The best indicator of human pain is fashion. War, protests, or economic crises will all be reflected in the way we live and look. Like cement, this phenomenon connects the way of life and thinking, culture, economics, art and politics. Now our awakening self-awareness is being broadcast live on all possible surfaces.
For the last thirty years, we have been living in a world of fast fashion and generous sales. Apart from a few brands whose DNA is embedded in sustainable development (Stella McCartney, People Tree, Patagonia, etc.), many brands enjoyed an insatiable desire to buy making fortunes, changing collections several times a season and creating all new trendy things that are no longer possible.
We have lived for a very long time in an era of consumption, even overconsumption, and it seems that we are finally full. The fashion industry, like a real litmus test, immediately reacts to this. But is it that simple?
Let’s find the answers thanks to Sher.media.
After all, many brands simply follow the trend for sustainability, release appropriate collections, commercials, loud statements, special green tags for a fresh collection. In their pursuit of the trend, they promote it even more, but globally, all these movements in the fashion world may not change anything. In the meantime, useful energy is running out, so it is quite possible that the trend towards sustainable fashion may soon collapse. You should not be afraid of this very fact, but you need to be afraid of the fact that we will not acquire anything useful during this time.
Being not sustainable in the fashion industry is now bad manners, and sustainability, on the contrary, is at its peak. Collections with care for nature are no longer a privilege, the mass market has them, you yourself know that they can be easily found in Mango or ZARA. Many brands are launching promotions for accepting old clothes and shoes, such as Vagabond, UNIQLO and the scandalous H&M in this regard.
Yes, brands are talking about how many plastic bottles went into a new T-shirt, but the collections with new T-shirts are updated several times a season, so this is more of a faint hint of compensation than any kind of sustainability. There can be no talk of it without “slow” collections.
Another must-have for a sustainable brand is organic fabrics made from materials grown without chemicals or pesticides and using water wisely. For such brands, animal frendly is also characteristic, that is, the rejection of natural fur and leather. By the way, the list of fur-free brands is growing: Calvin Klein, Gucci, Michael Kors, Jimmy Choo, Lacoste, Tommy Hilfiger, Giorgio Armani, Vivienne Westwood, Bottega Veneta, Kate Spade, Ralph Lauren, Hugo and Versace. That being said, many of them still use natural leather.
By the way, as a rule, such companies do not take the “green” path of their own free will. This is happening under pressure from community groups, and the most active in this regard was and is the PETA organization. It was they who organized art pogroms in fashion boutiques in the 2000s. Or remember this meme, how a can of paint is poured onto a fashionista in a fur coat. They are associated with the first wave of eco-revolution in the industry, and now we obviously see the second.
Previously, the question was bluntly about the ethics of materials, now a wide range of claims are made against artificial materials and the era of upcycling has come. Trash is becoming the stuff of fashion collections, with sports brands having recently become the driving force behind their recycled plastic sneakers and T-shirts. Of course, people from time immemorial have used the old and unnecessary to create the new and necessary. Remember at least the vivid image of Scarlett O’Hara from the movie “Gone with the Wind”, which she sewed from old curtains. There are legends that the first fashion collection of Alexander McQueen almost 30 years ago was created from the things he had chosen. Today, the fashion industry has become an actual technology race. They use plastic bottles, pieces of PVC, fabric trimmings, fishing nets, and even surplus dairy products.
In addition to the fashion mastodons and active prominent players, local brands are on the market. Their price tag is higher in comparison with the mass market due to limited production and an unsettled sales line. Their success depends not only on the quality and originality of the product but also on their concept. Often, it is precisely the environmental theme that is exploited here. Outwardly, this is expressed in natural colors and fabrics, but no evidence of this can always be found. Some brands deal directly with recycled plastics, usually making swimwear or sportswear.
Perhaps this is all that brands can offer us so far. But in the fashion industry there are always two participants and the consumer plays an even more important role here. And it is here, now, that the main turning point is taking place.
In 2015, the documentary film “The True Cost” was released, its authors did a great job. To some extent, the movie opened everyone’s eyes to the ugly side of the fashion industry: environmental pollution and unfair working conditions. Ever since the release of this film, the first rift in consumer behavior has gone through, and the demand for sustainable fashion has begun to emerge. This is due to many factors: active propaganda of the “green,” more and more reliable and fast information, the development of social networks, the appearance of Greta Thunberg, stars campaigning for an environmentally friendly lifestyle, etc. Well, the slow promotion of eco-ideas on a high podium, such adherents of the environment fashion like Stella McCartney had its effect too.
It is becoming more interesting for all of us to join responsible fashion; clothes have also become an indicator of conscious consumption. In the cities of Russia, it is not at all difficult to follow this path, inspiration can be drawn from social networks, and the things themselves can be found anywhere. Big brands bring new items from recycled materials to each of their stores. There are swaps, fancy thrift deals and secondaries everywhere. Old things can be donated to charity or sold without any problems. Just like you can buy clothes from your hands or choose really eco-friendly items. But online shopping is becoming more and more eco-friendly. For example, the largest online retailer Lamoda has launched a whole section dedicated to conscious consumption. True, with online purchases, the issue of excessive packaging has not been resolved.
Unfortunately, the demand for sustainable fashion is still growing, while the offer has already been promoted with might and main. The danger is that it can be deflated before habits are formed, or the majority of the population is requested. However, now we all have a unique chance to figure out how to dress environmentally irrevocably.
The fashion industry, especially since the rise of fast fashion, is among the most damaging industries for the environment, responsible for 10% of global carbon emissions and 20% of global wastewater. Let’s read the article about the impacts of fast fashion on the environment here.