Most of the fashion brands these days are taking a step towards incorporating sustainable clothing and they are doing it by giving the outfits a stylish touch based on the current fashion trends. For example, most fast fashion retailers are looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint and work towards a sustainable future. The entire manufacturing process is witnessing a transformation. Fashion retailers and clothing manufacturers are opting for nature-based fabrics. The use of chemicals in the treatment and dyeing of fabrics has been significantly reduced. Fabrics made with closed-loop processes help with conservation and ensure optimal use of resources. Industries are integrating modern technologies that allow them to reduce their water consumption.
For example, fabrics made from wood pulp are a great way to maintain green measures. Fibers from certified sustainable forests help improve the fabric’s fluidity and softness. These ethically sourced fabrics save 6 to 7 times more landfill than cotton and consume 3 to 4 times less water.
Sustainable fashion in modern times
Sustainable fashion is an overarching term including products, processes, activities, supply chain, packaging aimed at establishing and achieving a carbon-free industry based on social justice and ecological integrity. Sustainable material factors are assessed based on its impact on nature – pollution and intensity of water use and carbon emissions during processing and ensuring proper waste management at the pre-stage. / post-consumer are all important.
Here are elements discussed within the fashion industry in order to move towards sustainability.
- use more durable materials
- improve resource efficiency
- reduce waste
- solve production problems
- and, perhaps least talked about, making the industry transparent and easy for the consumer to understand
One of the key steps that most companies implement are recycling programs. Growing environmental pressure has accumulated over time on our ecosystem, warranting a re-examination of our economic paradigm. This has driven commercial industries around the world to increase efficiency in the use of natural resources and reduce the overall impact on the environment.
The manufacturing units use solar energy which is very beneficial for the conservation of exhaustible resources. Fashion brands these days are becoming eco-friendly by leveraging technology, automating production and making packaging more sustainable. Biodegradable packaging like corn starch, glassine, hemp and kraft paper are innovative solutions that brands are opting for. The use of bacteria-based dyes, the deployment of a blockchain-based supply chain and the introduction of traceability to increase transparency are new era solutions to better achieve the cause of the sustainability.
Innovations that make waves in a sustainable way
The evolution of digital traceability and how it can increase transparency in the supply chain has become a reliable option. This technology allows brands to trace their supply chains, from raw materials to finished products, and monitor supplier compliance. Companies can thus strategically target potential risks in their supply chains. Some companies are working on creating unique digital passports linked to a specific garment by a QR or RFID code that needs to be shared with both the consumer and the company where something was made. It describes the materials used, how many times it has been owned, and its end-of-life information such as the most efficient recycling practice representing the entire lifecycle of the garment.
Global changes such as rethinking business models and expanding the definition of regenerative fashion to include inherently eco-friendly practices will go a long way in decarbonizing the fashion industry.
The opinions expressed above are those of the author.
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