What Is Eco-Fashion & Why Is It Important (2024)

what is eco fashion

This post and the photos within it may contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through the link, I may receive a commission at no extra charge to you.

Have you wondered what does ‘eco-fashion’ mean, and why sustainability in fashion is important?

The reality is that the clothes we wear have far-reaching consequences – not just for the environment, but for the people who make them and the communities around them. Because of this, the need for an eco-shift in the fashion industry is bigger than ever. 

In this article, you’ll find out exactly what makes a fashion brand sustainable, and how to distinguish when some brands aren’t really ‘eco’ and are using greenwashing to deceive us.

Here’s an overview of the contents of this article:  

  1. What is eco-fashion & Key elements 
  2. Why is eco-fashion important?
  3. What you can do (Individual eco-fashion practices)
  4. Beware of greenwashing
  5. Summary

Alright, let’s begin.

What Is Eco-Fashion
Alohas eco-fashion brand

What is eco-fashion?

Eco-fashion is a movement that seeks to minimize both the negative environmental and social impacts of the fashion industry. 

It focuses on practices that aim to reduce pollution, conserve resources, and promote fair labor conditions throughout the supply chain. At its core, is about redefining the fashion industry and its practices, which are often detrimental.

There are many amazing eco-fashion brands out there; to explore some of my favorite ones, you can find my list of 50 sustainable clothing brands here.

Key elements of eco-fashion:

  • Use of organic, recycled, or more sustainable materials: This includes organic cotton, recycled polyester, and Tencel lyocell (made of several types of wood pulp). 
  • Avoidance of harmful chemicals and dyes: For example, Patagonia avoids harmful chemicals in its clothing production, and instead, it uses natural dyes and non-toxic materials.
  • Efficient water and energy usage: For example, EILEEN FISHER and its water-saving techniques in its denim production, using air compression technology to reduce water consumption.
  • Waste reduction by circular solutions & reusing: For example, Lucy & Yak collects post-consumer clothing through a take-back program and upcycles the materials into new garments.
  • The use of innovative materials: I recently found out that Desserto, a company that produces ‘cactus leather’ from the Nopal cactus. It is a sustainable alternative to traditional leather with a lower environmental impact. Pretty cool, right?
  • Fairtrade and third-party certifications: Some well-known certifications include – GOTS, Fair Trade Certified, B-certified corporation, etc.
  • Transparency about production & supply chain: Like ASKET – They provide a comprehensive breakdown of the cost and origin of every garment on its website, including details about material sourcing and production methods.
  • Focus on durability: Creating high-quality products, or offering repair services that extend the life of the items (e.g. Nudie Jeans offers a free repair service for its denim products).
  • Fair labor practices: Fair Trade USA certification guarantees that workers receive fair wages and work in safe conditions, promoting social and economic empowerment in the fashion industry.
What Is Eco-Fashion
Studio Tia

Why is eco-fashion important?

Fast fashion poses a lot of issues, and it is essential to make a switch to more eco-friendly options. 

By prioritizing sustainability and ethical production practices, eco-fashion has the potential to make a significant positive impact on both the environment and society as a whole. 

From reducing resource consumption and pollution to promoting fair labor practices and supporting local communities, the benefits of embracing eco-fashion are extensive.

Individual eco-fashion practices:

There are various practices you can embrace to have a more eco-friendly wardrobe.

For example, when I started my sustainable journey, I thought most eco-fashion brands were quite expensive, but after research, I found more affordable choices.

Additionally, I organized a super fun clothing swap, and lots of people joined & enjoyed it. I also started thrifting more.

Here’s a list of quick ideas & links to my other articles with more details on how to individually embrace ethical and sustainable practices in fashion:

What Is Eco-Fashion
Tentree eco-brand – planting 10 trees for each item ordered!

Beware of greenwashing:

In the world of eco-fashion, it’s essential to steer clear of greenwashing. Some fast-fashion giants have been introducing a handful of eco-friendly products, however, that doesn’t address the underlying issues within the industry. 

They’re still mass-producing clothing at an alarming rate, leaving a significant environmental footprint. True sustainability runs deeper than surface-level changes, and it is about ingraining eco-consciousness into every aspect of a company’s operations, from design to distribution.

So, before you buy into a brand’s green image, dig a little deeper to see if its values align with real, meaningful change, or if it’s just greenwashing. Here’s my guide that can help you to spot & avoid greenwashing


Eco-fashion isn’t just a passing trend – it’s a movement towards a more sustainable, and ethical future for the fashion industry and beyond. 

By prioritizing sustainability, ethical production practices, and social responsibility, eco-fashion has the power to drive positive change and make a lasting impact on the world around us. 

As consumers, we have the opportunity to be catalysts for this change by making more conscious, responsible choices in our clothing purchases. 

By advocating for greater transparency and accountability within the fashion industry, we can reshape the fashion industry and inspire broader societal change toward a more sustainable and fair future.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *