For decades, the fashion industry has been plaguing the planet in unfathomable ways. From stripping the earth of its natural resources to filling up landfills with hordes of discarded clothing to introducing toxic chemicals and plastic microfibers into the oceans, the fashion industry and mindless consumerism are partly to blame for some of the most environmentally harmful practices.
Conversely, Bohemian fashion offers an alternative solution to the problems directly created by the mainstream fashion industry. Eco-friendly alternative fashion trends have existed for several years but have only recently started gaining greater momentum in the larger mainstream consciousness. While many boho-chic trends are still associated with the early romantics as well as the beatnik and hippie countercultures of the 1950s and 1960s, these trends have since made incredible strides in creating more eco-conscious consumers out of modern fashion lovers.
The Face of Eco-FashionEco-fashion as it currently stands is an embodiment and representation of all of the rebellious concepts that the postmodernists stood for. It entails going against the grain of modern expectations and shying away from mindless consumerism while veering toward a more conscious way of living. What that means is that more consumers are beginning to question not only the origin of the products they’re purchasing, but also the materials with which these products are made and the moral implications of supporting certain organizations.
Since the 1960s, the amount of clothing purchased by North Americans alone has increased three-fold. This massive surge in clothing consumerism is what’s commonly referred to as “fast fashion” and it’s had a largely detrimental impact on the environment.
Putting forth an effort to undo the damages done by fast fashion is a massive and extremely challenging undertaking, but one that’s definitely worthwhile for the well-being of our planet. Eco-friendly fashion brands are emerging out of the woodwork; many of them are even teaming up with well-established brands to change the face and impact of the fashion industry for the better.
It all starts with the common consumer. While fast fashion is certainly more affordable and accessible in the moment, it comes at a much higher price in the long run. Many of these clothes aren’t made to last and they’re certainly not biodegradable. Eco-fashion, on the other hand, is made of all-natural materials that are derived directly from the earth and have minimal to no negative environmental impacts. After all, materials that come directly from the earth can easily return back to it at the end of their lifecycles.
Additionally, eco-fashion and boho-chic proponents are also strong advocates for paying it forward. That means donating used clothing items and accessories to local thrift stores and donation centers so that they can be upcycled, repurposed, or reused. What’s old can be made new again…or at least, new to the current consumer.
In true boho-chic fashion, it’s also highly encouraged that conscious consumers consider purchasing their clothing items from ethically sourced stores to reduce waste in landfills.
Eco-Friendly Clothing Materials
It’s a well-known fact that synthetic clothing materials are bad for the environment, but that begs the question: why do mass clothing manufacturers continue to use them? The answer is simple: natural resources are quickly being exhausted at alarming rates and synthetic materials are cheaper and easier to produce on a mass scale.
Every time you do your laundry, however, the synthetic materials and plastic microfibers in your clothes are released into the local water systems, which lead to lakes, rivers, and oceans. Luckily, there are certain all-natural, ethically sourced and produced materials that can offset the damaging environmental effects of fast fashion.
To become a more environmentally conscientious consumer, it’s important to know exactly what materials are being used to make your clothing as well as how these materials are being produced. With that in mind, cotton clothing is the most viable option. But, be weary of the difference between inorganic and organic cotton. Inorganic cotton is traditionally produced with an overabundance of pesticides and unnatural dyes to achieve certain textures, colours, patterns, and prints. This is still extremely harmful to the environment. Organic cotton is produced without the pesticides and to avoid the added dyes, consumers should try to stick to more neutral tones like brown, cream, or green as these are the natural hues of the cotton crops.
Linen is manufactured using cellulose fibers from flax plants, which are much easier on the environment and require very little watering. Additionally, linen is a durable, versatile, light, airy, and comfortable fabric that can last up to 20+ years if well taken care of, which can help minimize your environmental footprint.
Hemp is another extremely versatile plant because it can be used for a cornucopia of purposes, much to the delight of environmentally and health conscious individuals. From clothing, jewelry, and artefacts, to cleaning products and even food items, hemp has countless potential uses. And the best part is that it requires very little to no pesticides or herbicides to produce, which can greatly reduce humanity’s carbon footprint over time.
Bohemian Clothing and the Environment
In the end, bohemian clothing is about so much more than simply making a non-conformist, grassroots fashion statement. It’s about digging further into the depths of our souls and finding the artistic free-spirited nature within while also working to salvage what’s left of our planet’s fragile ecosystem and restoring the parts of it that have been destroyed. Sustainable living is within far greater reach than most people realize, but it has to start somewhere.
Woodstock Lodge is committed to speaking to the artistic, individualist, rebellious soul that exists within all of us. All our clothing items and accessories are derived from ethically sourced, environmentally friendly materials that are inspired by the boho-chic styles of the past and present. Whether you’re looking for bohemian fashion for women or men, we have just what you need. Contact us today to learn more or visit our website to browse our carefully curated selection of unique bohemian styles.
- November 13, 2019
- Mrityunjay Awasthy