Sustainable Fashion

Topics: Fashion, Sustainability, Sustainable development Pages: 5 (1873 words) Published: January 21, 2012
One of the most heavily discussed topics, in this last decade, is the environmental decay of our planet. Diverse concepts have materialized in order to find solutions for the problem. Ecology and sustainable growth have been confirmed to be the main solutions currently. Innovations for sustainable growth include: creation of hybrid cars, recycling and minor discharge of carbon dioxide in factories among others (Christ 23). Environmental awareness was also introduced to the world of fashion, unfortunately, it wasn’t very successful; lately there has been a change of situation and that is what we are going to attempt to understand. For almost twenty years now, people have been relying on fast fashion, a fairly new notion, which entails rapid garment production in a cost efficient manner. This efficiency is attained through the retailers understanding of the customer’s wants, which consist in having high fashion looking garments at reasonable prices. Lots of stores have mission statements that endorse this concept of affordable high fashion such as Zara, Mango and H&M and so forth, they are very successful worldwide, has completely taken over; this position for fashion is at its most of unsustainability, as Sandy Black says: “The production and consumption of fashion represent the two extremes of a very long, fragmented and complex supply chain that transforms fiber into yarn and fabrics, which is mediated by designers, manufacturers and buyers into the clothing on offer at retail.”. Fast and cheap fashion implies more disposability, which incites more consumption. Therefore, when eco friendly fashion made its appearance, people weren’t convinced because it looked too cheap and unfashionable––when envisioning eco fashion, people automatically associated it with a variation of earthy colors (brown, khaki, grey, etc.), highly flammable fabrics, to cut a long story short, people thought of them as ugly. It is an eco friendly clothing cliché. Hence, a global pejorative connotation built up over time and these clothes were perceived as cheap which also meant that they were unfashionable in some way. Sustainable fashion isn’t an entirely new phenomenon, we know that past generations recycled clothing without knowing it; when there were special occasions, they would take their casual clothes and add ornaments and all kinds of things to make their garment look dressier––they knew how to transform they’re clothes–– Also in families with siblings, most of the time, the younger ones wore “hand me downs” from their older siblings, some people still do it now. The point is, back then they knew how to remodel something they already had as well as create something new; and we kind of lost that for a few years with the rise of fast fashion. However, nowadays with this eco movement, it is all becoming about knowledge once again; Today on numerous fashion blogs and sites (;; and many more) people can find the DIY (Do it Yourself) category, it gives us all the steps on how to create fashion items that are trendy and/or featured on the site/blog. In general, the materials needed to create DIY pieces are ones that we are most likely to have already, so we can recycle. Currently, people still shop of course but they also spare time for things they can put together themselves. Eco fashion reflects a natural change of values. Another solution for being “green” in fashion is to reduce the impact of washing and aftercare. As Black explains: “With most clothes we wear close to the body, the environmental impact of washing, drying and ironing is far greater than the manufacture of the items themselves, so any reduction in washing needs can be very significant in terms of carbon footprint. With nano-coatings and treatments, clothes can be made stain and dirt repellent and reduce their need for frequent washing. This potential longer life using less energy needs to be balanced with the fact they...
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