Sustainable fashion is a signiﬁcant part of the fashion industry transformation. The three relationships between Consumer-Environment, Brand-Environment, and Consumer and Brand influence consumer receptivity and decision-making for sustainable fashion brands. Consumers are ﬁnding ways to embrace sustainable fashion in the real world. They realize that it is not as expensive as people think, and they can explore various options for doing their bit.
But still, even after realizing the impact of sustainability, especially in the fashion industry, when we know that the significant % of the waste produced each year is higher, it is not the way to go about if we want to protect resources for our future generations. The environment, at least, that’s what consumers say. Despite sustainability efforts, why are people still consuming fast fashion? It has become a trend.
According to an article by SFF (Sustainable Fashion Forum), affordability is a significant factor that drives consumers to choose fast fashion over sustainable options.
Sustainable fashion is inaccessible to most people. Some say they are too expensive, and the styles are too dull.
While some brands offer more affordable sustainably-made items, fast fashion brands can produce garments at a much lower cost than sustainable fashion brands, allowing them to sell their products at a lower price.
Many consumers are unaware that a large chunk of their wardrobe is plastic.
More than 60% of the ﬁbres are polyester. These fibres can look like silk, cotton, or soft faux fur or be combined with natural materials to improve their performance and lower cost.
Waste remains one of the biggest worries for sustainable design practitioners, as the clothing industry looks for ways to utilize the million tons of fabric thrown away every year.
While it might sound exaggerated, there are countless possibilities for establishing brands from leftover and rejected fabrics.
This helps make the latest silhouettes more accessible to a broader range of people, particularly budget-conscious shoppers.
However, it comes at the expense of labourers and artisans.
Clothing is a basic need for human beings, but in the middle of a fast fashion culture, the industry has witnessed severe consequences for people and the planet. Eco-fashion has become a key trend for consumers, especially the young mass. Documentaries, public campaigns, celebrities, and political ﬁgures have all made ethical fashion a major buzzword.
‘Sustainability’ in fashion has evolved into a significant focus on long-term growth and environmental impact. With 1.5 million tons of waste in landfills every year, the fashion industry is the second most environmentally harmful. Sustainable fashion is becoming an expectation as brands, designers, retailers, and manufacturers realize the devastating effect of fast fashion on the environment. Brands are making various approaches to address this issue while consumers shift their focus to ethical shopping and conscious choices.
A gradual shift from fast fashion to slow fashion
“Fashion for everyone” is the fashion industry's motto. Global citizens, especially citizens in developed countries, know they cannot keep consuming as we do now. Consumers are now left with two choices: buy ecological products to reduce their environmental footprint or reuse what they have now. This is the primary reason consumers are making conscious clothing decisions and gradually shifting towards sustainable fashion.
Sustainable fashion, with synonyms such as eco-fashion, green clothing, or slow fashion, has become a trending topic for a while. Where ‘Fashion sustainability’ is trending as a buzzword to gain attention and credibility, fashion brands are rethinking their business models. They are switching to more environmentally friendly production and operation approaches. Consumers with growing awareness of the movement support ecologically conscious brands that produce ethically. Consumers increasingly believe in sustainable brands with environmental concerns, business plans, and techniques. The fashion industry has witnessed remarkable sustainable changes over the past few years.
Fashion movements like #WhoMadeMyClothes are trying to bring transparency to the back-end manufacturing process to consumers by keeping them informed. Styles today are carefully chosen not only to make consumers feel confident about themselves but also to contribute significantly to their lives. Sustainability is now crucial for fashion businesses due to the increasing awareness of the ecosystem. This explores various dimensions of sustainable fashion, brand strategies, marketing transparency, and the other driving forces, current and future trends. It also explores how fashion brands and consumers are advancing towards sustainable fashion.
The thumb rule in sustainable fashion is to choose a product that supports makers and their crafts. This form of sustainable fashion refers to the production and procurement of raw materials, as well as manufacturing. It is done to pay fair wages to workers or people living on the land. It provides safe working conditions, respects the environment, and promotes environmentally friendly farming.
Urban Austral is a brand working with local people in Patagonia to provide fair jobs. It offers 100% handmade products made of up-cycled materials. It donates 1% to
a tree plantation organization. Regardless of that, how are those big companies supporting makers? Labour exploitation has been prevalent in the fashion industry, overworking workers and paying them low wages.
Being a conscious consumer means swearing off fast fashion forever or shopping exclusively from sustainable brands. Instead, make decisions about where your clothes come from — buying less and caring for them so they last longer. Chasing trendy silhouettes prevents us from making rational environmental decisions. Large corporations see eco-fads as a chance to reap the rewards of cultivating a sustainable image. It is time for collective reform to address and question the broken clothing industry. As makers, they are responsible for putting more conscious efforts into taking what they already have—improving it and turning it into a new piece of clothing without adding another textile/material and getting it to the consumers using more efficient systems. This will enable the consumers to revamp or remodel/DIY (do it yourself) with the available clothing and consume less and more consciously.
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