The art of giving a sustainable 'f***'
Over the past year I have been listening to a lot of audio books. I’ve always wanted to read more, but I struggle to imagine the story in my head so I’ve never ‘gotten into any books’. There have been a few notable exceptions, but this is generally speaking. Nevertheless, the point I’m making is, I’ve been listening to a lot of audio books and one was the well known book, ‘The art of not giving a f***’.
But then I thought, this mentally works when it comes to a lot of things in one’s life, but when it comes to sustainable clothes, especially affordable Sustainable t-shirts. Then we must give a f***. So that’s when I thought, I would list out the reasons why we are the smartest people on Earth (because you’re reading my blog) must learn the art of giving a sustainable f***.
For those older enough to remember, in the 1990’s and early 2000’s, recycling wasn’t really a thing. You used to put your rubbish into the rubbish bin and it would be taken away to a landfill or incinerator. This was normal and recycling was very much at the fringes of society. But then in the late 2000’s there was a big push in the UK for recycling. We started getting blue lidded bens instead of just the green lidded bins. Fast forward to 2020 and now recycling is everywhere and is considered normal.
So how did it happen? Our habit changed. We got used to throwing our glass and plastic into a separate bin and that is the point I’m making. Until we make a conscious effort to start buying sustainable clothes or generally sustainable products, then we will never get into the habit to expect this. This is even truer for affordable sustainable clothes. If we want to see more sustainable clothes without the high end cost premium attached to them, then we have to make it a habit to buy sustainably. This will force retailers to adapt and as they do, competition will increase and prices will inevitably go down.
Landfills and waste
Speaking of landfills earlier, another key point as to why we should give a sustainable f*** is to reduce our general waste levels. There is a measurement that measures our consumptions in ‘earths’. I.E how many earths would we have to go through to sustainable meet our consumption levels. And the last time I checked, it was around 1.5 earths. That means that we are consuming half an earths more than we can produce. Now some will ask how that is possible. Simple, we over farm our planet. We farm it to the extend where after a few years, the land that was used to grew stuff, cannot be used any longer. It is not sustainable.
What this means then is that to reduce consumption, and there waste, we need to buy sustainably. Especially in fashion. Fast fashion is a quite plague on the earth, and we need to make sustainable clothes the new normal. Both high-end sustainable clothes and affordable sustainable clothes will have their place in our society, but that place needs to grow larger and quicker.
If you would like to learn more about what sustainable fabrics are and the benefits of them. Then luckily we have written just such a blog. You could read our “what are sustainable fabrics?” blog here.
Right, so this point was implied throughout the blog, but I thought I would make a reference to it directly. Environmentalism and a general awareness of our environment. Dzihic was started out of my fear that not enough was being done in fashion to combat climate change.
I amount of images and videos online that show the sheer amount of clothes and plastic waste that washes up on the coast of developing countries is shocking. It started me on a path to read about the fashion industry and realise that we were the fourth biggest polluter. Behind the likes of oil & gas and the automotive industry.
It was this realisation that made me look into sustainable clothing and as I looked I found that none of the brands really ‘spoke’ to me. They were all tailored to hardcore environmentalists while I was just for eco-conscious. Where I found brands that did appeal to me, they had a nice high premium that put me off of them and my search for affordable sustainable clothes didn’t yield much of anything. So that is why Dzihic was started, to build a brand that would appeal to a lot of people but also be sustainable and good for our planet. So that is another reason why we should give a sustainable ‘fuck’. The environment.
Now, I’m not one to tell people what their morals and ethics should be. This is naturally done through parent, friends, schooling and the media. So your morals and ethics are you own.
That being said, when a clothing brand can afford to sell you a t-short for £5 or a pair of jeans for £10. You have to wonder how much the person that made them is being paid. There was a time when a well known British brand Primark was outted in the news for using ‘un-ethical’ developing country factories to enforced long hours, low pay and none existent benefits. This shook Primark and a lot of other retailers into looking at their supply chain.
But the truth of it is the end result was workers who instead of being paid £0.50 an hour, instead got £0.60 an hour. Unfortunately the difference isn’t going to make much of an impact to those peoples lived.
So how does sustainable clothing play into this, especially affordable clothes that would almost seem counter intuitive? Usually with brands that sell sustainable clothes, they pay higher amounts to suppliers who pay their workers higher. The end result is better wages and better worker conditions. Some brands will of course want to make back the extra they have to pay out by passing the difference onto the customer. But for Dzihic and a lot of other brands, our end goal isn’t always the ‘margin’. Don’t get me wrong, we have to turn a profit to pay our guys and gals. But if buying sustainable clothes for suppliers costs us a little more than it would have otherwise. Then we’re happy to absorb this cost.
So there we have it, these are the reasons why we should all learn the art of giving a sustainable f***. Thanks!