The Important Rise Of Sustainable Fashion
Sustainable fashion has grown immensely in both popularity and affordability in the past few years. As consumers become more connected to the ethical ‘story’ behind their fashion choices, clothing manufacturers are having to make the choice between turning a blind eye to the planet (and their customers) or making more sustainable, ethically-aware products.
Fabrics Of The Future
No longer convinced of the virtues of traditional fabrics such as cotton, consumers are turning to more sustainable options such as bamboo. The future of fabric is here, and the ‘old guard’ of fabrics are no longer the default for much of fashion’s ‘it’ crew.
The fabrics of the future are sustainable, ethically sourced and endlessly versatile. From hemp t-shirts and socks to bamboo underwear and hosiery, there’s a comfortable way for you to show and wear your care.
Many of these fabrics are also better at keeping body temperature consistently regulated. Natural fibres are renowned for their moisture and sweat-wicking abilities, and they’re the option of choice for people living in humid and tropical climates.
Green & Clean
Fast fashion has resulted in a population which is hungry for affordable, cheaply-produced clothing and accessories, often at the cost of the planet. The manufacturing and supply chains of fast fashion retailers are littered with ethical landmines, and even a cursory dig into the processes of well-known retailers can pull up some disturbing detail.
Sustainable fashion aims to cut the reliance upon the resource intensive materials used for most fast fashion items and the non-renewable energy which propels and processes these materials. The usage of resources to generate props such as cotton has come under intense scrutiny in recent years, particularly with news of dwindling water reserves and changing climate patterns.
To beat the reliance on resource-hungry fibres like cotton (and leather/hide), many manufacturers have made the move to bamboo, silk, hemp and machine-made fibres. These choices have benefits beyond their comfort and price point – most are easy to grow, and choices like bamboo require a fraction of the space and resources to transform them from raw material to finished product.
The Rise Of The ‘Informed Consumer’
Another factor influencing the uptake of sustainable fashion is the rise of the ‘informed consumer’. The availability of digital news and information sharing has led to a golden age of customer advocacy, where information regarding the supply chain process and the production properties of your fashion favourites can be uncovered online.
Informed consumers choose sustainable fashion becomes it comes without the hefty ethical drain of mass-made clothing. Manufacturers of sustainable fashion are often all-too-eager to reveal where their materials are sourced from, and will frequently provide information on working conditions, including the payment of a living wage.
By reducing the ethical burden of fashion items on potential consumers, clothing manufacturers are building a more educated customer base, with an eye towards the future.
Big box clothing manufacturers and retailers are also joining the push for sustainable fashion options. Ubiquitous stores such as H&M, Zara and Uniqlo all produce parallel clothing lines which aim to tap into the growing interest in sustainable fashion, and these items are positioned differently to their regular items.
Parallel lines allow retailers to test the interest and appeal of their more sustainable and ethical choices – which can only be a good thing if it leads to driving company-wide change.
Sustainable fashion has become more than a throw-away phrase. To many, it constitutes the new and ethical way to consume, without creating further environmental or societal damage. As retailers begin reaping the benefits of their switch to more sustainable options, the technology and investment potential of sustainable fashion increases, driving down prices and leading to greater access and affordability for all.