Fashion and beauty are in the midst of a necessary, long-needed eco-revolution. The clean living movement has never been bigger, and consumers are beginning to merge their need for self-care with care for the planet. This has brought the issue of sustainability to the fore of social consciousness, as both the beauty and fashion industries are beginning to reflect. “Today, people are more aware of the environmental and social consequences of overproduction,” explains Bronwyn Seier, Content Coordinator at Fashion Revolution. “Consumers want to know who makes their clothing, and want brands to take responsibility for their ecological footprints.”
The world of fast fashion is plagued by waste — both during the production of clothing and even after from unsold garments. Pollution caused by non-local production and carbon emissions from factory farming also contributes to an unconscionable eco-footprint. In order to cut back on fast fashion’s estimated 150 billion garments per year, we must ultimately buy less and keep our clothes longer, extending the “product life-cycle” of our pieces. We can also do our part by supporting the sustainable fashion retailers that have built eco-consciousness into their business models.
The beauty industry doesn’t fare much better — with plastic waste at an all-time high. Teen Vogue reported that beauty’s plastic footprint in 2017 was an estimated 76.8 billion plastic packaging units. Of that, an estimated 70 percent is dumped into landfills, which then makes its way into our oceans. Needless to say, it’s a worthy endeavor to partake in the no-waste beauty trend and shop from brands that emphasize recycling and biodegradability.
The good news: According to Forbes, 88 percent of consumers are looking for brands that help them make a difference, and we know that demand drives change. So for all the times you’ve been told to “honor thy mother” (mother earth, that is), now is officially your chance. To research on your own, you can look up brands’ responsibility in Fashion Revolution’s Transparency Index. In the meantime, we’ve made some chic selects of sustainable fashion and beauty brands that are making a real effort.