Exploring sustainable fashion and consumer trends

sustainable fashion trends

Forbes reports the fashion industry is responsible for creating up to 10 percent of the worldwide carbon dioxide output and accounts for around one-fifth of the 300 million tonnes of plastic produced annually. The World Economic Forum adds that the fashion industry generates more emissions than maritime shipping and international flights combined. 

We need to address the environmental footprint of the garment industry. Ethical fashion allows us to create high-quality, durable clothing while tackling environmental and social issues associated with the sector. Continue reading as we explore the concept of sustainable fashion and why it is so in demand amongst today’s consumers. 

What is sustainable fashion? 

Sustainable fashion is when businesses create garments that are considerate of people and the planet. In other words, the clothing items are designed in a way that reduces the impact on the environment and ensures the people who work to make the clothes are working in good conditions. 

Essentially, sustainable fashion is all about ethically making garments and ensuring they are environmentally friendly. It is an all-inclusive term referring to processes, products, stakeholders, and activities. Environmentally conscious fashion aims to achieve a carbon-neutral fashion sector based on social justice, equality, ecological integrity, and animal welfare. 

Why is sustainable fashion important? 

Sustainable fashion is important for a plethora of different reasons. For one thing, creating environmentally friendly garments and engaging in circular clothing practices like mending and shopping secondhand help us curb waste. Additionally, eco-friendly fashion is about ensuring factory workers get fair wages and a healthy work environment. 

Sustainable clothing also helps us curb greenhouse gas and carbon dioxide emissions. This is because the garments use biodegradable components from recycled and natural fibres. These fabrics are grown without the use of fertilisers or pesticides, consume less water and energy, and employ no chemical treatments. Ultimately, ethical fashion can help us greatly in transitioning to a circular economy. 

How do consumers feel about sustainable fashion? 

For the fashion industry to truly become entirely sustainable, consumers must be willing to pay more to drive the change. At the very least, they must be willing to stop purchasing from clothing companies that do not prioritise the needs of the planet and workers. This change is happening as more eco-conscious consumers become influential in marketing demographics. 

There is growing demand for environmentally friendly clothing options as today’s consumers become increasingly aware of the social and environmental impacts of the fashion industry. With this in mind, many consumers are turning their attention to fashion brands that are socially and environmentally responsible. They are willing to pay more for these products because they also deem them higher quality. 

Consumers are also engaging in more circular economy clothing practices like shopping secondhand, and fixing old clothing. McKinsey also reports that approximately 50 percent of millennials and Gen Zers expect to purchase more garments secondhand. The demand for sustainable fashion has also caused mainstream fashion companies like Mango, Zara, and Primark to start reviewing their supply chains and how they can become more environmentally friendly. 

Summary

The fashion industry is harmful to the planet. If we are to achieve a greener world that respects nature, people, and animals, we desperately need to switch to sustainable fashion and more circular ways of consuming clothing. Mainstream brands need to prioritise the environment and people when creating their garments.

They can do this by reviewing their supply chains, ensuring good work environments for factory workers, tackling their emissions, and selecting more Earth-friendly materials to name a few. If you have a fashion brand and want to become a changemaker in the sector, our Diploma in Business Sustainability course can help you take all those necessary actions to build a more responsible brand.

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