Sustainability is a huge concern and hot topic, and for a good reason. The fashion industry has been identified as the primary contributor to pollution and excess waste (for example, ready to wear fashion and harmful chemicals). What does the realistic future of the fashion industry look like in terms of sustainability?
There are plenty of things to consider, but a big hitter is a cost. Making things sustainably comes at a much greater cost than RTW clothes, which are made cheaply and quickly. Sustainably-made clothes go through a lengthier and more costly process, creating a much higher price tag. While some people understand that the piece is an investment and don’t mind the price, that is not accessible for everyone, especially those with a lower disposable income.
Luxury brands have the clientele and the resources to make sustainable products and strides more quickly. However, retailers and fast fashion brands can do small things to help, like buying less inventory. Offering slightly fewer styles and trimming down packing materials would also help. Retailers can make a big difference, including making realistic goals and following through with sustainability efforts will move forward. More efficient and less wasteful practices can reduce the footprint in overall retail production.
Adding the tools for customers on eCommerce websites and creating clear displays that allow them to see and explore eco-friendly products ignites the spark to encourage exploration. Change can be overwhelming, and it’s easy to assume that small change doesn’t make a difference. On the contrary, implementing consciously made products and resources and making them easily accessible for users encourages sustainability without major additional groundwork. Larger issues like dealing with fossil fuels and increased worker wages take much longer to change.
Consumers can continue doing their part by being informed. Knowing the difference between vegan, eco, and organic materials and products is important. MoodEarth is Mood Fabrics’ way of encouraging customers to shop responsibly without leaving holes and gaps to fill as you go. As a consumer, you deserve easy interfaces that let you decide which products work for you and your design needs and values. Sewing allows you design and material freedom that works for you. On the MoodEarth page, you will find categories and certifications for corresponding fabrics. Other ways to shop sustainably are also included, like biodegradable and deadstock fabrics. For zero-waste sewing patterns: Check out the Cadia Shirt and the Pinafore Skirt.
The future of fashion and sustainability is a long road ahead that must be filled with plans and actions. Following through with small changes is a starting point, but it won’t be a solution for very long. Eco-friendly practices in fashion are consumer-driven, so keep pushing and remember that your consistent efforts do have the power to make a difference, even if you can’t see it on a large scale.