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Agriculture and Fashion: How Can They Support Each Other's Sustainability Journeys?

The agriculture and fashion industries are two that you may never have thought of as related before, but they are actually more connected than you might think. In fact, most of the clothes that we wear actually came from the agriculture industry in one way or another. Unless the piece of clothing is made of a completely synthetic material, it most likely originated from a crop in the ground, or in some cases, animals. Cotton, wool, hemp, etc. are all materials that are used to make clothes and all originate in agriculture. This means that most of the clothes that you are wearing actually started out on a farm. The connection between the two industries begs the question: can the sustainability of one affect the other? Turns out, this is exactly true. Because agricultural goods are the foundation to so many clothing items, sustainable agriculture practices directly contribute to the sustainability of those clothing items. Though the fashion industry has many aspects of it that do not involve the agriculture industry, such as production, retailing, etc., the parts that do can work together to make both industries more sustainable. For example, if a cotton farm implements regenerative agriculture practices that help the environment, the clothing made from that cotton already has a smaller impact on the environment than most. With the ongoing push for sustainability in all aspects of life, the shift in demand for sustainable fashion can encourage more farms to adapt more sustainable practices, decreasing the impact on the environment by both industries.