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What Does Sustainability Briefly Mean?

Sustainability is a word that we have always heard and tried to understand for such a long time, and it is a concept that can be used not only for fashion but also in every part of life. So what does sustainability mean, where did it start, where does it go, and what can we do about being sustainable?

The roots of sustainable fashion are intertwined with ecological movements, and especially in 1963, after American biologist Rachel Carson's book "Silent Spring". In this book, the theme of the effect of the use of agricultural chemicals brought by industrialization on environmental pollution is still included in the discussion of the environmental and social impact of fashion today. The environmental impact was investigated in more detail and in 1987 the Brundtland Report became the main topic of the conversation with the term "sustainable development".

Sustainable fashion has been explained as a movement and process that promotes change towards ecological integrity along with social justice. Basically , while designing and producing clothes, it is to set out by considering the future of people without harming the environment and nature. In other words, it means reducing environmental waste, protecting animal rights, ensuring the safety of the supply chain and a fair approach to everyone.

We love fashion, it makes us dream, they are our costumes in our fairy tales and stories. Each season, we wonder what the designers dream of and what kind of surprise and difference they will come up with. We listen to the stories behind them carefully and learn why and how they do it. With each different outfit, our energy seems to be fully renewed and we feel really good. New colors arrive, plus new craftsmanship and details. Sometimes we cheer up with neons, sometimes we feel bohemian with different pattern combinations. While there is a Western theme one season, we feel ourselves in the future with metallic clothes the other season.

Obviously, these are the colorful and beautiful parts of fashion, but on the other side of the coin are the prices that the planet and future generations have to pay for all this. The biggest enemies of sustainability are fast fashion and overconsumption . Advertising makes it seem like we really need things we don't need and encourages us to buy them immediately and continuously. As I have written on this in another article in detail , I will not go into it here, but shortly it is about, overproduction and the environmental wastes it brings, the unfair treatment of people in the supply chain and the injustice it brings, etc.

An issue of such importance that concerns the whole world is under the responsibility of citizens, the public sector and the private sector. Sadly, it is not yet protected by criminal sanctions and constitutional laws. However, big fashion brands are taking initiatives to take a step forward together as this issue includes the change in the whole fashion system. The Fashion Pact that signed in France under the leadership of Macron, is one of the first agreements. Brands direct their suppliers by complying with the terms of this agreement. But there is still much to do.

These are not only the responsibility of brands and suppliers. In my opinion fashion users, consumers have as much responsibility as producers. Consumers need to be conscious and question where each piece they buy comes from. It means to be a kind of a sustainability police. By choosing less harmful fiber type instead of an environmentally harmful fiber type, consumers can and should encourage manufacturers to do so, not only by looking at the price, but also by how they are produced and how long they can be used. As we are sensitive to the content of a product we buy from the market, where and how it is produced, we can just do the same for every product we buy to wear as a clothing item. Just as brands are now competing to meet consumer demand for food produced, where the product comes from, how it's produced and packaged, and what's in it. Believe me they can do the same thing for fashion.

All of these are like luxury issues to many of us, as if there is so much to think about, the issue of sustainability is at the very end. Naturally, most of us give priority to the sustainability of our happiness and economic conditions as the urgency seems to be in these situations. However, if the rapidly depleting resources of the world we live in and the approaching climate crisis are not taken into consideration, it seems that in the end our happiness and the amount of money we have will not matter much in an environment where we are all thirsty.

We still have time, nature is generous and fertile. If we treat it well and learn to coexist with all living things and nature, we can overcome it. In this, we need to take responsibility all together, it will be advantageous to think about the universal contribution from a collective perspective.

We can force them to quicken into this change by taking action without waiting for brands to do it. We can make our choices more consciously as we take steps towards a sustainable life.


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