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Sustainability aspects in fashion

Status of sustainability in the textile and fashion industry

The way we dress is the expression of ourselves, our choices and our desire. However, in this fast fashion world, multiple selves represent become common. Season after season fashion reinvents itself and comes up with new collections or trends that make the consumer buy something new that they don't have. Each year several clothes sell goes drastically up. Our habit with textile products consumption and quickly going through product lifecycle is destroying the world. Textiles become the third largest polluter on the planet and constantly increase to harm the environment. The impact that fashion has on our planet is undeniable.

Sustainability aspects in fashion

From investors to customers and regulators all are demanding one thing which is a sustainable approach to the production and selling of clothes. The creation of a transparent supply chain for clothes seems the only solution for that. 

As much as brands are transparent about their manufacturing and retail process for as many times, it will create a united problem solution for sustainability. These things require a wholesale shift in creative business and operative models. 

At the same time efforts from the United Nations, governing power and world leaders require strong regulations. 


The real impact of sustainability on fashion

Almost every brand or person in the fashion industry talking about sustainable ways of fashion in the last few decades. References to sustainability in fashion's annual reports have more than doubled over the last five years. 
In other words as per google trends based on search history from Jan. 2004 to Jan. 2023, it was drastically increased since 2015. 
Sustainability aspects in fashion

Sustainability aspects in fashion
These and numbers of other data are concluded the same things that brands are more aware of their impact on people and the environment. But, the real question is whether that is enough changes concerning time or to save the world from any hazardous cause?

To get context on this, BoF (Business of Fashion) make a sustainability index to track the progress of fashion brands in this direction. This index involved the world's 15 largest publicly traded fashion companies. (Among them luxury brands, high street and sportswear brands are included). 

Their parameters for consideration are transparency, emissions, chemicals/water usage, materials, employees' condition and wastage that they produced. After this index Kering brand have the highest overall score which was still 49%. Even the average overall score among 15 brands was 36%. 
For individual categories, waste and worker's rights were in the lowest range 24% and 27% respectively. This indicates the remaining work that these companies need to do to reach a sustainable brand tag.

Sustainability aspects in fashion

I.e. - In New York fashion week - 2019, around 120 distinct weaves from India were collected. It was a collaboration between Sadguru and a few world-famous designers named Norma Kamali, Sabyasachi Mukherjee, Mara Hoffman and Mimi Prober to mix east and west cultural fashion trends. 

This weave was brought to New York to expose possibilities of natural fibre clothing design and to show designers to move towards a sustainable way of producing clothes so that upcoming generations whose lives are based on this textile business can live better. It was estimated that this movement has a positive impact on millions of lives.


Practically, there is no way that the entire textile process or fashion brand can be 100% sustainable. Some process hurts the environment. 

Even with 100% organic materials/fibres or 100% recyclable products, there is a hidden negative impact somewhere. 

For instance, energy consumption or transportation or wages to people during product formation need some sacrifice. 

In case all this manages and reduces as much negative impact, then the price of the product will be skyrocketed and then the selling of it becomes negligible. That may end in waste or the company's loss. Only some brands want to be this and that is why this sustainability goal becomes farther and farther from this position.

Questions -

  1. What is sustainability and how its important in the textiles sector?
  2. What is sustainability and how its important in the fashion industry?
  3. What is the actual impact of a sustainable approach to the production of clothes?
  4. How brand approach sustainability as per BOF data?
  5. Explain the fashion for the peace movement in the New York Fashion show?

Fashion For Peace. (n.d.). Retrieved 5 February 2023, from
Google trends. (n.d.). Google Trends. Retrieved 5 February 2023, from
NYFW: The Shows [@NYFWTheShows]. (2019, February 25). Fashion for peace at NYFW: February 2019. Youtube.
Originals, B. [@business]. (2021, December 10). Why fashion brands are doubling down on sustainability | the business of fashion show. Youtube.

Further read,

Writer - DSPAT Team

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