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Sustainability basically refers to practicing productive practices that contribute to a cleaner, healthier environment to combat climate change. Everyone can practice sustainability, even in the world of fashion.
Are there fashions that are not sustainable? How can such a large-scale industry operate sustainably? What does it look like? For more information, read on.
The Evolution of the Fashion Industry: From Handmade to Fast Fashion
fashion industry It is inevitable. Some people struggle to get clothes, some wear them out of necessity, others use them as a luxury or a form of expression. It has impacted people’s lives.
There was a time when people used to make clothes by hand using cloth and needles.
As time progressed, people began to seek out clothing from local artisans and craftsmen throughout the different seasons of the year.The Industrial Revolution in the 1800s changed everything.
The widespread use of machines to create clothing has made many classes faster and more accessible than ever before. It has become known for its iconic looks.
The evolution that influenced fashion more than the Industrial Revolution was the internet boom of the late 90s and early 2000s. E-commerce has changed the fashion landscape forever, and fast fashion has burst onto the scene and left its mark on the environment.
Related: emerging and sustainable fashion industry 2022
fast fashion and the Environmental impact
Fast Fashion: Summary
Fast fashion is the business model of mass-producing clothes (generally runway imitations) through a cheap and rapid supply chain in order to get the latest styles into the hands of buyers as quickly as possible.
Because of the rapid production process, workers are often exposed to poor working conditions, cheap labor and toxic substances.
The fast fashion industry has taken a lot of responsibility for its negative impact on the environment. This part of the industry isn’t harmless, but what happened with fast fashion is a trickle-down effect from the luxury industry.
Fast fashion trends are nothing more than imitations of runway looks. Once it premieres on the runway, fast-fashion companies will be churning out knockoffs for a fraction of the price within weeks.
problem? These clothes are made of cheap fabrics such as polyester and colored with toxic textile dyes.
Fast Fashion: Polyester and Pollution
Polyester is a synthetic fiber made primarily from petroleum, a fossil fuel that emits harmful carbon emissions. It is now the most commonly used textile fiber in the world, surpassing cotton.
Polyester is no small player in the fashion industry, the market for this material Projected to reach $174.7 billion Over the next 10 years.
Besides, polyester is not easy to manufacture. Production requires a significant amount of energy, with 282 tonnes of carbon dioxide reportedly used during polyester production in 2015.
The mass production of this toxic substance makes the fashion industry the second largest cause of air and water pollution in the world.
Entire industries are part of a chain reaction that begins with toxic substances releasing microfibers and microplastics into the water and air, causing harmful pollution to humans, animals and entire ecosystems.
Related: Is Air Pollution Making You Stupid?
Fast fashion: today here, tomorrow in the landfill
Because fast fashion is produced so quickly, trends change quickly. The life cycle of a garment does not simply end when it’s time to replace the old with the new trend.
According to the EPA, US clothing waste reached 13 million tons in 2018. Up to 70% of that waste ends up in landfills without being recycled. This waste comes from both businesses and individuals.
What is sustainable fashion?
Unsustainable fashion is a big part of the industry. However, some companies are moving to more sustainable practices to make a positive contribution to the world’s environment.
Sustainable fashion, or “slow fashion” An umbrella term that includes companies, products, employees, and practices.
It refers to practices aimed at paying clothing workers a decent living wage, reducing their carbon footprint and ultimately achieving net zero Businesses that have a positive impact on the environment and society.
Carbon footprint is the level of harmful greenhouse gases produced by any entity. To achieve net zero, we must eliminate greenhouse gas emissions and hazardous products that contribute to climate change.
Related: Is Sustainability the Modern Future? fashion industry?
4 reasons sustainable fashion matter
1. less waste
If the fashion industry as a whole shifts to more sustainable practices, waste will decrease significantly. The problem with fast fashion is that low-quality materials like polymers weaken with washing and wear.
Once used, this garment cannot be upcycled into new garments. As these substances decompose in landfills, This can take up to 200 yearsthey produce a greenhouse gas called methane.
If the fashion industry used more sustainable materials in its garments, it would be possible to recycle discarded garments into other garments and continue their lifecycle rather than starting over.
2. Reduce harmful emissions
When emissions are concerned, what comes to mind is a factory with visible smoke. It’s not the wrong image, but it’s not the only one.
The fashion industry creates a huge carbon footprint as it requires a great deal of energy to create the raw materials and materials used.
Some of the surprising numbers for the fashion industry business include:
- 70 million trees are cut down every year.
- 1.2 million tons of CO2 are produced each year.
- 70 million barrels of oil are used each year.
Sustainable fashion is essential because natural fibers made from biodegradable materials do not require as many resources.
3. Save water
The unsustainable part of the fashion industry not only uses excessive amounts of water, it has also been proven to pollute the water.
The industry uses 93 billion tonnes of water each year, and the pesticides used in the manufacture of clothing are often found in nearby runoff, polluting local waters, Rivers flow into the sea.
Sustainable fashion reduces this pollution by:
- Create a water budget that limits water usage during production.
- Prioritize organic, non-toxic, natural materials that do not require water and do not release toxins.
4. Maintain ecosystems
When toxic chemicals enter the water, they affect entire ecosystems. Animals that drink contaminated water can get sick, and animals that eat them can get sick. This continues through the food chain until the now poisonous animal reaches the human table.
Sustainable fashion brands are chemical-free, use sustainable fabrics, and do what it takes to better monitor water pollution.
In addition, many brands Vowed to be vegan and cruelty freeThis means that we use alternatives to leather and fur to avoid using materials of animal origin to protect the biodiversity of our ecosystems.
3 ways fashion industry can become more sustainable
The fashion industry must do its part to create sustainable clothing and promote healthy habits for a better planet. It is useful for
1. Be mindful of your waste
15% of fabric It will be wasted and will fall to the floor and be discarded. Many designers are implementing new practices to combat overproduction.
These strategies are:
- A geometric concept that uses every corner of the fabric.
- Make clothes from scraps.
- 3D virtual sampling.
- AI product image analysis.
- Mobile body scanning that fits more body types.
2. Intentional use of materials
Technological advances and discoveries continue to make more resources available sustainably. Many designers and companies are committed to using recyclable and more sustainable materials in their manufacturing processes.
Specific certifications for recycled, low-waste, biodegradable, or other sustainable materials are available.
Sustainable materials include:
- Recycled cotton (and some organic cotton).
- Textiles from agricultural waste.
- Fiber from the pods of the kapok tree.
- Microbial bioleather.
- Other biodegradable textiles using synthetic biology.
Related: Technology offers solutions to mitigate plastic pollution
3. Upcycle, save, rent
upcycling, in any context, means reusing and repurposing materials to make new things. In the fashion industry, it refers to the reuse of used clothing and clothing materials to create entirely new clothing.
Upcycling fashion can help the environment by reducing waste, reusing materials that can decompose in landfills, and reducing toxic emissions from manufacturing and transportation.
Related: All trash can be gold, according to McDonald’s. Fast food chains design jewelry — in your trash.
One of my great hopes for the future Gen Z’s love of frugalityThrift is not a new concept. However, many Gen Zers are embracing Gen Z as another move to become an environmentally and socially conscious generation.
Many members of Generation Z report loving the second-hand thrifty process. It’s not just because it’s an affordable form of expression (think ’80s second-hand t-shirts are back in style now), but also because it’s a way to fight. Back to fast fashion.
rental costumes A concept that has become more popular in the last few decades, data come and go as to whether it is a more sustainable option.
It certainly makes your clothes last longer, but it also means more transportation and more toxic emissions. But in 2021, popular rental site Rent the Runway reported that over the past decade of operation, it has been able to:
- Replace the production of 1.3 million new garments.
- Saves 67 million gallons of water.
- Saves 98.6 million kilowatt hours of energy.
- Save 44.2 million pounds of CO2 emissions.
Related: renting is back in fashion
most sustainable fashion brands
If you’re interested in shifting your shopping as a consumer or creating more sustainable practices in retail, check out a few. A big brand that’s not just greenwashing — They are paving the way for a sustainable fashion business.
Patagonia is on a mission for sustainable fashion. One of its most important initiatives is Out-of-pocket earth taxwe give 1% of our sales back to the environment through nonprofits and environmental organizations.
The company also strives to reduce waste, reduce water usage, reduce energy consumption, and recycle or upcycle gear.
The brand focuses on creating luxury cashmere sweaters made from 100% renewable or recycled resources. Naadam We are also dedicated to being transparent with our clients when practicing sustainability.
allbirds is a shoe company committed to eco-friendly and comfortable products. He has two big goals: to cut our environmental footprint in half by 2025 and to be as close to carbon neutral as possible by 2030. Allbirds uses sustainable materials such as:
- Torino XO.
why sustainable fashion important to you
The fashion industry still has a long way to go, but brands are doing their part to participate in ethical fashion. need to change.
However, there are science and operational systems that promote sustainable practices. Consumers and businesses must work together to reduce waste and promote sustainable fashion practices to create a better environment for all.
Ready to learn more about sustainability? Checkout Entrepreneur.com For more information pollution, environment more.