The environment in which we live and the surrounding we possess is all our homeland. If we confine our approach to the walls of houses or organizations, the world will fall into chaos. That’s why the environmental activist to the leaders of the nations since everyone is talking about the sustainable environment and sustainable living.
Before we vest all our efforts in sharing the standards and ways of sustainable living, let’s first unveil the basis of it. Sustainable living is a practical world philosophy that focuses on reducing individual and collective environmental impacts by introducing positive changes while countering the negative ones.
If we further simplify it, then aiming to reduce carbon prints is the crux of the whole sustainability concept. That being said, the question arises, why is sustainability important? Let’s figure it out.
Why is Sustainability Important
Sustainability serves to refine the quality of our lives by protecting our ecosystem and preserving natural resources for our future generations. Without sustainability, our generation might live freely, but children and their children will be on the brink of being drawn with the harsh fate of the world.
Everyone in this world is seeking stability but with different aims and varying standards. No matter whatever path a person takes, the ultimate goal is the same for everyone. Stability is always passed by the path of sustainable living. Sustainable living encompasses various aspects of our lives that interact with our surroundings.
A sustainable lifestyle not only lessens the ecological impacts but also enables a flourishing life for every human at every standard and phase of his life. United Nations report elaborates sustainable lifestyle as fulfilling basic needs and living well while embracing and promoting the idea of sufficiency.
But all the efforts for sustainable living are facing severe setbacks, especially in the developed world due to their overconsumption and too much wastage. United Nations report on ‘Fostering and Communicating Sustainable Lifestyle’ picks this issue as that the communities living in the wealthy countries adopt an unsustainable lifestyle.
This report further dives in by saying that there are millions of people that are consuming too much higher rates while there are plenty of others who are inspired to join them. In contrast, a vast majority is not even able to meet their basic needs. These circumstances are disturbing the stability of both at economical and the social level.
In simple words, developing a single community at the cost of depriving the other one of the basic necessities is hindering the sustainability of society and the economy.
3 Pillars of Sustainability
Sustainability can’t stand alone on the shoulders of the environment. It needs proper support from all sides to maintain the equilibrium. Penn State University has gone ahead in this race to determine the three pillars of sustainability. They have developed a Venn diagram elaborating the overlap of all these three pillars to create a unified, sustainable lifestyle. These 3 pillars of sustainability include:
Credit: Penn State University
Sustainability Plans and Campaigns
Looking at the challenges faced by the overall environment, various countries unified under the charter of the United Nations and launched multiple practical level campaigns to ensure sustainability in these 3 pillars of sustainability.
Nowadays, every country is contributing at some level to eradicate unsustainable factors for the overall wellness of the environment. From America to China, Hungary to Canada, Pakistan to Egypt, since everyone has launched campaigns. Let’s take a closer look at one of the campaigns launched by Vietnam.
Three Reduction, Three Gains
It’s a campaign launched in rural Vietnam focused on reducing three things-fertilizers, insecticides, and commercial seeds- and replacing them with three gains- economic growth, health, and soil quality. According to the UN’s latest statistics, this campaign resulted in a significant reduction in insecticides (33%), seeds (11%), and fertilizers (7%).
Your next question might be how to make a campaign or an initiative successful.
Principles for Successful Sustainable Lifestyle
To make any campaign successful so its fruit can reach everyone or at least a bigger chunk of the community, United Nations have laid eight principles categorized under four steps as:
Step One: Audience Understanding
- Stakeholder-Focused: Identify the direct beneficiaries of any such campaigns. Determine their needs and wants, and then accordingly develop a sustainability plan considering the local community.
Step Two: Set Goals
- Better Living: Always focus on your aspirations. Develop a compelling vision based on the values of potential stakeholders.
- Impact: Set achievable goals considering all the 3 pillars of a sustainable lifestyle consisting of ecological, economic, and societal concerns.
Step 3: Build Strategies
- Systematic: Elaborate on the potential drivers and systematic structures that develop and enable sustainable lifestyles.
- Dynamic Life Changes: Take leverage of life stages and transitions such as birth, marriage, career changes, and retirement.
- Diversity: Incorporate and allow diversity in lifestyles. Don’t confine it to limited choices.
- Collective Action: Encourage and engage people as a member of groups rather than an individual component of the system.
Step 4: Measure and Response
- Responsiveness: Once you have launched the campaign with a comprehensive strategy, then now it’s time to determine the response. Depending upon the response you are getting, refine your strategies.
There are multiple sectors and companies that are working on these factors for ensuring a sustainable lifestyle like Unilever. A few sectors are still behind in this race. Let’s consider an example of lifestyle clothing or simply sustainable clothing.
Lifestyle Clothing; A Bigger Challenge to Environment
A research article was published in 2020 under the title of “The environmental Price of Fast Fashion,” circulating the environmental impacts of the clothing industry. This paper considered multiple factors like water usage, carbon emissions, chemical pollution, and textile waste.
It stated that about 1.5 trillion of water was consumed by the fashion industry alone, making it the second biggest industry in terms of water consumption. The fashion industry produced 92 million tons of waste in a calendar year.
In addition to this, the clothing industry is responsible for a significant amount of carbon emissions. On average, this industry produces 10% of all carbon emissions on this planet earth. Due to the fast fashion trend, people are buying newer clothes after every few days or weeks, thus further increasing the burden on the environment.
According to World Economic Forum, a whooping value of 85% of textile goes into landfills, which is enough to fill Sydney harbor twice on an annual basis. Not just the landfills, but water bodies are also adversely affected by the uncontrolled impacts of this industry. Polyester is the main component of multiple clothing products. Polyester production adds twice and even thrice of carbon into the environment as compared to cotton.
These are just figures but the actual devastation caused by the fashion industry. Seeing these circumstances, Dr. Patsy of the University of Manchester says that we have to highlight the need for urgent and fundamental changes in the clothing and fashion industry to minimize the detrimental environmental impacts.
Why Has Clothing Industry Fallen into Unsustainability Trap?
Fashion trends are changing with every passing day. This condition leads to frequent buying of clothes while using them for a lesser duration; thus, ultimately, they end up in landfills. Additionally, due to higher competition in the industry, local manufacturers and even brands have lessened the prices. This also supports frequent buying of newer clothes in quick succession, thus burdening the environment.
On average, people bought 60% more clothes and other garments in 2014 than in 2000. If we compare today’s scenario, the amount of buying has doubled then twenty years back. According to WEF, fashion brands have increased theirs per year release of clothing collections. In 2000, it was merely two articles per year, while in 2011, it reached an average of 5 articles per brand. A few bigger brands like Zara put out 24 collections in a calendar year, followed by H&M who release between 12 to 16.
The conditions have gone to such an extent that, on average, one truck of clothes is burned or dumped on landfills after every second! Now, it’s time to move our efforts towards building and supporting sustainable clothing brands.
A few eco friendly clothing brands have emerged in recent years to cope with these issues by introducing the concept of conscious clothing. Infinity Dance Clothing proudly wears the leadership cap for promoting conscious clothing. Instead of producing in bulk quantities, we only produce articles whenever some customer orders with a specified quantity. This guarantees a significant reduction in textile waste while capping the overproduction caused by fast fashion.
We are also working on replacing the raw materials with more eco-friendly essentials to play our part in the ecological and social battle for the overall good of humanity. We offer customization and plenty of designs that we only produce after your confirmation while ensuring the fastest possible delivery. Click here to have a look at the customization options and multiple designs available for you to not only fulfill your clothing needs but also play a significant role in building a world focused on sustainability standards.