To buy or not to buy, becomes the current dilemma. A movement has started and gained momentum slowly yet steadily.
Sustainability comes with many layers, subjective, relative, literal, and abstract. Which aspect of sustainability one caters to plays a huge role in determining its impact on the environment and humans alike.
Fashion brands range from luxury to high-street. Both are equally responsible for the climate and ecological emergency we face today.
The fast fashion industry with its massive production of cheap clothing and accessories is one of the most polluting industries after oil and petroleum. It’s throughout the product’s lifecycle right from manufacturing to storage to usage to its disposal that makes it questionable. Millions of tons of microfibers from the clothing leak into the oceans, filling up landfills to its capacity, unethical labor market, and blocked chain supplies not to mention the carbon emissions.
The majority of the fashion brands globally use cotton or polyester in their production that significantly increases the carbon footprint. Cotton production relies heavily on pesticides and massive consumption of water. This inevitably causes loss of biodiversity and soil degradation.
The consumer today - the Millennials and the Gen Z - are more aware and conscious about the impact on the environment based on their purchase decisions. They want to align their purchases that resonate with their values and views. It’s imperative to them that the brands maintain transparency about production, supply chains, and carbon emissions. As a direct consumer, it does matter what they think. However, it’s not just what they want anymore, it’s the immense stress on the green movement that is causing many major fashion brands to pivot towards sustainability.
Several fashion brands lacked environmental goals and commitment to sustainability that resulted in massive amounts of waste and return to landfills.
The shift to sustainability lays emphasis on durability, superior quality, aesthetic and ethical attributes. It also encourages social justice and fair trade.
Some fashion brands are retracing their steps to find alternative eco-friendly textiles. Sourcing sustainable fabrics from materials like organic linen, organic cotton, bamboo fibers, and plant waste.
With a huge emphasis on the green movement and the climate emergency fashion brands needs to shoulder these responsibilities not just through their revolutionary campaigns. No brand can ever be 100 percent sustainable but it can undeniably lower the impact and decrease the carbon footprints on the world. Not treat fashion as disposable but something of timeless value.
If the fashion industry luxe or fast, tilt its scale now towards sustainability the years of damage will not be undone instantly but it can definitely be the start of new change.