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A Brief Explainer on Sustainable Fashion


In 2020, a McKinsey survey found that 67% of consumers consider the use of sustainable materials in their clothing to be an important factor when they decide to purchase. Sustainable fashion has become an exceedingly important topic of discussion and focus, from clothing industry insiders to its general customer base, but it’s certainly become more so the case these last few years. Yet for something that’s becoming more commonplace, you may not know what it means, really. That’s more than fair. Terminology surrounding sustainability shifts from person to person and company to company. That’s why we’ve put together this brief explainer below, so you know what it is and why it’s so important!

Clay Crew Neck Tee

What is Sustainable Fashion?

Sustainable fashion, at its most basic, is the opposite of fast fashion. It’s clothing that’s manufactured, designed, and used in ways that are environmentally friendly.

Fast fashion is an approach to fashion production that focuses on quick production of clothing in a mass-produced manner. This model isn’t considered to be environmentally sustainable due to the often damaging and wasteful effects that can be found at many stages of the production process.

Sustainable fashion as an alternative model to fast fashion. Efforts are taken to minimize waste and negative impacts on the environment as much as possible — through a number of ways, including the use of biodegradable and natural fabrics to making use of recyclable packaging in place of single-use plastics.

White Pacific Beach Tank Top

Why Sustainable Fashion Is So Important

Sustainable fashion is important for a number of reasons. The biggest and most notable reason is that the clothing industry unfortunately stands as one of the world’s largest polluters, contributing to a whopping 10% of global carbon emissions by way of fashion production.

With overall fashion production nearly doubling since 2000, the industry’s output is higher than ever. When 87% of the total fiber input used for clothing winds up sent to landfills or incinerated, per Bloomberg reporting, the importance of sustainable fashion only grows.

This drastic impact on the environment can’t be understated, but sustainable fashion also has a social touchstone as well. Workers in the fast fashion industry often work for very low wages as well as in unsafe conditions. A key part of sustainable fashion includes fair labor practices and safe work environments, which is why companies like Fresh Clean Tees partner with factories that share their socially responsible ethics and values, ultimately seeking out manufacturing and shipping partners who are certified by an independent party.

With clothing brands rethinking their approach to sustainability, environmental impacts can hopefully be lessened as ethical, eco-friendly production practices take further root in an effort to slow the fast fashion impact.

Heather Grey V-Neck

A Fresh, Clean Approach to Sustainability

Fresh Clean Tees started out as the side project of a husband and wife, so a thorough and substantial perspective of sustainability wasn’t part of the initial game plan. However, it has since become an integral pillar of the company mission and identity. Fresh Clean Tees launched Fresh Clean Seas last year as part of their entire approach to clothing production as well as their plan to always give back to their beach-based community.

A few key endeavors that Fresh Clean Tees has committed to in their long-term sustainability efforts:

- The manufacturing of all products, like the Eco Fresh Crew Neck and Eco Fresh V-Neck, flagship products for their Clean Seas Collection, happens in factories certified by Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production (WRAP) to ensure these partners provide safe and ethical workplaces for employees and operate in ways that reduce environmental impacts.

- With an established brand platform, Fresh Clean Tees uses their overall reach to help educate their customers on sustainable practices and even include them in sustainability efforts. A percentage of every single sale made goes to the Surfrider Foundation to help protect U.S. coastlines, reduce plastic's impact on marine life, defend our ocean ecosystems, and support clean water initiatives.

- Fresh Clean Tees is working hard toward being fully green in five years by creating new, eco-friendly, fully sustainable and truly affordable basics, evolving their existing products to be better for the Earth with more sustainable materials, and removing or reducing environmental impact in all parts of their business — manufacturing, packaging, shipping, and beyond.

If you’re interested in learning more about Fresh Clean Tees and their commitment to sustainability, read more Fresh Clean Seas or the Clean Seas Collection.

— Paige Lyman

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