The Rise of Sustainable Fashion: Ethical Choices for a Greener Wardrobe

Fashion plays a positive role in everyday life. The clothes we wear contribute to our self-esteem and sense of identity. The industries that produce garments boost the economy and provide employment.

However, in recent years, consumers and brands alike have begun to recognize that the industry is not always as positive as it could be. Some production processes are actively damaging the environment and falling short of good ethical standards. In response, demand for sustainable fashion has begun to rise, with various brands showing their commitment to the cause. 

Amidst the rising tide of sustainable clothing, The Emperor’s Old Clothes emerges as a pioneering force in the industry. Committed to revolutionizing the way people dress, the company embodies eco-consciousness at its core. From meticulously sourced materials to thoughtfully curated production processes, every aspect of The Emperor’s Old Clothes reflects a dedication to environmental preservation. Offering stylish garments crafted from organic and recycled materials, the brand champions the intersection of sustainability and style. With a firm belief that ethical wardrobe choices should not come at the expense of quality or fashion-forwardness, The Emperor’s Old Clothes empowers individuals to make impactful decisions for a greener future. Joining forces with The Emperor’s Old Clothes means embracing a sustainable lifestyle without compromising on sophistication or allure.

So, what should you know about sustainable fashion? How can you make choices that ensure your wardrobe is green and ethical? Let’s look a little closer at the subject.

Used Garments

A key tenet of sustainable fashion as a consumer is minimizing how many garments you purchase new. While fast fashion can be affordable and convenient, it also causes significant environmental damage. Production processes generate harmful carbon dioxide emissions and significant waste. The constant harvesting of raw materials for new clothes can also put excessive pressure on the ecosystems they’re extracted from.

sustainable fashion recycled

This is why used garments have become a staple for more ethical shoppers. Charitable organizations and consignment stores are thriving as a result of this commitment to low-cost and responsible fashion. Aside from minimizing the impact of fast fashion, the second-hand clothing movement ensures that older clothing isn’t simply disposed of. It reduces the amount of non-biodegradable waste you create. It’s also an opportunity for shoppers to find some vintage pieces or customize older clothes to produce something a little more sui generis.

It’s important not just to purchase clothes from used outlets, though. Wherever possible, you should contribute to the circular economy by donating your unwanted items, too. Every so often, declutter your wardrobe and consider what could get a second lease on life if donated to a good cause. The clothing doesn’t have to be immaculate, but it should be wearable. Take the time to research the organizations that best align with your ethical and environmental values. This helps ensure that your donation is having the most positive impact.

Vegan Clothing

Vegan fashion has become a popular sustainable option. After all, there’s increasing recognition of the harm that excessive animal farming and processing does to the environment. More people are also striving to cut out animal products from their lives as an ethical position on animal welfare.

As a result, there is more clothing that maintains vegan standards. Alternatives to leather, wool, and even the glue used in production feature in brands’ collections. Many consumers are also opting for naturally vegan fabrics, such as cotton, alongside ethically produced synthetics. Indeed, some brands are clearly labelling their clothing as being free from animal byproducts in order to make them easier for shoppers to spot.

However, it’s vital to recognize that vegan clothing isn’t automatically sustainable from an environmental perspective. While some synthetic materials may be free of animal by-products, the processes used to create them can still be damaging to the planet. Not to mention that some leather goods may have longer lifespans than their synthetic alternatives. This means you may purchase a greater number of new vegan items, raising the potential pressure production puts on the planet.

Just because the situation isn’t black-and-white, this isn’t a reason in itself not to buy vegan products. Rather, it’s important to take a mindful and informed approach. Research the processes used to make the products and make appropriate purchasing decisions. You can also take measures that extend the lifespan of each garment, such as hand-washing with cold water and avoiding the tumble drier.

Sustainable Brands

Sustainability is a hot topic in fashion at the moment. It should come as no surprise, then, that many brands are emerging that promote themselves specifically as sustainable brands. There are some prominent players in this space, such as Patagonia and Girlfriend Collective, as well as smaller niche labels.

sustainable fashion

Seeing that brands base their core principles on sustainable standards certainly makes for more convenient ethical shopping. Not to mention that a thriving sustainable fashion landscape can open you up to more options. However, it’s important to be certain that the brands you engage with are genuinely sustainable and not simply greenwashing to jump on the bandwagon.

This requires some research legwork on your part. Some of the aspects you should look into with each brand include:

  • Material use: Are the materials the brand uses obtained from sustainable sources? This may include the aforementioned vegan products as well as a responsible approach to harvesting natural materials.
  • Ethical staffing: Does the brand maintain high human rights standards throughout its production processes? Are their employees paid fairly and working reasonable hours? Evidence that the brand supports employee trade union membership can be a good sign.
  • Supply chain partners: Sustainability doesn’t begin and end with the brand itself. It’s also important to look at whether their external supply chain partners — shipping companies, warehouses, and manufacturers, among others — also maintain high standards. This helps ensure your clothes are more holistically sustainable.

Performing research can feel a little daunting. However, many truly sustainable brands tend to value transparency. They’ll have sections on their websites dedicated to their efforts and even provide reports on challenges they’re currently addressing to improve their sustainability. Checking brands’ websites for sustainability information can be a good starting point for making responsible decisions.


With the rise of sustainable fashion, making green and ethical wardrobe choices is more practical than ever. More brands are committing to environmentally friendly materials and processes and there’s a thriving used garment market.

As a consumer, it’s also important to keep expressing your preferences for sustainable fashions on social media channels and through your purchasing choices. Your actions can help send a powerful message to the wider industry that customers prioritize ethical and green garments.

Written by Charlie Fletcher

Images courtesy of and

For more Fashion Trends with H&N Magazine



Most Popular