Cheaper Apparel Isn’t Always Better: A Deeper Dive into Textile Manufacturing & Sustainability

Therapy Thread’s aromatherapy accessories, including our scarves, mala beads and t-shirts, are made right here in the USA. The materials are sourced locally; to produce quality, sustainable and thoughtful apparel that makes a powerful statement. If fashion is a means of self expression, certainly that extends to purchasing clothes that, even though they may cost a little more, are ethically produced with minimal impact on the environment. Remember, your dollar is your voice.

Here’s a great photo of one of our scarves being made. It’s always nice to see a happy face with a local product. But what about the people who work in manufacturing plants and the ethical treatment of workers and sustainable production methods to reduce our carbon footprint? Today, consumers want “Fast Fashion”,  which means making clothes monetarily cheaper, “less expensive” and more disposable. Unfortunately, this is making the already difficult problem of sustainable textile manufacturing far worse.

As Dani Singer, founder of Therapy Threads and licensed marriage and family therapist, says “They want it cheaper which often leads to unnatural fabrics sourced and manufactured outside the USA in sometimes questionable or unregulated factories, which equals lesser quality, dyes that don’t last and garments that get worn or used looking very quickly. It's so important to ask: "WHO MADE MY CLOTHES?!"”



It’s common to hear about the environmental impact of energy companies, oil and coal, but seldom do you hear reports about the consequences of textile manufacturing. This is largely because it’s harder to quantify the carbon footprint of the entire global textile industry, a complicated and resource-heavy industry with production processes that may vary from garment to garment.

Even though it’s difficult to measure, the extreme toll on the environment that clothing manufacturing extracts is hard to deny. Also compounding the problem is the rise of mass produced fashion, with brands churning out new styles much more frequently than in years past. And while nearly 100 percent of textiles and clothing can be recycled, only 15 percent of consumer-used clothing is recycled, with 85 percent of used textiles making their way to landfills, according to a 2017 report from sustainable business website The Balance.

That said, there is good news. Many people in the fashion industry are aware that the way clothes are currently produced is unsustainable. Many in the industry have banded together to work toward solutions to the problem. A great resource for ethical and sustainable clothing can be found at a list of fashion brands curated by The Good Trade. We also recommend the new documentary “The True Cost”, an eye-opening film from Andrew Morgan, produced with the involvement of many of the top textile sustainability leaders.


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