Reducing our carbon footprint is a hot topic, but changing our lifestyle to a more sustainable way is not easy. To be honest, the human mind is constantly looking for the most efficient way to perform tasks in everyday life to save energy for survival. This survival code is written into our genes and inherited from our ancestors trying to survive in the harsh world. So the easier and the cheaper way has been the only way to go until now. Today, we have a different situation, we are too many, and we have too much of everything. Therefore, we need to learn new survival skills, which our ancestors didn't know about. The new way to survive is to save. Save the resources, water, food, nature, not only our energy but also the energy of the planet that we are living in. The new surviving requires also caring for our living environment. Here are some reasons why you should consider choosing only sustainable brands for your workout outfit.
The biggest threat in the activewear industry is the environmental issues from the beginning of the supply chain up to the end of the lifecycle of the garment. The environmental burden starts with the breeding of natural raw materials, like cotton. Intensive farming requires vasts ground surfaces and impoverishes the soil fertility. Chemicals, like fertilizers and pesticides, are often part of the breeding permeating to the soil and nearest rivers and lakes affecting the surrounding nature. Fertilizer runoff contaminates downstream drinking water supplies, requiring costly cleanup measures. There are many intelligent ways to reduce these downsides, and many farmers have started to favour these new methods. Even so, many brands have their factories located abroad for cheaper manufacturing, and most of these countries have inadequate or zero methods for protecting the surrounding nature and waters. Sustainable brands ensure that their materials are all produced in sustainable ways.
Synthetic materials are commonly used in sportswear manufacturing to add some durability and reversibility to the garment. Synthetic materials are made of chemicals such as petroleum-based chemicals or petrochemicals and so bringing the oil industry risks as a part of the game. In addition to that, synthetic materials might take up to 200 years to decompose! Adding the continually changing trends to the picture, which makes the average person use a new garment only five times before buying a new one, the game is lost! Luckily modern technology has found ways to re-use these synthetic materials, which nowadays can be made of even old plastic bottles and fishing nets turning them into beautiful quality sportswear. You can read more about sustainable sportswear materials here.
Production is another high-risk part of the supply-chain process. To make it fast, cheap and easy, many companies are using large amounts of water and chemicals to profit more on their production. That imposes workers to risk their health, consumes the natural resources harshly and creates even more emissions. Too often, the people around the production process are suffering from health issues, low salaries, and poor working conditions. In some countries, factories and farms are contaminating the surrounding nature so that even locals are imposed health risks and suffer a lack of clean drinking water. To see the bigger picture of these risks we are highly recommending to see The True Cost -movie, which digs deep into the problems of the fast fashion industry. Warning! Not easy to watch.
Finally, your behaviour is the last thing affecting the final carbon footprint of the product. Do not buy anything you don't really need, always choose sustainable and ethical products, care your products well and recycle the garment once it is tired out.
Many companies are taking their responsibility for their employees, environmental and social well-being and performing great in the markets. As a consumer, it might be hard to recognise these brands, but choosing sustainable brands helps to find the right path. At Garmendo we are doing our best to help you to select better options. Our selection consists of only sustainable brands.
As a human, we are taking these baby steps to realize that a man comes from nature making nature as part of a man. Let's take care of ourselves by taking care of our living environment!