STUDIO EVA D. - 5 Ways to Reduce Microfibre Pollution from Fast Fashion

5 Ways to Reduce Microfibre Pollution from Fast Fashion

5 Ways to Reduce Microfibre Pollution from Fast Fashion. With fast fashion churning out plastic-based materials such as polyester, nylon, and acrylic (about 60% worldwide), it’s unsurprising that the number of microscopic fragments (known as microfibres) pollutes our deepest oceans, and even glaciers

 

These tiny synthetic fibres are shed from our clothing during washing, so, as sustainability advocates, STUDIO EVA D offers critical insight into how YOU can reduce microfibre pollution.

 

1. Choose Natural Fabrics

 

Studio EVA D. - sustainable brand uses natural fabricsNatural materials are known to break down much easier compared to their synthetic counterparts. These fibres are composed of biodegradable organic materials. When exposed to the natural environment, they undergo microbial decomposition aided by bacteria, fungi and other organisms (some fabrics can even be found in bird nests). With a breakdown sometimes as quickly as a few months, the environmental impact is minimal. 

 

However, synthetic fibres derived from petrochemicals are not biodegradable because they are chemically stable and do not readily decompose through natural microbial processes, meaning they could take years to decompose.

 

When buying garments, do your research! Supporting brands that are committed to sustainability. Organic certifications and labels that indicate the natural materials used ensure the quality and durability of the product.

 

Read our blog on Materials for a greener future: The latest developments in sustainable material sourcing to learn more about the significant advancements in natural materials for sustainable clothing.

 

2. Opt for Hand Washing 

 

Studio EVA D. - sustainable brand uses natural fabricsHand washing offers various environmental benefits, including reducing microfibres pollution from your laundry routine. Researchers have found that machine methods release more than five times more microplastics than traditional methods.

 

Remember, when handwashing, use a gentle detergent specifically formulated for delicate fabrics, and follow proper techniques such as soaking, mild agitation, and rinsing thoroughly. Always handle the garments with care to avoid excessive stretching or wringing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Utilise Fabric Softeners or Conditioners

 

Studio EVA D. - woman wearing genderless clothesTumble drying alone contributes to the release of approximately 120 million airborne microfibres every year, but studies find that using some anti-wrinkle fabric conditioners can cut fibre emissions by 36%.

 

With its mechanical action agitating garments and causing friction between the fibres, accompanied by weakened fabrics due to high temperatures and drying time, the accumulation of dryer lint is collected and eventually disposed of into the environment if not correctly captured.

 

Fabric softeners and conditioners lubricate fibres, making them less prone to breakage and shedding during the wash cycle. This lubrication maintains fibre quality and water absorption and reduces static, particularly for synthetic clothing. 

 

 

 

 

4. Use Washing Bags or Filters

 

Studio EVA D. - man wearing genderless clothes - Reduce Microfibre PollutionWashing bags are specifically designed to organise your garments, extend their life and, with the latest sustainable technologies, capture microfibres. 

 

Products like The Guppy Friend take the eco-markets by storm, meaning your synthetic products can be washed without the guilt of having fibres shed into the water system. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Wash Clothes Less Frequently and Air Dry

 

Studio EVA D. - man wearing genderless clothes - Reduce Microfibre PollutionWashing and drying your clothes contributes to an average of 6% of home energy use and a large chunk of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere. Reducing the amount you wash your clothes offers various benefits to your garments and the environment. How we wash our clothes can reduce energy usage, chemical exposure and those pesky microfibres.

 

If you are in the market for new appliances, consider ones that are much more energy efficient, this can ultimately save you money. Opt for colder temperatures and more oversized loads when putting on a wash. Efficient settings such as shorter wash cycles and washing clothes at 20°C can save you approximately 66% of energy use per load.

 

The dryer is one of the bigger culprits to the contribution of microfibres during your wash cycle. 

 

Whenever possible, air dry your clothes. This process reduces garment friction and the amount of fibres being shed.

 

Wear what you love. Cherish it and it lasts a long time.

 

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The Pandemic Effect: How COVID-19 is Changing Consumer Attitudes Toward Second-Hand Fashion

The Pandemic Effect: How COVID-19 is Changing Consumer Attitudes Toward Second-Hand Fashion. The COVID-19 pandemic was undoubtedly a time for reflection for us all, including how we treat the environment—the first hundred days of the lockdown had seen a drop in air pollution and carbon emissions, including a 52% drop in motor vehicle usage between 23 March to 30 June 2020.

 

It hugely impacted our lives, and now it has altered how we shop for clothing and seek environmentally sustainable alternatives to expressing our individuality through styles and garments. 

 

A Downward Trend

 

Studio EVA D. - sustainable fashion brands in 2023We all know about the world economy’s downward spiral during the peak stages of COVID-19.

 

With lockdown measures, travel restrictions and business closures, job losses and a significant decline in economic activity were inevitable.

 

Fast Fashion was most vulnerable due to decreased consumer demand, disrupted production lines and store closures. H&M has since closed 3,441 stores, with Zara following similarly.

 

Having leading brands in unsustainable production and waste contributions taking a big hit is good, right? Well, to counter a loss in demand (an apparent loss of 24.1% in sales in the first two weeks of lockdown), fast fashion brands, including Zara, were offering discounts as low as 50%. As well as this, stores that operate entirely on a digital platform thrived. Chinese fast fashion brand Shein used the pandemic in their favour, exploiting the dramatic increase in social media use to sell their products, doubling their sales to $10 billion in 2022.

 

A Shift In Consumer Values 

 

Studio EVA D. - sustainable fashion brands in 2023Despite a lucrative market of heavily discounted and trend-setting garments, the behaviour of consumers (particularly Gen Z) has steered towards conscious consumption.

 

With the rapid-paced world suddenly halting before their eyes, people had an opportunity to pause and reflect on their lifestyles and consumption habits, shifting their focus towards essential items and sustainability.

 

The pandemic exposed vulnerabilities in global supply chains, particularly in fashion and electronics.

 

Factory closures, transportation disruptions, and shortages of essential goods highlighted the environmental and social risks associated with long and complex supply chains. Since small businesses were vulnerable due to an apparent lack of UK government support during the pandemic, we became more aware of how important it is to think about how we spend our money.

 

Desire For Meaningful Purchases

 

Studio EVA D. - sustainable fashion brands in 2023Whilst second-hand clothing sales initially faced challenges due to temporary closures and hygiene concerns, the pandemic ultimately accelerated the shift towards sustainable and second-hand fashion.

 

A spike in global unemployment and the dreaded stress of financial insecurity led to much more budget-conscious decisions, and second-hand clothing at a lower price is an attractive option.

 

By 2020, Britain had topped the secondhand purchase leaderboard over the US by 117,55%, and apps like Depop and Thredup are rising stars in resale platforms (a market estimated to overtake fast fashion by 150% in 2028.) However, the allure of a lower cost isn’t the only reason people were drawn to second-hand fashion. Many people had taken the pandemic as an opportunity to experiment with their style. With second-hand fashion offering vintage, retro, and niche items, fashion lovers can fulfil their desire for unique and distinctive garments that are not readily available in mainstream stores.

 

Without distracting us from the detrimental effect COVID-19 had on the world, it has acted as a catalyst for the shift towards sustainability and the reinforcement of responsible consumption. It was a time for us to reevaluate our priorities, become more aware of environmental and social issues and seek out sustainable alternatives in our purchasing decisions.

 

Wear what you love. Cherish it, and it lasts a long time.

 

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A Green Revolution: How Denmark, Norway, and the Netherlands are Championing Sustainable Fashion

A Green Revolution: How Denmark, Norway, and the Netherlands are Championing Sustainable Fashion. By innovating eco-friendly practices and approaches to ethical production standards, Denmark, Norway, and the Netherlands have addressed significant sustainability challenges the fashion industry poses.

 

Ranked highly as some of the top-performing countries to achieve their sustainable development goals (SDG), sustainable fashion has become increasingly aware among consumers who intend to make a conscious effort to reduce environmental impact in their countries.

 

Denmark’s Circular Designs

 

Studio EVA D. - European countries in Sustainable FashionKnown for its cosiness, minimalist designs and open-faced sandwiches, Denmark aspires to be one of the most climate-friendly countries in the world, with a government plan to reduce the country’s greenhouse emissions by 70% by 2030.

 

With 16kg of clothing consumption per head compared to the UK’s 26.7kg, Denmark has a fashion scene dedicated to sustainability

 

An essential aspect of sustainable fashion in Denmark is the circular design model. Circular design refers to designing products that can be reused, repaired, or recycled at the end of their lifecycle rather than discarded as waste.

 

Denmarks Loop Initiative aims to create a closed-loop system for fashion production, where materials are reused and recycled rather than discarded.

 

NICE for Norway

 

Studio EVA D. - gender-neutral clothesWith vital social welfare and a night sky phenomenon known as the Northern Lights, Norway is a country that values its natural beauty and rich history.

 

Since 2008, the Nordic Initiative Clean & Ethical (NICE) has been a joint force for sustainable practices in the fashion industry.

 

Ranked highly in sustainability for clothing and fashion industries by consumers, Norway also prides itself on the collaboration of brands and designers to promote sustainable practices.

 

Platforms like The Norwegian Fashion Hub facilitate cooperation between Norwegian textile and fashion brands and provide environmental solutions and education for brands and consumers.

 

A Greener Netherlands

 

Studio EVA D. - European countries in Sustainable FashionIt’s not just Windmills, Tulips and a cracking pair of clogs that make the Netherlands so iconic worldwide. With the EU green deal agreement to accelerate a sustainable economy and a goal for 0 carbon emissions by 2050, the Dutch government has aimed to further its sustainability in the fashion industry with a circular initiative.

 

To reduce textile waste, the Dutch government aspire to reach 50% circularity of textiles by 2050, hoping that the change will “ensure more reuse, less waste, and less pollution.”

 

Following the pandemic, The Netherlands has received  €4.7 billion in grants to support a “green transition” and develop a more sustainable country. 48% of which will support climate objectives.

 

With these initiatives in mind, consumers are becoming more conscious of how we treat the planet and are influencing brands by demanding more transparent products and ethical considerations.

 

As the fashion industry grapples with the challenge of reducing its environmental impact, these countries are setting an example for others to follow, showing that it is possible to create fashionable and sustainable clothing without compromising on style or quality.

 

Wear what you love. Cherish it, and it lasts a long time.

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Sustainable Social Media: Harnessing the Power of Digital Influence

 

Sustainable Social Media: Harnessing the Power of Digital Influence. It is well-known that social media provides a space for sustainable fashion enthusiasts. Sustainable brands have been using influencers and bloggers since the mid-2000s to educate followers about the environmental and social impact of the fashion industry and even sell their ethical and second-hand clothing.

 

Now, with 59% of the world’s population and 77.8% of the world’s 18-year-olds using social media, it’s no wonder brands are using the robust platform to expand their target coverage and educate customers about the benefits of sustainable fashion.

 

Social Media and Sustainable Fashion 

 

Studio EVA D. - Social Media and Sustainable Fashion With much more opportunities to engage with consumers on social media, sustainable fashion brands are building stronger brand loyalty.

 

By simply responding to customer inquiries and comments, brands can demonstrate that they care about their customers’ opinions and feedback.

 

With this in mind, customers who feel connected to the brand and appreciate the sustainability efforts are likelier to share content and recommend the brand to others.

 

Engagement with the customers has many other benefits that shape how we shop online, educating and influencing. Brands can share photos of their clothing and promote their sustainability efforts. With a solid social media presence, they can establish a loyal customer base and attract new audiences. 

 

This ultimately forms a community.

 

Social Media and Fast-fashion

 

Studio EVA D. - Social Media and Fast-fashionFast fashion always seems to find a way to pollute. Our oceans and landfills are overwhelmed with material waste, and now so have our Instagram feeds.

 

By promoting rapidly changing trends, low costs, and throw-away culture, fast fashion has found a way to use social media to create a sense of urgency. 

 

Business accounts post an average of 1.71 posts daily, with Instagram being the chosen platform to start shopping for around 15% of U.S. consumers. With this in mind, Fast fashion brands release collections weekly or even daily on social media, creating a sense of FOMO among audiences. With much exposure to a massive percentage of the population, there is a battle between sustainability and convenient consumerism.

 

Sustainable fashion focuses on educational and informative content, partnerships that share their values, and a strong relationship with their followers through genuine responses to comments. Fast fashion, however, has other priorities.

 

Studio EVA D. - Social Media and Fast-fashionWith a focus on visually appealing and trendy content solely to generate sales, brands like Zara, Asos, and BooHoo have accumulated millions of followers.

 

Regular collection releases and heavily discounted products sound appealing, right? Well, over-frequent sales and discounts lead to encouraging people to buy more than they need, leading to over-consumption and more textile waste in our landfills and oceans. 

 

At STUDIO EVA D, we strive for an online community that engages our followers. We release only timeless classics that suit all seasons to promote conscious consumerism. By doing this, we reduce environmental impact and increase durability and versatility.

 

Follow our Instagram @studio.eva.d.fashion for transparent content and seasonless releases.

 

Wear what you love. Cherish it, and it lasts a long time.

 

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The Power of Generation Z: Leading the Way in Sustainability

The Power of Generation Z: Leading the Way in Sustainability. Born between the mid-1990s and mid-2010s, Generation Z has lived through turning points in the consequences global warming has on our planet. Events such as Hurricane Katrina and the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill witnessed some of the most devastating long-term effects on the environment and the then-world population of 6 billion.

 

That’s not to say we haven’t seen disasters like this before with previous generations. Still, as a generation with the internet in full swing and online presence at their fingertips, it is no wonder Generation Z is becoming a powerful source in shaping the future of sustainability for generations to follow. That said, Generation Z also supports fashion brands prioritising sustainability, demanding brands to be more transparent and statistically more likely to Invest in high-quality, timeless pieces.

 

Power through social media

 

Studio EVA D. - sustainable fashion and generation ZAround the time of the birth of Generation Z, getting your hands on a smartphone was becoming more accessible.

 

Around 2015, social media became much more popular than ever.

 

Combine the two, and you have the entire world at your fingertips and a perfect platform for activists to amplify their voices to a broader audience.

 

Platforms like Twitter, Instagram and TikTok have allowed activists to raise awareness about environmental issues on a global scale. 

 

A great example is The Fridays for Future movement, initiated by teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg who used Twitter to promote the idea of school strikes for climate action, which eventually led to protests and demonstrations in cities around the world.

 

Driving for sustainability

 

Studio EVA D. - sustainable fashion and generation ZWith up-cycling and thrifting being used to reduce waste and promote sustainability, Generation Z has taken re-commerce much more seriously than any other older generation.

 

In fact, 36% of Gen Z and 39% of Millennials said they continue to value sustainability and environmental benefits when buying pre-loved goods”. 

 

Since the pandemic, there has been a shift in attitude towards sustainability and ethical practices.

 

As well as this, traditional fashion supply chains have been disrupted, paving the way for smaller businesses to enter the market.

 

With the leverage Gen Z has on social media, it has been much easier for fashion startups to reach a global audience and engage directly with their audience.

 

A Voice of the Future

 

Studio EVA D. - Sustainability in fashion and generation ZConsidering the above, it is clear that Generation Z is on a clear path to shaping the future for a greener, sustainable world and influencing many generations to follow.

 

With an entrepreneurial mindset and a focus on sustainability, a new economy is rising. With 75% of people from Gen Z in the USA finding ways for additional income, there’s now more incentive than ever to turn a passion into earnings.

 

With this in mind, and with social media as a platform for a global audience begging to be educated about sustainable fashion trends, Gen Z has been highly vocal about how others can make a difference. A great example is the #PayUp campaign in 2020, a movement led by Remake in response to workers’ wages being cut due to the pandemic for incomplete orders for various fashion brands.

 

The campaign was blasted on all social media platforms and was a complete success after accumulating over 270,000 signatures and recouping up to $15 billion of lost wages. Another victory is thanks to Generation Z’s advocacy for making fashion brands accountable for their environmental and societal impact.

 

Wear what you love. Cherish it, and it lasts a long time.

 

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Obstruction to sustainability / What’s stopping people from going green?

Obstruction to sustainability / What’s stopping people from going green? Sustainability has become an increasingly important topic in recent years, with more and more individuals and businesses recognising the need to reduce their environmental impact. With the awareness of the devastating effects of fast fashion growing, so has the interest in sustainably made garments.

 

Despite this, many obstacles still prevent people from going green.

 

Awareness

 

Studio EVA D. - the fashion industry's impactThere are many reasons why many people lack awareness when it comes to sustainability, especially in fashion, education being one of them. Many people need to fully understand the fashion industry’s impact to have more awareness of the destruction it has on the planet.

 

Without the right resources in educational institutions, there is a gap in the knowledge of fashion students since it is traditionally focused on design, marketing and production.

 

However, as times change, education in fashion is steering towards preparing the new generation of designers with skills and knowledge for a greener approach to garment design. For consumers, educational campaigns are being created by brands to raise awareness. Levi’s Buy better, wear longer campaign encourages consumers to buy higher-quality clothing that will last longer.

 

 

 

Convenience

 

Studio EVA D. - sustainable fashion and clothesConvenience has been the result of evolving technologies. Everything is easily accessible in most countries. Sustainable fashion, unfortunately, doesn’t fit into this category for several reasons.

 

Lack of variety 

 

With fast fashion offering many options to follow ever-changing trends at the click of a button, sustainability offers limited options that don’t necessarily adhere to the general consumers’ tastes.

 

Limited Availability 

 

Materials in sustainable fashion garments can be harder to come by and produce than the cheaper fast-fashion materials that can be easily made. Without the regular production of clothes created at maximum capacity to reach a high demand, consumers tend to avoid small-scale businesses associated with sustainable designs.

 

 

 

Limited Marketing

 

Studio EVA D. - sustainability en fashionWith sustainable fashion still being a niche market, budgets for broader marketing campaigns can be limited.

 

With a smaller audience and limited awareness, the fashion industry offers less support which can limit the opportunities for sustainable brands to market their products.

 

However, as awareness of sustainable fashion grows with conscious consumers demand, sustainable fashion will become much more convenient.

 

Designers already offer gender-neutral and modular outfits that can be incorporated into many styles. By partnering with retailers, designers make their clothing more accessible to new customers, increasing sales and broadening their visibility.

 

 

 

Cost

 

Studio EVA D. - the fashion industry's impact - What’s stopping people from going greenWhat’s stopping people from going green?

 

Sustainable fashion has always been perceived as much more expensive, and it certainly is.

 

Due to its high-quality materials and ethical production practices, ethical clothing is less accessible to consumers on a tight budget. 

 

However, by using innovative materials, direct-to-consumer models, and collaborating with other sustainable brands, sustainable brands can offer consumers more affordable options.

 

 

 

 

 

Scepticism 

 

Studio EVA D. - the fashion industry's impact - What’s stopping people from going greenAs a result of the obstructions mentioned above for consumers to go green, accompanied by the awareness that certain companies capitalise on sustainability by greenwashing, people tend to question the effectiveness of sustainable practices. 

 

Although a survey by Greenprint found that young Americans want to see more sustainable solutions, many don’t know how to identify trustworthy sources.

 

Again, this boils down to awareness and education towards greener methods in fashion.

 

Here at STUDIO EVA D., we know that taking action and leading by example can help overcome scepticism towards sustainability. Inspiring others not only to consider purchasing sustainable items like ours but also for aspiring designers can lean towards creating beautiful, sustainable garments and help grow towards a greener future. Read our blog, ‘How Designers are changing views in an outdated fashion industry.

 

Wear what you love. Cherish it, and it lasts a long time.

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How designers are changing views in an outdated fashion industry 

How designers are changing views in an outdated fashion industry. The fashion industry has had its controversies over the years, but things are changing like many profitable industries under scrutiny for their negative contributions to an overpopulated, polluted world.

 

We love discussing sustainability in fashion at STUDIO EVA D. We are happy to be part of the nascent movement toward a greener future in fashion. However, there is still a long way and a lot for designers to do to see a better future.

 

Diversity 

 

Studio EVA D. - sustainability in fashionThe fashion industry has been well-known for its limited representation. Dominated by a narrow range of models, there has always been a sense of exclusivity from people of different body types, races, genders and ages. A feeling of inadequacy and exclusion has always been rife for those who do not meet the set standards over time.

 

However, diversity in fashion has constantly been challenged throughout history. For example, in the 1920’s we saw an emergence of black designers in the Harlem Renaissance who embraced their African heritage and created new styles that celebrated their cultural identity. 

 

Nowadays, it is far more common for inclusively conscious brands to cater to a broader range of body types and reject unrealistic and harmful beauty standards. There has also been a rise in the use of diverse models, including plus-size models, models with disabilities, and models of all ages and races. A great example is Gucci’s 2020 mascara campaign that featured Ellie Goldstein, an 18-year-old model with Down syndrome. Featured on Vogue Italia’s online platform, it was inspired by the theme “Unconventional Beauty” and ultimately became their “biggest liked post EVER” on Instagram. 

 

Production Practices 

 

Studio EVA D. - production practices in fashion industryNinety-two million tonnes of textile waste is created every year by the fashion industry. Why? You may ask. Overproduction has become a common practice in companies based on the fast fashion business model. 

 

How are designers changing views in an outdated fashion industry? To put things into perspective, it takes an average of 2,700 litres of wastewater to produce a single cotton t-shirt and around 7,000 litres for a pair of jeans. It is the most significant element affected by the fashion industry because of the unsustainable practices being used to produce quick and cheap materials. The use of harmful chemicals is also polluting our oceans, making a considerable contribution to global warming. Scientists even say that 71% of microplastics found in river water samples come from material fibres. 

 

It is becoming much more common for sustainably conscious farmers and designers to work together to help curve these issues; the main one is greener agricultural methods to produce materials that need less water and are regenerative and recyclable. Designers, in the meantime, are creating multi-seasonal garments, meaning making clothes that can be worn all year round to reduce regular new collections.

 

You can read more about greener manufacturing practices in our blog Materials for a greener future: The latest developments in sustainable material sourcing

 

Labour

 

Studio EVA D. - sustainability in fashionFashion is notorious for exploiting minimal workers’ rights and dangerous conditions in faraway countries. Fast fashion depends on fast production to keep up with the demand of the consumers, but there is a more critical element companies focus on… the cost.

 

Using countries with lower labour costs makes producing garments with a quick turnaround much cheaper. However, with low pay rates come low rates of health and safety regulations in the workplace. A prime example is The Rana Plaza disaster in Bangladesh, where a building that housed five garments collapsed, killing at least 1,132 people.

 

Backlashed followed many fashion brands following the disaster, it was a catalyst for change, and now companies are being far more transparent with their supply chain. As well as using much more sustainable materials, brands like Louis Vitton collaborate with NGOs like UNICEF to monitor and improve their supply chains and empower workers with the appropriate training and education.

 

Patagonia’s Footprint Chronicles is an excellent supply chain and labour transparency example. It details the company’s every step in producing garments and helps consumers understand the products and their origins.

 

Collections with a message

 

Many designers use their platforms to promote social and political issues, but how they do it is what makes them stand out in an outdated fashion industry.

 

As well as using non-profits to be transparent about their supply chains, designers are developing ways to spread a message through their garments. A great example of this is Mara Hoffman’s photo series showing her spring ’17 collection featuring 25 feminists and activists who are contributing to social justice. She even featured this theme on a runway show with the goal being to inspire change and celebrate love, community, and justice.

 

Having messages with collections like these is not only in inspiring consumers to make sustainably conscious decisions but for other designers to do the same.

 

Wear what you love. Cherish it and it lasts a long time.

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