Sunday, July 24, 2016

Making the Fashion Industry More Sustainable

From the individual, to the biggest fashion brands, we all have the power to make the fashion industry more sustainable. First is what the fashion industry can do. Second is what the individual consumer can do.

What the fashion industry can do:

Removing Toxic Chemicals and Fabrics from the fashion supply chain:
Finally customers are beginning to scrutinize their beloved fashion brands. Second to oil, fashion and textiles is the most polluting industry in the world. Up to 8,000 different chemicals are used to turn raw materials into clothes, including a range of dyeing and finishing processes. Four areas in the textile industry have the biggest potential environmental impact: the types of fabrics companies choose, the factories that dye and finish these fabrics, the way the goods are transported and the consumer care directions companies give their customers.

The fashion industry must network to make change:
As one of the worlds most powerful industries, the fashion industry has the power and responsibility to create change. There are three key areas that could drive this change: design, consumption and networking. Up to 80 percent of a garment’s environmental impact is defined by choices made in the design process. It is important for designers to make conscious choices to use more sustainable materials and consider whether a garment is effectively designed for reuse and recycling. At the other end of the value chain, consumers can play a pivotal role in transitioning the fashion industry towards more sustainable business models. The most powerful way to do this is by creating sustainable fashion that is fun and does not compromise on design or aesthetics — fashion that consumers will genuinely want to buy. Networking is a powerful tool that can be used to transition the fashion industry to a more sustainable future. Big, trusted brands are key here. 

What you can do as an individual:

The demand to minimize the effects of the fashion supply chain is not only up to the big fashion brands, but also consumers.

A woman wearing a shirt with a leaf on its price tag, emphasizing its eco-friendliness and supporting sustainability.Support smaller fashion brands:
If consumers purchased from the huge number of lesser-known fashion houses that have made sustainability an integral part of their business models, we’d be on our way to a solution.

Get crafty:
The art of sewing has recently been on the rise again as people are becoming more aware of their ecological footprint. There is a great deal of pride that comes along with sewing your own close, plus you end up with a wardrobe of garments that are uniquely yours and actually fit you.

Don’t love it? Don’t buy it:
Many times we buy clothing on a whim or just because it is on sale. These garments are then only worn once or twice and are then casted aside. If we take care to only buy the clothes we love and think we will wear time and time again, then we will greatly decrease the number of garments that end up in land fills.

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