There are so many problems in the world that need to be solved, that it can sometimes be hard to stay positive. So in this light, we wanted to give our perspective of a hopeful future for fashion, and share some projects with you that inspire us to keep working on a better future.
There are many ways of making clothing, and choosing materials plays a big role in this process. While it can be difficult to gauge which materials are more sustainable than others, not in the least because of conflicts of interests with indexes like HIGG’s, there is enough research that has been done on this topic. The bulk of clothing is still made from plastics and regular cotton, but luckily sustainable materials are taking the stage more often these days. This is great news, because if we use materials that have less impact on the planet, we can decrease the overall impact of the industry quite significantly. Here is a list of awesome materials:
Digital Fashion on the rise
Another way of reducing the impact is using digital technology to replace some physical aspects of the industry. I know it might seem a bit sci-fi, but there are a lot of initiatives right now that focus on this topic. Clothing manufacturers, for example, can make digital samples of a product, send that to their customers and eliminate the need for physical samples in the future. Even though this might be a small step right now, it could become more prevalent in the future. Some cool projects that will inspire you are listed here:
Recycling is key
One of the major aspects why fashion is unsustainable, is because it has become very cheap to produce clothing. Right now, the intrinsic value of a lot of clothing can be down to almost nothing. I mean where did the tailors go? This used to be a job with plenty of work, but who wants to spend €10 on repairing a hole in a t-shirt, when you can buy a new (low quality) one for under €5? This has skewed the balance in the wrong direction, which has caused overproduction and decrease of product quality. But I guess we have all agreed that it is better to buy 3 low quality products than 1 of high quality.
The solution seems pretty obvious; we should start recycling more! This way people can keep buying their products, and at least the resources won’t get depleted. While there is still a long way to go in order to completely close the resource loop of fashion, some great initiatives have been created to recycle different materials in different ways. Here is a list of awesome projects:
There are more and more standards in place that aim to better the life of employees all across the globe, working in fashion. In the end, these standards will help to create happier people and that equates to a happier planet. These standards do vary in their level of effort, but there are a few great ones that are being implemented more and more. You can have a look at the following certificates, to get an idea what we are talking about here:
I think that one of the great drivers behind this push for more transparency has come from critical customers, who want to know more and more about the brands they wear. This will inevitably lead to more widespread adoption and more happiness for everyone involved.
We hope that this has sparked a bit of positive energy for you and if you have other cool projects to tell us about, please let us know!
Erik & Team Iron Roots