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Sustainable fashion, what is behind it all and why should I be interested in it?

A question that more and more people are asking themselves.
So... What exactly is sustainable fashion? It is a movement and process to promote the transformation of fashion products and the whole fashion system in general, towards ecological integrity and social justice. It is about meeting today’s needs while ensuring that the way we go about meeting those needs meet future needs as well. It looks at the whole way the clothes you are wearing were made, who made them and what the lifespan of a product is. The production of sustainable fashion tries, among other things, to combat the large CO2 footprint. Reducing the environmental impact of fashion can combat air pollution, water pollution and overall climate change. All big words, but how exactly does the fashion world tries to achieve these goals?

Calliste also tries to follow this movement. With our Small Green Steps logo, we want to make a difference and change something in the long term by taking small steps in the right direction.



Why is organic cotton better for people and the environment?

Cotton in its original form is a normal plant that is integrated into the cycle of nature. However, over the years, through all the pesticides, fertilizers, overexploitation and massive water consumption, cotton has earned a reputation for being the dirtiest of all crops.
So here are some facts why we should look out for organic cotton when buying our clothes.

  • A lot is made out of cotton
    According to a study by WWF, almost 50 percent of all clothes are made of cotton. If all this cotton were grown in a more ecological way, like organic cotton, it would make a huge difference.

  • Water consumption
    It's no secret that growing cotton requires huge amounts of water. For example, 11,000 liters of water are needed to produce 1 kg of cotton. Of course, organic cotton also needs water, but consumption is lower because Green Water is often used - rainwater and water stored in the ground.
Organic cotton
  • Chemical pesticides
    Compared to conventional cotton, organic cotton does not need any pesticides. These damage the soil and endanger biodiversity. Not only does organic cotton dispenses with synthetic pesticides and fertilizers during cultivation, but also saves many dangerous chemicals in further processing.

  • Seal
    There are reliable seals that control and certify sustainability. Such as GOTS (GLOBAL ORGANIC TEXTILE STANDARD) or the German IVN seal.

    One organization that is committed to the production of sustainable cotton is the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI).
    Its goal is to promote the cultivation and use of sustainable cotton worldwide. BCI offer training measures that provide cotton farmers with extensive knowledge of sustainable management and the improvement of working conditions.

    Another label is the Organic Content Standard (OCS), which clearly shows the amount of organic fibers in a product. Here the organic cotton is grown according to strict ecological criteria.

  • Fairer
    When growing organic cotton, the farmers usually not only get better prices and wages, but also come into contact with less toxic substances. Small businesses are thus supported.


LENZING™ ECOVERO™ viscose fibers

Viscose is a popular fabric worldwide and is used in numerous areas of the textile industry. Viscose has its advantages but also its disadvantages. The production of viscose consumes a lot of energy and a lot of chemicals are released that pollute water and air.
The LENZING™ ECOVERO™ viscose fibers offer environmentally friendly viscose fibers with a low environmental impact. They are made from sustainable wood and pulp and come from certified and controlled sources. It is also produced using less fossil energy and water than generic viscose. The LENZING™ ECOVERO™ viscose fibers are certified with the internationally recognized EU Ecolabel. Only products that have a significantly lower environmental impact throughout their life cycle are certified with this label.

Learn more


Skin-friendly, soft with high breathability

There are three subdivisions under TENCEL™: TENCEL™ Lyocell, TENCEL™ Modal and TENCEL™ Lyocell Filament. Each with their own benefits and characteristics.

TENCEL™ Lyocell
TENCEL™ Lyocell fibers are best known for their comfort. In addition, they are extracted from sustainably grown wood and produced in a closed manufacturing process with low ecological impact. They deliver versatility, strength and gentleness to skin.

Obtained from naturally growing beech wood through an ecologically responsible process, TENCEL™ Modal is exceptionally soft and pleasant on the skin. The fibers add flexibility and offer textiles a long-lasting quality of exquisite softness.

TENCEL™ Lyocell Filament
The TENCEL™ Lyocell Filament fibers are defined by their fine silky smooth surface, the liquid-like drape and their color vibrancy. It is obtained from the renewable resource wood and manufactured in a closed process. Lenzing adheres to the Lenzing wood and pulp policy and endeavors to obtain wood from undisputed sources and to protect old and endangered forests and nature reserves.

Learn more


Reuse. Recycle. Repeat

Although currently only a small proportion of used textiles are reused, recycling is gaining increasing interest in the fashion industry. Every year billions of pieces of clothing are produced worldwide and the amount of textile waste has doubled in the last 20 years. Due to this situation, textile recycling is becoming more and more important in Europe. Textile recycling is the process by which old clothes and other textiles are recovered for reuse.
Whether plastic, textiles or food; everything can and will be reused in creative ways.



Armedangels is a fashion brand that uses a high proportion of environmentally friendly materials, such as cotton according to the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). They also use renewable energy to reduce climate impact. Because they use more environmentally friendly materials, this limits the use of chemicals, water and waste water in production. Armedangels are also members of the Fair Wear Foundation. For example, they ensure that a living wage is paid in most of their supply chains. Care is also taken to ensure that no fur, leather, down, angora or exotic animal skin or animal hair is used.
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The proportion of cotton is essential for the production of OLYMP clothing. That is why OLYMP pays a lot of attention to sustainability when procuring the material. Their goal is to constantly increase the proportion of sustainably produced cotton in their clothing. For this reason, OLYMP joined the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) in 2018.
77% of the cotton was procured via BCI in 2019 and even 80% in 2020. OLYMP will also try to increase its percentage of sustainably produced cotton in the future.
With OLYMP's GREEN CHOICE label, OLYMP draws attention to their products that meet their sustainability requirements to a particular extent. Learn more
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HYMERA's passion is to reveal the true beauty of nature through the use of natural products. All products of these beautiful candles come from sustainable cultivation. From 100% natural wax to the highest quality fragrances from Grasse, France.
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GERRY WEBER fashion is produced according to strict standards such as BSCI (Business Social Compliance Initiative) or the OEKO-TEX® Standard 100. Every step is transparent, from growing the cotton to sewing. The supply chain of every piece of clothing made from organic cotton can be traced thanks to a sewn-in traceability number. In addition, GERRY WEBER has been certified to GOTS (GLOBAL ORGANIC TEXTILE STANDARD) since 2017. This standard guarantees the use of controlled, sustainably grown cotton. The entire supply chain from fiber production to the retailer is checked and certified according to environmental, social and technical criteria. Learn more
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WOUF has been a local company since day one. They started small and have grown steadily ever since without losing sight of their goal of working locally. In doing so, they optimize resources, reduce their carbon footprint, guarantee a safe working environment and network with other partners who want to change the industry for the better.
Their production today consists of 90% recycled or responsible materials. From eco-friendly inks to recycled sewing thread, everything is chosen to have the least impact on the planet. Learn more
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24Bottles® is an Italian design brand committed to reducing the impact of single-use plastic bottles on our planet. 24Bottles offers a wide range of stainless steel water bottles with many original designs: elegant, reusable and lightweight, perfect for all styles and occasions.
In addition, 24Bottles, now also B-Corp® certified, has embarked on an ambitious program to fully offset its carbon footprint. Thanks to international reforestation projects, 24Bottles has managed to create a 100% climate-neutral product. Learn more
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The sports fashion brand Save The Duck puts animal welfare and sustainability first. The label not only dispenses with down fillings, but also strives to avoid the use of materials that could cause suffering or harm to an animal. 100% vegan - with full conviction. They try to build relationships based on mutual trust and transparency, respecting the rights of every human being. B-Corp certified, Save the Duck promises high environmental and social standards. Learn more
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The decorative brand ORIGINALHOME only uses fast-growing plants or waste materials (no plastic!) for its designs. Water, energy, CO2, chemicals and toxins are reduced to a minimum or avoided altogether during the production process. Also, most of the production process is done by hand. The raw materials used are all available locally. ORIGINALHOME also makes sure that fur, leather, wool, down, silk or other animal materials are not used in its products. Learn more
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Fair Fashion

Fair fashion. Fair work.

A world where the garment industry supports workers in realising their rights to safe, dignified, properly paid employment is what sustainable and ethicle fashion is trying to achieve. Ethical production means good health for everybody involved in the garment manufacturing industry - From the seed to the sale. Garment workers and human rights organisations have done their best to push forward legislation to improve working conditions in the fashion manufacturing world. For example no child labour, a guaranteed fair wage, fair working conditions and no exploition of women.
The foundation FAIR WEAR for example - having more than 140 member brands, such as Armedangel, Marc O'Polo or Olymp -, focuses on garment production and are committed to finding a fairer way to make clothes. They engage directly with factories, trade unions, NGOs and governments to find answers to problems. They show that it’s possible to make clothes in a fairer way in countries across Asia, Europe and Africa. Learn more
You as a consumer have more power than you might think - The power and ability to change the way brands function. Social media and improved access to information by Human Rights Organisations have put pressure on fashion brands to be more transparent and act responsibly to our planet and its people.

Greenwashing also has become a problem and unfortunately, companies have gotten really good at it. Fortunately, there are certain corporations that do the job for us in identifying ethical fashion by certifying entire supply chains.
The two main ones are B-Corp and Fair Trade.




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