What does sustainability mean?

by Carla Coloma

Most times we see the word sustainability wrongly associated with a single aspect of a product such as where or how it was produced or with what materials it has been made. The confusion about this concept is high and is often applied wrong. For something to be sustainable it must be respectful with the environment (both near and far and in all lifecycle of the product), with the people (stakeholders worldwide) and of course it has to be economically viable to be able to give continuity to that way of doing things.

What about environment? The environment is the set of elements that surrounds us; the water, the air, the plants, the earth, the animals … each and every one of them interact with each other, and we also do. In recent years we have noticed how much the human being has influenced these interactions and how he has done so in a negative way in most cases until we are about to reach a situation of no return. Excessive consumption, globalization, lack of technology, the lax legislation of some countries or the generalized lowering of prices of many services have caused that the productions are displaced directly affecting the environment, mainly due to the distance between the point of production and the consumption that generates a lack of control of this productive system generally placed in developing or undeveloped countries.

That impunity must come to an end and we must become aware that the decisions we make as consumer directly influence how things are going and that we have the strength to change this situation by demanding from those who hold the reins more transparency and responsibility.

Regarding the social part, it is also crucial in the field of sustainability, because without people the goals are not achieved and taking care of them is the pillar of any respectful and inclusive economy. It is well known that the textile industry is one of the most labor-intensive industries and also hides numerous human rights crimes such as slavery, child labor or inequality, so requiring control over all of them is essential. Globalization has facilitated the faster development of some countries, but the quality of this development is still limited because of the working conditions associated with this industry. We must stop making others pay or stop charging for our greed when buying, for our irresponsibility or our ignorance.

We all deserve decent conditions of life and work, no matter where you are from and that is a value that companies must ensure to their consumers, because it is not acceptable to be feeding an unfair system for the simple fact of wanting to buy the shirt we like

The future will exist if we take care of the environment and people. The world will be sustainable when we balance systems, responsibility reaches all corners and people are aware of what is generated behind every decision they make.

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