From young minds like Greta Thunberg to small scale thrift stores famously active on Instagram, the concept of sustainable fashion has taken over the fashion industry. Millennial and Gen-Z shoppers have realised how their purchasing habits affect the ongoing challenge of climate change and what role they can play in safeguarding the environment. They are consciously making an effort to live a sustainable lifestyle and expect brands to lead the way and make the change with them, not just for them.
According to a report, the fashion industry accounts for 10% of all human-caused greenhouse gas emissions per year. Hence, prioritising sustainable business practices has become critical for brands, not just to attract customers in the current marketplace but also to protect future generations and the planet; we only have one.
How can fashion brands become sustainable?
Create something that stays for a long time
Make designs that will last. Rather than replicating short-lived catwalk fashions, it’s best for brands to spend their energy creating high-quality, timeless designs that will last for a long time. With the right materials, like organic cotton, construction, and cut, they can craft clothing that lasts for years rather than months.
Focus on eco-friendly packaging
Packaging, especially plastic, is one of the biggest reasons for environmental pollution and the destruction of flora and fauna. Fashion brands must use biodegradable, eco-friendly packaging to ensure that their products’ sustainable journey remains environment-friendly till the end. Companies can pack the items in recyclable paper and cloth sleeves to ensure that no harmful residues are churned out from their side. Furthermore, cloth sleeves can be used further for various other purposes, thus avoiding wastage of manufacturing materials.
Think about the biodiversity
Fashion brands must keep biodiversity in mind while creating their products. Biodiversity not only provides countless resources for the fashion industry, but it also serves to safeguard us from climate change. Fashion brands should utilise vegan, reusable, and recyclable materials in their products to ensure that they support biodiversity.
Use sustainable material
Plastic packaging accounts for 9.2 billion tonnes of waste thrown into landfills and oceans. And just 9% of this waste is recycled. The rest? Well, they end up causing insurmountable damage to the planet. The best way fashion brands can reduce the adverse environmental impact is by switching to sustainable materials while manufacturing their goods. Fashion designers can use recycled and upcycled materials such as fabrics manufactured from secondhand clothing.
Besides, this, veganism has taken the world by storm because these products are environmentally friendly and do not sacrifice animal life for style. So it is high time for fashion brands to embrace a cruelty-free and vegan-friendly manufacturing process. Brands can use hemp, natural rubber, vegan leather, etc. The market for vegan footwear is predicted to grow at an 8% CAGR from 2022 to 2030, compared to a 6% CAGR from 2015 to 2021. These figures are enough to show how a brand can effectively take care of the planet while staying on top of its fashion game with vegan fashion.
Why sustainable fashion brands are a priority for investors?
With the growing market for sustainable products and the challenges of climate change, investors are interested in investing their money, time and energy in sustainable fashion brands. Investors want to know what viable solutions the brands will collaborate on. They choose to invest in brands that innovate while considering the implications of their action on the environment and future generations. As a result, brands must authentically pursue investors.
Sustainability is not a passing trend. It is the only way to ensure a future with a healthy environment and adequate resources. Consumers have shown that they value sustainable fashion. Brands in the ever-growing fashion industry should actively work towards making this industry beneficial to both consumers and the environment in the long run. As the trendsetter, it is the responsibility of brands to be mindful of what our consumers consume.
Views expressed above are the author’s own.
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