Anna Wintour said it best: “We need to have more of an emphasis on sustainability and we need to have more emphasis on luxury and creativity and craft”.
The change we wanted to see in the fashion industry is becoming more and more present. More and more people are interested in the origin of the clothes they are willing to buy, the materials and the conditions under which they are made. Sustainable fashion encourages upcycling fashion, the use of the goods we already have and the re-use of already existing clothes. Circular economy in fashion and textiles has become a priority as fashion is widely considered as the second most destructive industry after oil, to the environment. An EU initiative called the European Clothing Action Plan has been launched to significantly improve by 2019 the sustainability of textiles across their life cycle from design to end of use. Therefore, it is becoming more and more imperative for fashion brands to give “the good example” and implement eco-friendly practices, in order to become more sustainable. With an increasing concern in the fashion industry and an arousing awareness amongst consumers, businesses are beginning to understand the benefits and untapped economic potential of efficient use of waste.
A fashion brand can be regarded as ethical and sustainable when there is complete transparency in the production processes of the garment as well as in the entire supply chain. The philosophy of sustainability in fashion leads to accessories and clothes that reduce their energy footprint and promise a better future on the planet. More and more designers are raising awareness and decide to use vegetable dyes, organic cotton but also seeds, ecological leather, biodegradable plastic and recyclable materials, such as Gucci, Inditex, H&M, Nike and Stella McCartney.
It is now time for the fashion brands to embrace sustainable business solutions, by creating and communicating a sustainable brand, establishing a sustainability policy that engulfs the values, the code of ethics and the policies of the brand according to the international standards of sustainable fashion, setting-up eco-friendly solutions, such as the use of innovative materials and adapting a “green strategy” activity (such as making a statement against animal testing or the use of hazardous banned materials) in order to measure the environmental impact of the company’s activity.
All in all, making clothes in a responsible, sustainable way is a captivating new opportunity of approaching the business, that plays a major role in spearheading change, leaves a positive footprint on the brand and promotes longevity along with a sense of timelessness.