Sustainable or Eco-Friendly Fashion
- March 30, 2017
- Posted by: lisaadelhi
- Category: Fashion Design Blog
With the environmental damage caused by humans in the past couple of centuries weighing heavy on the public consciousness in the last decade, there has been a growing demand for leading sustainable lifestyles. People have been adopting environmentally friendly modes of transportation, separating their waste and chucking environment damaging beauty products for either their more natural or more high-end counterparts. While industries like food and fashion are a little late to be hit by the changes in consumer consciousness, sustainable fashion has been rapidly infiltrating the industry as people opt for a more environmentally friendly lifestyle.
What is Sustainable Fashion?
The fashion industry is the second largest polluter in the world after oil industry. The philosophy of Sustainable fashion or Eco Fashion is centered around minimizing the industry’s impact on the environment. It aims to not only reduce the pollution caused by the production processes used in the fashion industry but also focus on sourcing its materials as ethically and sustainably as possible.
How to Achieve Sustainable Fashion
One of the most obvious ways sustainable fashion can be achieved is through recycling. While the technology for this is not yet accessible in most parts of the world, usage of recycled fabrics can help achieve sustainable fashion by both cutting down on raw material consumption as well as cutting down on the amount of waste and by-products produced. The process involves re-processing fabric scraps into short fibers in order to spin a new yarn from it. While this process does require incorporation of virgin synthetic fibers into the recycled materials in order to provide consistency to the yarn, it still cuts back significantly on the amount of raw materials consumed.
Another method of cutting back on the consumption of raw materials is with a method called Upcycling. Much like conventional recycling where discarded materials from the textile industry are used in production of new fibers, upcycling takes up by-products produced by other industries and utilizes them in order to make fibers. The production of fish leather is an excellent example of this as it not only uses by-products from the food and fishing industry but also cuts down on the environmental impact that is caused by conventional leather production processes.
Some designers going for Sustainable fashion or Eco-friendly designing
The concept of sustainable fashion went mainstream when brands like Espirit adopted sustainability as one of their USPs. Environmental concern and corporate social responsibility has been a hot-button issue in the following years made sure that brands and fashion designers would soon follow suit.
Popular fashion brands like H&M and Urban Outfitters now carry their own respective sustainable collections called H&M Conscious and Urban Renewal. Hiut Denim and Bluer Denim are denim brands known for exclusively dealing with ethically produced denim materials. While Bluer is a more affordable brand, Hiut is known for revolutionizing the production process of sustainable denim and produces a limited number of high-quality clothing per week.
Faustine Steinmetz is a fashion designer that produces handcrafted denim and condemns the mass production processes generally used for the material. Since sustainable fashion became an industry buzz, there have been brands popping up that produce only eco-friendly clothes. Amour Vert is a leading brand that caters to this niche in the industry.
Advantage of Sustainable Fashion
While the benefits of sustainable fashion are obvious, considering that it utilizes ethically sourced materials and cuts down on waste products and environmental pollution, India has even more incentives to adopt sustainable fashion. The cottage industry in India is in need of revival and the government provides several incentives such as grants and tax subsidies for investing in it. India has a long history of skilled craftsmen making hand-woven textiles, making it a resource that the fashion industry should utilize.
Not only does incorporating the cottage textile industry into mainstream Indian fashion provide a significant boost to our economy, it also allows fashion labels as well as consumers hop aboard the Eco-Fashion trend while keeping production costs and selling prices low.