Today, 2.5 billion textiles are sold each year in France. This sector generates many jobs worldwide but is one of the most polluting for the planet. The fashion industry emits 1.2 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases per year, and even more
Beyond the environmental problems that this industry generates, there is also the question of ethics for the workers. Brands prefer to produce at lower cost in foreign countries without worrying about the conditions of the employees who work in opaque conditions.
As you can see, the fashion industry is turning upside down and it is time to change things! As a consumer, you can take part in the change and modify your habits in order to move the lines. Zèta is committed to offering you eco-responsible products made with respect for humans and animals. What if we helped you adopt 5 sustainable gestures to fight against fast fashion?
1- Turn to more ethical and committed brands
Many brands are playing the transparency card and offering more eco-friendly products. If you're not sure which brand to choose, check out sites that feature ethical and sustainable brands such as WeDressFair or HonestMind.
How to spot a brand with ethical commitments?
- Take a look at the brand's website and identify its commitments and values
- Keep an eye on the country of manufacture and the working conditions of the workers (standards, certifications)
- Watch the brand's news on social networks
Focus on transport and manufacturing
Read your labels to find out where your clothes are made. Some Asian countries specialise in the manufacture of textiles and clothing at very competitive prices. Brands do not hesitate to order from these suppliers instead of producing in Europe for economic reasons.
Did you know that? Some brands renew their collection up to 24 times in one year. The transport of these clothes back to the shops has a considerable impact on the increase in greenhouse gases.
So choose brands that work in short circuits and close to where you live. At Zèta, for example, we produce in Portugal and send the shoes exclusively to Europe to limit our carbon footprint.
Some ethical brands to complete your wardrobe:
Hopaal, Colorful Standard, Ribbed
2- Pay attention to the choice of materials
Synthetic materials and especially polyester is the most used material in the fast-fashion world. Today, about 70% of synthetic fibres come from oil. In addition, the
Animal materials such as leather, wool or silk are also highly sought after, but often at the cost of mistreatment or intensive breeding. Recycled or synthetic furs are therefore preferred, and shoes made of recycled materials are preferred.
Today, there are alternatives such as natural materials that require little water, such as linen or hemp, eco-responsible materials or recycled materials.
Beware also of plant materials such as cotton, a coveted but controversial global star. Indeed, growing cotton requires a good dose of pesticides and large quantities of fresh water.
Many dyes are also used to give the garment a colour. However, all products are bleached before they are given their final colour, which has an additional impact. Make sure you wash your clothes before wearing them to avoid any risk of allergy. Choose clothes that are dyed from plants or with an eco-label that prohibits the use of chemicals. You can rely on labels such as European Ecolabel, Ecocert Textil, Demeter, GOTS, BioRé, Oeko - Tex Standard 100.
Many certifications exist in the textile sector. Finding out about and identifying brands with these certifications gives you an initial idea of their commitments.
Beware, a brand without certification does not mean that it is not committed. Smaller brands may not be able to afford labels. Conversely, for brands with labels, find out what these labels mean and all other aspects of the brand.
Focus on recycled materials
At Zèta, we are adept at using recycled materials in the manufacture of our products. Using recycled materials allows us to revalue existing materials and not to create new ones. The manufacturing processes are also much less polluting. The bonus? Our recycled materials are also recyclable. This gives the material several lives and avoids overproducing.
3- Give your clothes a second life
Few garments are biodegradable and some cannot be recycled. The composition of the products is very diverse and the manufacturing process is complex due to the different processes used which require chemical transformations. So how can you give your clothes a second life?
First of all, you have to take care of your clothes in order to keep them over time. Repair your clothes that are not too badly damaged. Sometimes all it takes is a stitch, a trip to the cobbler's or seamstress's to give them a new lease on life. Upcycling is also very trendy at the moment. If you are good with your hands, go for it! The internet is a goldmine for finding tutorials to transform your clothes.
However, if you no longer wish to wear your clothes, donate them to friends or associations such as Emmaüs. Also use platforms to sell your clothes such as Vinted. If you have some time to spare, why not take part in a flea market to sell your last pieces.
Finally, recycle your clothes by dropping them off at recycling bins. Beware, however, that the sorting centres are overwhelmed. In France, we lack specialised textile centres. Most of your clothes end up in rags and very few are reused in the creation of a new material.
So, ask yourself before you buy a garment: Will I really use it? Do I really need it?
4- Turn to the second hand
Turning to second-hand clothing allows us to participate in a circular economy in order to combat the over-consumption of clothing. It is also a gesture for the planet. The product you are looking for probably already exists. So, let's go to the local second-hand store!
The Vinted application is a real war machine for second-hand clothes. It brings together buyers and sellers of second-hand clothes.
How do I find the right person on Vinted?
It is best to have an idea in mind of the item you want to find. It is best to use the filters by selecting brands, the maximum price you want to pay, the size, colour and condition of the item.
Don't forget to save your searches and turn on notifications to see what's new. Subscribe to accounts to have Vinted refine its search suggestions.
As the clothes are no longer new, the price of the clothes is much lower and more accessible. This is also an opportunity to save money!
5- Consume less but better
On average, a person buys 60% more clothes than 15 years ago and keeps them half as long according to the ADEME study. We know you fashions addicts, it's hard to resist all these offers! So don't rush into anything, but take the time to choose. What piece is missing from my wardrobe? How will I combine the garment? What materials are used? Does the cut suit me? We prefer raw jeans to torn or faded jeans, we try to choose timeless products of good quality that can easily find a buyer.
It is difficult to be perfect and to respect all these parameters as a consumer. It's not all on your shoulders, but there are many ways to limit your environmental impact and dress better while polluting less!
And above all, don't forget: the clothes that pollute the least are the ones you don't buy!