Why Sustainability In Fashion Matters

If you're like us, your Insta feed is probably full of fast fashion — cheap-ish clothes, hot off the presses, packed into branded boxes and sent to shoppers on a monthly basis.

Fast fashion is big business in the U.S. and elsewhere — in 2018, it was a $35 billion industry. It's convenient! You can swipe through and get a new box of practically disposable threads every month. There's a steep cost to cheap fashion, though:

According to Business of Fashion's The State of Fashion 2019 report, the average person today buys twice as much clothing as they did 15 years ago. But consumers keep that clothing for only half as long as they used to.

According to the World Wildlife Foundation, the resources required to meet this demand are pretty severe. The 2700 liters of water required to produce a single cotton t-shirt is approximately equal to what the human ultimately wearing it would consume over a 2-3 year period. According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation's A New Textiles Economy report summarized by Kate Dickinson, '98 million tonnes of non-renewable resources are used annually across the textiles industry as a whole, producing greenhouse gas emissions of 1.2 billion tonnes per year, more than all international flights and maritime shipping combined... by 2050, on its current course, the fashion industry will use over a quarter of the world’s carbon budget, consuming 300 million tonnes of non-renewable resources annually.'

And yet, according to Adam Minter's research for his book Secondhand, only 1/3 of the clothing that winds up in thrift shops is sold back to the public. The rest is either shipped overseas and/or destroyed by way of incineration or landfill, where microplastics from synthetic fibers can leach into groundwater and wind up in our oceans.

Haul/Closet wants to save more items from that fate. Despite the success of new green clothing brands and general environmental awareness of young shoppers, according to a report by Deloitte examining today's consumer behaviors, customers still value price and convenience significantly more than alignment with core values.

So, Haul/Closet wants to make it affordable, easy, and fun to be truly green. The most sustainable clothing choice we can adopt is to stop buying clothing and repair what we have. But, it'll take time to walk back our consumption habits, and the best thing to do while we work on it is to choose used for the new-to-us items we do purchase.

We're also a business run by humans, and recognize that all of this is really heavy! Sustainability matters to us, and we also want our shoppers to be delighted by our human fashion picks and human humor. It's guilt-free and fun, too!

If sustainable looks that look good interest you, check us out — order your first box today. And if you're not ready yet, check out our latest looks on Instagram or Pinterest.