The clothing we wear and keep in our closets can take a massive toll on the environment. Especially so if it is manufactured by fast fashion companies, which have a record of contributing to climate change, polluting rivers, unsafe conditions for workers, and more. The sportswear sector has also been following this environmentally and socially destructive trend – and we say it’s time we put a stop to this.
We need to rethink the way fast fashion is making us perceive activewear and other clothes – as a disposable resource that is so cheap that we don’t mind wasting money on it.
Beware of greenwashing
More and more of us have been becoming aware of the environmental impact our activewear is having, leading us to want to make more sustainable purchases. While this has led to more companies actually making changes in the way they produce their garments, it’s also lifted a wave of greenwashing.
Greenwashing is a shady marketing practice, which involves companies not being truthful about their environmental performance. Whether they are trying to hide massive environmental issues behind small changes that are nearly meaningless in comparison (such as fast fashion stores introducing paper bags instead of plastic) or making false promises and unsupported statements in their marketing, greenwashing in the fashion industry has been spreading like wildfire.
However, once you become aware of greenwashing, it’s quite easy to identify it and recognize the truly sustainable companies which don’t partake in the tactic:
- If a fast-fashion company is making claims about being sustainable, it’s likely greenwashing – the fast fashion business model can never be sustainable.
- Look for facts to back up the claims a company is making – sustainability reports and reliable third-party certifications.
- Statements about what a company ‘believes’ or ‘strives for’ should always be backed up by actual actions. If you can’t see the company acting on these, it’s likely just greenwashing.
A slow fashion mindset
Slow fashion can help us start shifting our perspective and begin to think of clothing as something made to last once again. Slow fashion activewear is the polar opposite of fast fashion – garments are made to be worn as many times as possible for years to come and designed in a way that will actually make you want to wear them all this time.
Slow fashion doesn’t need shady marketing tactics like greenwashing – because its actions and actual environmental impact speak volumes.
Made-to-order, combatting fashion waste
The majority of fashion brands, including fast fashion activewear, are made in advance based on the anticipated demand. However, rarely do fast fashion companies actually make correct predictions about this, leading to large amounts of clothing being discarded and sent to landfills. This is only one of the ways in which fast fashion is contributing to the waste crisis, but it’s one of the most alarming ones.
This issue can be easily tackled by slow fashion sportswear brands creating their collections made-to-order. This is the strategy we chose for our business concept, as it benefits everyone: the planet, us, and our customers – who can get a garment made to measure, to fit them like a glove.
Made-to-measure activewear as a solution
It can sometimes be quite difficult to find activewear that actually fits your body and won’t move around uncomfortably as you’re exercising – especially if you’re buying online. Fast fashion in particular doesn’t give too much thought to designing a garment to fit like a glove, because they don’t want you to find a garment that you’ll love for years to come – they want you to have to throw it away and come back as soon as possible.
Fast fashion also uses a standardized sizing scale, which is problematic in many ways. Once we get past the ways labeling your body as ‘medium’ or ‘extra large’ can impact somebody’s mind, we get to another issue – the fact that fast fashion always assumes human beings grow in the same (idealized) proportions, universally. Because of that, you’ll rarely find a fast-fashion piece of activewear that will fit you well, unless you have the exact proportions they’re designed for.
If the garment doesn’t fit you properly, you’ll likely discard it soon, looking for something that will actually fit well – buying more fast fashion.
When choosing activewear, bet on slow fashion if you want to ensure you’re saving both the environment and money. Would you rather own one pair of leggings that fits you perfectly or five which all keep sliding down as you jog or keep cutting into your stomach?
To make your sportswear last and to make the best use of it, you now have the easy & affordable option to go for fully customized made-to-measure pieces.
While this is a more involved process, you’ll certainly get much more wear out of them, leading to a much smaller cost per wear – which is what slow fashion activewear is all about.