
Skin-friendly: When you buy sustainable clothing, it's not only good for your planet but also good for your skin! Fast fashion brands use harsh chemicals like formaldehyde in their production process, which causes dryness and other skin irritations. Organic fabrics, on the other hand, don't emit any formaldehyde.
Comparatively expensive: Since organic fabrics are priced higher than synthetic ones, sustainable clothes may cost you more.
Only sometimes readily available: Local stores might offer a limited range of organic clothes and eco-friendly brands, so you might need to order them online.
Circular Fashion -
Optimum utilization of resources: Sustainable clothing helps reduce waste by not using any raw materials to make clothing and limiting water, energy, and chemical use.
Budget-friendly choice: Sustainable clothes are generally less expensive than sustainable fashion brands. As a result, this can be a good option for those with little money to spend on clothes.
Requires less energy to produce: In contrast with conventional clothing production that uses excessive amounts of fossil fuels and other natural resources, recycling clothing requires less energy.
Easier to maintain: Sustainable garments are easier to maintain because they do not contain hazardous chemicals like PFCs (perfluorinated) that pollute the environment. These chemicals may cause infertility or cancer in humans if they come into contact with them through skin exposure, ingestion, or inhalation.
Availability is rare: It's hard to buy sustainable clothes because it's usually harder to find these eco-friendly brands at mainstream stores.
Creating trending designs is impossible with circular fashion: Sustainable clothes companies often create classic, minimalistic designs that cater to your everyday needs, but what about the need for trendy apparel? These clothes come in limited designs.
It's difficult to buy sustainable clothes: You have to look for stores that sell sustainable clothing, and in some places, you might need help finding any, such as traditional big box retailers. The best place to shop might be independent boutiques or online, where many environmentally conscious brands offer clothes made of organic fabrics.
To Summing up
We all want to do our part for sustainable fashion, and one way to start doing that is by educating yourself on what it means, what sustainable brands are, and how you can buy more eco-friendly products. Sustainable fashion brands have a mission to develop clothing with less ecological harm, while fast fashion brands aim for cheap, trendy clothing.
If you want your clothes to last longer and live more effectively to become green again and save the earth from pollution from toxic clothes, you need to buy sustainable clothing instead of using fast fashion brands. On the other hand, if you think about your money and buying affordable clothes, then there is no big difference between them; in general, both are an effective way to get cheap clothes for all occasions.
It all depends on your desire and expectation of clothes. For those who like to have the latest fashion at an affordable price, fast fashion brands can be a better choice than buy sustainable clothing. But if you want to wear good quality and fashionable clothes longer than fast fashion brands, you should choose sustainable clothing. So, make your choice based on your needs!
We at Upcycle Luxe offer a huge collection of sustainable fashion items that are eco-friendly such as wool, linen or organic cotton and more. From our online store, you can find several styles offered by sustainable fashion brands such as Taraasi, Orbaan and more.
In addition to our eco-friendly clothing line, we also offer a line of upcycled designer handbags made from old premium bags. Both lines are designed to make sustainable shopping an easy choice for consumers concerned about how their purchases affect their health and planet.
You deserve to look great without harming the environment, so do it responsibly and purchase sustainable clothing items today!