DIY-ing to Save the World
The fashion industry is changing at an extraordinary rate. These days, sustainability has become one of the most important values that a company can hold. Brands have even started failing due to their inability to change with the times and start acting responsibly when it comes to their impact on the environment. Clothing will always be a necessity, but there are tons of harmful effects that come along with the timeline of an article of clothing that we never think about. Do-it-yourself projects are a conscious effort to combat these harmful effects. Listed below are four reasons to DIY:
1. FABRIC REUSE
Have you ever had an old pillow that needed some revitalizing or an old pair of jeans that fit perfectly but needed a new element to them? A quick DIY can bring them back to life.
A new excitement can be brought back into these pieces, just by the touch of your own creativity. Not only will these items become anew, but any old fabrics can also be reused and repurposed for something else, rather than going to waste.
“The best fibers for the environment is deadstock and post consumer products,” she says. “It’s super useful when those companies actually donate or sell their deadstock to other retailers, to then sell to other designers,” Kailee elaborates.
2. SOURCE SUSTAINABLE MATERIALS
There is so much freedom in the creativity of DIY projects and this relates back to the materials used. You have the final say, isn’t that amazing?
If you are interested in saving the environment, sourcing sustainable materials is a great start. Materials like organic hemp, plant-based, or deadstock leather and tencel are recommended materials.
According to this sustainable fabric chart, developed by the sustainable clothing brand Reformation, the materials to avoid are mohair, spandex, fur, and leather.
3. MINIMIZE MASS PRODUCTION
DIY projects can help avoid the support of mass production to an extent, mainly in the fashion industry. Many clothing companies over-produce their products resulting in unsold merchandise and a further contribution to waste—air pollution.
In 2018, Burberry was reported due to the burning of $37 million worth of unsold products. Though DIY projects don’t eliminate this issue entirely, there is still a lack of support in wasteful mass production and contribution to air pollution.
With these harmful effects of waste and air pollution, the incentive to participate in DIY projects is greater. This also encourages consumers to support brands that use smaller batch production. The smaller the batch, the less likely there will be wasted fabric.
4. UNETHICAL COMPANIES
Efforts of making the environment a better place for all starts with the people in it. This involves communities coming together and helping each other for the greater good. This brings us to reason number four being that DIY projects to an extent have the potential to avoid the support of unethical manufacturing companies.
Though shopping sustainable and starting DIY projects are great starts to not supporting these companies, it does not eliminate or deplete the core of the issue which is the people in the industry. The working conditions and treatment that these individuals experience in these environments is the main focus in sustainability.
Rian Phin, a content creator on YouTube, brought this issue to light in their video on shopping ethical fashion. A snippet from one of their videos explained, “...[to] put a ton of energy into supporting people who work in garment factories in the global South, and supporting efforts to help the environmental impact and ecological destruction that comes as a result of fast fashion companies...”
If there is a collective effort to help and support the individuals that make up these environments, as well as initiate DIY projects and shop sustainably, the impact on change will be greater. Listed here are some organizations to help support garment workers: Label Behind the Label, Clean Clothes Campaign, and Sweatshops in Bangladesh.