So, What Is Sustainable Fashion, Anyways?

Sep 30, 2020
Aimee Thompson

A re your social media feeds buzzing with terms like sustainable and/or ethical fashion? Ours, too! Quarantine has given many of us ample time to reflect on what it means to be conscious consumers, and it’s becoming clearer that sustainable and ethical fashion is an imperative part of that. But, what does it mean for a fashion brand to be sustainable? Great question! Below are 3 values at the heart of brands who are passionate about ethical and sustainable design: 

. . . Materials . . .
6 foot 2 model wearing stormy gray universal cardigan with hood up
5 foot 11 model wearing stormy gray universal cardigan with light ripped jeans

Sustainable brands use recycled materials (like polyester) and/or sustainable fibers (*ahem*, our favorite, TENCEL™ Lyocell). These materials put less stress on the environment and require fewer resources (i.e. water). Most of us are accustomed to fast fashion since it’s a more affordable way to keep up with the latest styles. For so long, it’s enabled many of us to stay fashionably relevant in the unending cycle of seasonal fads and trends.

Unfortunately, while fast fashion prices are kinder to our wallets, their focus on producing low-cost products often comes at a high cost to the environment. Because they prioritize churning out large quantities of cheaply priced products, wastefulness tends to be overlooked. Often these items have a short/one season lifecycle (i.e. the $10 shirt with the hot print that is promptly discarded shortly after wearing or come next season). Conscious consumerism means doing our best to choose brands committed to sustainable design who also prioritize the wellbeing of the Earth.

. . . Production . . .
Buttercream Beige Universal Cardigan being sewn

Many brands, even those who claim to be sustainable rely on sweatshops and exploitive conditions for producing their products cheaply. While their materials and processes may be eco-friendly, their working conditions are often dangerous and harmful. Brands truly committed to sustainable fashion are equally committed to ensuring their products are made ethically inhumane environments. They understand taking care of the earth means looking out for its inhabitants as well. As conscious consumers, it’s important to prioritize both and ensure we’re staying informed about the brands we support in order to hold them accountable.

. . . Accountability . . .
Size small model in stormy gray universal cardigan over light knitted top

Sustainability isn’t just about using certain materials, it also encompasses how products are made and the subsequent impact that process has on the environment. If a brand claims to be using sustainable materials but doesn’t put effort into an eco-friendly production process (i.e. low water usage, no harsh chemicals, etc.), they’re not actually committed to sustainability only appearing sustainable. In most cases, brands committed to sustainability are transparent about each step of their process (materials, production, work conditions, etc.). Ethical fashion means more to them than making sales; it means welcoming accountability and educating customers in order to help them understand the impact of their purchases, so they can apply that same thoughtfulness beyond fashion into all aspects of their spending. 

It’s important to note sustainable fashion is continually evolving, and many brands are doing their best to stay updated on best practices and make adjustments as needed to ensure they’re an honest reflection of their commitment and values. That includes us! While we work tirelessly to ensure our products encompass our commitment to ethical and sustainable design, we know transparency, accountability, and staying informed are imperative to this process. As is with people, there’s always room for brands to learn, grow, and make even more of a positive impact

At Stellari, we’re passionate about all facets of sustainable and ethical design and maintain that as the focal point for all of our products. We know the allure of trendy items with cheap price tags, but it’s the hidden cost to our planet and humanity itself that inspires us to spread awareness about sustainable fashion and provide quality, affordable and high-style products that our customers can be proud of.

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