Why Sustainable Fashion MattersFebruary 6, 2019
Do you Want to do your part to help the environment? Start with your closet!
Each year the fashion industry creates 1.26 billion tons of greenhouse emissions. That’s an astonishing number! Read on to learn how top fashion houses are doing their part to create a more sustainable planet.
Is Green the New Black? Top Fashion Brands Embrace Sustainability
Businesses are recognizing how their production impacts the environment and are taking strides to address sustainability. “To secure future business it is essential and natural for us to address sustainability proactively. We are dedicated to continue making great fashion and design affordable, by having a circular approach and being a fair and equal company,” said H&M’s CEO Karl-Johan Persson via a press release.
Like H&M, many global fashion brands have hired corporate social responsibility staff to spearhead green initiatives. If you want to learn more about how a company is promoting sustainability, visit your favorite brand’s website. Most major fashion houses like Adidas and Frank and Oak have web pages dedicated to their sustainability initiatives, where you can learn more about their work. According to a report by the Business of Fashion, brands are now more transparent than ever, with 42 out of 100 fashion brands disclosing their supplying information in 2017.
The Consumer Demand for Sustainability
The fashion world’s shift to sustainable style offerings has been fueled by consumer demand. Consumers of all ages, particularly millennials are keen on purchasing clothing items that align with their values. Research shows 66% of millennials are willing to spend more on sustainable brands. It pays big to align your brand with corporate social responsibility principles. In an interview with Levi Strauss’s CEO said Chinese consumers, a growing consumer base places significant value on a brand’s ethos and corporate social responsibility. “In China… the value they place on how brands do business, what brands stand for is off-the-charts compared to any prior generation,” said Strauss. Research shows aligning one’s brand with sustainability can, in turn, promote brand loyalty for firms and spur revenue growth.
How Fashion Houses are Committing to Sustainability
Better supply chains: There are many stakeholders involved with creating a single garment. For example, the label for a t-shirt may be assembled in India, while the packaging may be assembled in Canada, and the shirt may be woven in Bangladesh. All of these moving parts can create significant carbon emissions and make it complicated to track the quality and sustainability of a garment. By tracking supply chains and creating better synergies fashion houses can promote sustainability.
Efficient use of energy, water, and other chemicals: The fashion world is a massive consumer of energy. In fact, it requires 2,700 litres of water to make one t-shirt. By tracking energy use, and using more environmentally friendly raw materials, such as organic cotton, companies can do their part to reduce global carbon emissions.
Safe and equitable work environments: By providing fair wages and safe work conditions, companies can demonstrate a tangible commitment to corporate social responsibility.
Sustainable raw materials: By choosing low-impact raw materials, a brand can reduce its environmental impact by up to 50%. When shopping, opt for clothing made from organic or low-impact sustainable materials.
For more on how fashion houses are promoting sustainability, take a look at the work done by the Global Fashion Agenda, a Danish-based leadership forum on sustainability in fashion. The firm aims to transform how clothing is produced, consumed and reuses by educating the fashion world’s global leaders. So far, fashion houses like H&M, Target, and BESTSELLER have joined the group.
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