Reading labels is more important than we think – here's why
Reading the labels of the clothes we buy seems trivial, while it is very important in terms of environmental sustainability. Let's see together why.
Read the labels of clothes, because it is important: what the label tells us
Just like for food, labels tell us the "ingredients" of which a garment is made. They tell us the percentage of yarns, where the garments are made or designed and if there are certifications relating to the raw material. The important thing, as always, is to learn to read them with a critical eye.
The composition of a garment is very important. It tells us if a garment is made of synthetic or natural fibers and this will have a certain type of environmental impact when we wash them. In fact, synthetic fibers release microplastics into the water, which are responsible for about 30% of the pollution from plastics in the sea. How then? If we cannot avoid the purchase of the synthetic garment, we use the Guppy Friend bag, which will treat the microplastics and make it possible for us to dispose of them in dry waste, instead of being spilled in water.
In environmental terms, however, there is another thing to say upstream of our purchase: synthetic fibers are made starting, in principle, from petroleum, unless they are recycled or regeneral fibers. In this second case, the fact that the fibers are regenerated or recycled is clearly written on the label. If, for reasons of performance or practicality of the garment, you have to use garments in synthetic fibers, always prefer regenerated fibers. In this way you will make a sustainable gesture towards the environment.
The wording "Made in" indicates where the garment is made and is required by law. “Made in” is not the same as “designed in”. The first in fact indicates where the garment was physically made, the second instead where it is designed, where the concept starts from, which will most likely be a European country. The "made in" can give you a rough indication of whether the garment has been made ethically or not. In fact, we know that there are countries where work ethic is practically non-existent (India, Bangladesh, Cambodia, but also China itself, just to name a few). Apart from a few rare exceptions, and even here it will be reported on the label, if the garments are made in these countries, most likely they will have very little ethics, which will be reflected in the low price we are paying.
Certifications such as GOTS, Oeko-TEX or similar for fabrics and similar ones for leathers are very important because they tell us about the checks that have been made on the fibers, but also on the manufacture of the garment itself. If a garment has them, that's a good thing (not always a 100% guarantee of ethics, but it's definitely better to have them than not have them).
Read clothing labels, because it is important: to conclude
Get used to reading it ALWAYS: it is of fundamental importance to understand what you are wearing!