Are We Really Moving Towards Sustainable Fashion?

Have leading heads of fashion really changed for the better?
sustainable fashion
sustainable fashion. image source: FT

Fast fashion, couture, sustainable fashion, pret a porter. All words we are familiar with when it comes to types of fashion and clothing. A big topic, especially with our ever-changing world is sustainable fashion and how the industries are actually changing.

To understand sustainable fashion, it includes four parts:

  • Sustainable fashion needs ethical production
  • Sustainable manufacture,
  • Production quality and longevity, and
  • Circular processes - a fashion that can be reused

Slow fashion never seeming to be as big, has slowly gained its awareness, and is a huge impact on the movement of sustainable fashion. After the large fall out of Rana Plaza in Bangladesh, 2013, the industry had to start thinking forward about its choices. Nearly killing 1,300 people, the garment factory suffered many losses due to inhumane treatment.

Multiple countries are being forced into workload with lesser compensation. It has shown that most garment workers make around $250-$300 a month due to the ‘pay per alteration’ preference. In some cases, garment workers are working 40+ hour weeks for underpaying.

With companies like Fashion Nova, Forever21, H&M producing fast-fashion pieces, it is difficult to not be constantly working due to a demand for new pieces constantly. Fast fashion is an issue, over time some brands have entered a more “reduce reuse recycle” attitude. Levi’s has begun a production of remastered jeans for sale, and less water while producing their jeans.

Alternative apparel has begun production with recycled vintage materials and cotton fabrics. H&M has made a brand of their own; ‘H&M Conscious’ made out of organic cotton or recycled polyester, as well as offering their shoppers an option to donate their unwanted clothing at its stores.

Some of the best fabrics known to be used for sustainability include linen, organic cotton, wool & cashmere. Although natural fibers may seem great, to promote longevity sometimes it’s best to search for other options.

To keep the process of circular fashion alive, sites like Poshmark, or Thredup. Not only is someone given the chance to make some extra cash, but these sites promote the sustainability of fashion by purchasing gently used items, whether it’s a designer or a department store.

Due to the trickle-down effect, the highest of the pyramid has affected fashion and trends, but due to the lower classes' change of style and trends, it has affected those in an upward motion. Now with people care more than ever about sustainability with their fabrics and clothing; larger designers have entered an era of consciously made clothing.

From burning their clothes in a landfill to now using them to be remastered or reused. Fashion is forward-thinking, and hopefully, we can rely on it to continue thriving.

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