We all love a bargain, and its difficult to walk past a great top or a pair of leggings for the gym at less than $30! The cheap garments will probably last a couple of wears or a few washes, and then be discarded, before eventually winding up in landfill. So called fast fashion satisfies our need for low price garments, but is disastrous for the environment.
Jane Miliburn, in her book Slow Fashion, has found that Australians buy an average of 27kg of textiles (including leather and homewares) and then discard 23kg into landfill, mostly synthetic fibres. So the amount of textiles Australians consume annually is double the global average of 13kg a person! A Yougov report found that 24% of garments are discarded after only 1 wear.
All fashion manufacturing consumes resources in fabric production, manufacturing and shipping , so these are also increased in fast fashion.
If we buy better quality and more durable garments that look good for several seasons, we will also save money in the longer run as well as reducing our personal environmental footprint.
All of us must do our part to minimise waste to ensure the health of our planet and produce products ethically, so here's what we at Zest Lifewear are doing.
- We work with our suppliers to produce a high quality and durable garment that you will wear for years - avoiding the fast fashion trend that is leading to huge amounts of cheap garments being discarded to land fill, as well as wasting precious resources such as energy and water.
- All fabric production uses water and energy, but we try to minimise this by using recycled fabrics wherever possible, or fabrics made from renewable sources such as wood fibre. This costs a little more but we are committed to being a sustainable brand.
- Fabrics can be printed using a dye sublimation process (which provides sharp and no fade colour), which means there are no inks to clean up or dispose of, and our manufacturers don't need to stock many different colours of fabric. Leftover fabric scraps are used for samples by our suppliers.
- Our key suppliers are compliant with the BSCI Code of Conduct, which provides guidance for ethical and responsible sourcing through core principles such as no child labour, fair remuneration, worker health and safety, decent working hours, and no discrimination.
- We are removing swing tags on our garments, and transitioning to all garment information, such as size and fabric care, being digitally printed inside the garment.
- We are a 'no paper' business, so we don't print picking slips, shipping advice, copies of orders etc unless requested.
- Your garment will packed in a plastic Australia Post bag to ensure its arrival in perfect condition, but will be wrapped in recyclable tissue paper rather than a plastic bag.
We are continually looking for ways to improve the sustainability of our products and business, and would love to hear your ideas too!