5 important terms when talking about sustainability
Living a more sustainable lifestyle can be a bit intimidating at first: with all the terminology that exists, and that appears every day, it is difficult to know what exactly what we are reading about. Whether you are just starting out or you are already an expert, in this post we bring you 5 terms that are going to give a lot to talk about and that for us are the beginning of this adventure.
Probably the most complex word on the list, sustainability has recently become the most commonly used term in the fashion industry. Sustainability refers, by definition, to meeting current needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet theirs, ensuring a balance between economic growth, environmental care and social welfare. It is precisely this concept that gave rise to the idea of sustainable development as a model of progress that maintains this delicate balance today without endangering the resources of tomorrow.
But what does it mean then that a fashion brand is sustainable? When we join these two terms, what we mean is to indicate that in the creation of this brand we are trying to reduce the associated environmental and social impacts, that is, we are trying to reduce the damage that the conventional industry is known to be generating..
The Anthropocene, named after our species, is the geological era characterized by being the first one shaped by our human actions. It is also, precisely for that reason, a wake-up call and marks a scientific consensus on what is happening and a huge lack of agreement regarding what it means to live well and our role within Nature.
Fashion, in this context, is a living medium for us in which to represent our identity: what we make, buy, appreciate, wear... is shaped by and responds to our intentions in a vital and substantial way. Together, fashion in the Anthropocene is our greatest opportunity in history to redesign the present to shape the future we want.
Coined by environmentalist Jay Westervelt in 1986, this term refers to those communication and marketing practices aimed at passing off as environmentally friendly those companies that, in depth, do not show sufficient evidence of being so.
As a result of this increasingly common practice, the European Union published in February 2021 a report in which after analyzing 334 campaigns of companiesThe report concludes that 59% of the cases are not able to communicate any clear or direct information to support their claims related to the sustainability of their product and in 37% of the cases the messages are vague and imprecise (such as "environmentally friendly" or "sustainable product").
According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundationless than 1% of the material used to produce clothing is recycled into new clothing. According to the latest report developed by McKinsey and Business of Fashion, cotton cultivation worldwide accounts for 10-20% of the world's pesticide use, and to produce 1kg of cotton requires between 10,000 and 20,000 litres of water depending on the species and its geographical location. By choosing one fibre over another, you can save a lot of water, and by lowering the temperature of your washing machine, you can reduce your own carbon footprint by 700,000 tonnes of CO2.
Small changes in our behaviour can have big impacts, and these are just a few examples to prove it.
What is clear is that if we ever really want to understand how to maintain consumption that enables individual wellbeing in a community world, we need to measure the impact we make with our actions and our products. Did you know that you can find out about ours here?
Wellness is defined as "the active pursuit of activities, choices and lifestyles that lead to a state of holistic health". This makes our wellbeing multifaceted and encompasses not only physical, but also mental, emotional, social, environmental and spiritual dimensions. We are not complete or truly well when any of these foundations of life are missing or deficient; and they are interrelated so that each dimension strengthens or weakens another.
However, there are two particularly important aspects to this definition: first, wellbeing is not a passive or static state, but rather an "active pursuit" that is associated with intentions, choices and actions as we work towards an optimal state of health and wellbeing. Second, wellbeing is linked to holistic health, i.e. it extends beyond physical health and incorporates many different dimensions that should work in harmony, inside and outside of us (socially and environmentally), and which have traditionally been excluded from this equation.