The desire for environmental sustainability is becoming more and more common in modern society. Moreover, of course, this affects the fashion industry, which strives to keep up with the current mood. Brands are beginning to abandon natural fur, proclaim themselves ethical companies and strive for carbon neutrality. At present, when the problems of the ecosystem are severe, an appeal to sustainable fashion is necessary.
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The unwise consumption of fashion industry products has led to the emergence of such a concept as fast fashion. This is a popular term for clothing that is quickly and cheaply produced by a mass market that copies the trending images of luxury brands (Niinimäki 189). The low price allows customers to easily buy things and quickly part with them, thereby increasing the volume of waste produced. The working conditions of such companies are also not ideal, which makes production unethical and unstable.
In the TEDx talk video, Clara Vuletich raises the issue of clothing sustainability. Clara Vuletich is a designer-activist and educator who have worked in sustainable fashion in UK and Europe. In the modern world, people are overwhelmed with the amount of clothing and have 4 times more than the previous generation (“How to Engage with Ethical Fashion”). The speaker also says that often clothes are made in developing countries, where people work a lot but get extremely little. In the case of choosing whom to blame, there is always a shift of responsibility from customers to brands, organizations and the state, and vice versa.
The speaker says that the solution to the problem of clothing sustainability lies in understanding the changing behavior of consumers and studying the essence of the fashion industry and brands. Besides, in collaboration with other designers, the speaker developed several strategies to prevent fast fashion. Moreover, when training future designers, they asked the question, “What social and environmental significance can this piece of clothing have?” (“How to Engage with Ethical Fashion”). Cotton clothing was used as an example of demonstrating the circle of life of clothing. Studies show that to create one T-shirt from this material, 500 grams of pesticides are used to grow cotton (“How to Engage with Ethical Fashion”). It is evident that such an attitude negatively influences the environment. The alternative, organic cotton, is much more expensive, so it is used less often. The main idea of the speaker is that stability is not ultimately instilled from the outside. Everyone should understand for themselves the consequences of the actions of humanity and its attitude to nature.
Eva Kruse raises the question of how the fashion industry is one of the primary pollutants and users of water in the modern world. Therefore, one five-dollar T-shirt uses 2,000 liters of water (“Changing the World Through Fashion”). The industry is built on the psychological influence and forcing people to buy something they would never have thought about. This exposure leads to an overabundance of clothing and further pollution of the environment while eliminating it.
Eva Kruse is the CEO and President of the Danish Fashion Institute. She sees the question about “what every one of us can do to improve our personal footprint and the environmental and social impact of the fashion industry” as the primary goal of her activities (“Changing the World Through Fashion”). Essential aspects in this case are the conclusions about the consumption, use and disposal of the purchased products. To do this, people need to use technology and creativity to achieve great results. The cooperative work of both organizations and consumers is essential to create sustainable choices. The speaker says that it is the interest of buyers in this area to give an impetus to the beginning of sustainable fashion (“Changing the World Through Fashion”). Everything is in the hands of the people themselves, and fashion’s future development is up to them. Companies, in turn, will make more environmentally friendly actions.
In one of the studied articles, the author also raises the problem of the negative impact of fashion on the environment and how to solve them. Therefore, Ro (2020) claims that fashion is responsible for around 10% of greenhouse gas emissions. Changing fashion forces people to buy more and more clothes, oversaturating their wardrobes. Changing fashion forces people to buy more and more clothes, oversaturating their wardrobes. Many do not even think about the negative contribution they make by buying up new collections every season. Jeans, for example, require one kilogram of cotton, which in turn consumes 7,500-10,000 liters of water (Ro). Thus, it is necessary to reduce the consumption of such products to improve the environment.
The market for sustainable clothing is developing at a relatively rapid pace. Many companies resort to such materials as garbage from waste from wood, fruit and other natural materials to create their products (Ro). However, not only changing the components of clothing can reduce the negative impact. Online shopping can also help reduce the level of oxide released during the transport of goods to ordinary shops.
The article under research examined the impact of the global pandemic on the sustainable fashion industry and all the people involved in it. Kent (2020) says that millions of workers had been laid off without pay in countries such as Bangladesh and Vietnam, and major brands were facing attention for opaque and unequal procurement practices. Thousands of people who have been making a profit for fashion houses for years have ended up on the street without any help from these very companies. For this reason, many brands try to avoid responsibility and the financial side associated with it.
Despite the negatives, the pandemic has also contributed to the success of several brands. Thus, “H&M group became the first brand ever to score above 70 per cent, leading the pack” (Kent). This rise can be explained by the increased popularity of online shopping, which has a positive impact on the environment and the fact that the company produces limited collections of clothing, shoes and accessories made of recycled and organic materials.
The market is saturated with goods that people do not need. At the same time, their production causes significant damage to the environment. Many consider sustainability a new trend, and some call it the only right and necessary solution that will save the industry and the entire planet. All over the world, individual designers and entire fashion corporations are eager to cooperate to find new ideas on making fashion ethical. After studying the sources mentioned above, it can be concluded that sustainable fashion is primarily awareness and care for oneself, other people and the environment.
“Changing the World Through Fashion: Eva Kruse at TEDxCopenhagen.” YouTube, uploaded by TEDx Talks, 2013, Web.
“How to Engage with Ethical Fashion | Clara Vuletich | TEDxSydney.” YouTube, uploaded by TEDx Talks, 2016, Web.
Kent, Sarah. “When It Comes to Social and Environmental Transparency, Fashion Continues to Fall Short.” The Business of Fashion, 22020, Web.
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Niinimäki, Kirsi, et al. “The environmental price of fast fashion.” Nature Reviews Earth & Environment, vol.1, no. 4, 2020, pp. 189-200.
Ro, Christine. “Can Fashion Ever Be Sustainable?” BBC, 2020, Web.