The fashion industry is well-known for its damaging environmental impact. Clothing brands have a responsibility to be more sustainable in their production and consumption practices. From the use of unsustainable materials to the energy-intensive production processes, many fashion companies have a long way to go in order to become more eco-friendly. By taking steps to reduce their environmental impact, clothing brands can help protect the planet and create a more sustainable future.
What is Sustainable Fashion?
Sustainable fashion is a movement and process of fostering change to fashion products and the fashion system towards greater ecological integrity and social justice. Sustainable fashion concerns more than addressing fashion textiles or products. It comprises addressing the whole system of fashion. Sustainable fashion is part of the broader framework of sustainable development.
Sustainable fashion is a holistic approach to the design, production, consumption, and disposal of clothing, footwear, and accessories. It considers the environmental, social, and economic impacts of the fashion industry. It is an approach to fashion that encourages the design of clothing, footwear, and accessories that are made from materials that are not harmful to the environment, are produced in a way that is socially responsible, and are designed to be used and reused for as long as possible.
The Fashion Industry in Australia & Sustainability
The fashion industry in Australia is a major contributor to the country’s economy, with the industry estimated to be worth over $20 billion. However, according to worldbank.org, the fashion industry is also one of the most polluting industries in the world, with the production of clothing and textiles responsible for 10% of global carbon emissions and 20% of wastewater created. As such, sustainability has become an increasingly important issue for the fashion industry in Australia.
The portion of revenue generated from sustainable fashion is growing in both men's and women's clothing. People are becoming more aware of the effects of global warming and the consequences of "fast fashion". According to my.nzte.govt.nz, in 2021, women's sustainable fashion accounted for 5.7% of total revenue and is projected to reach 8.23% by 2026. Similarly, men's sustainable fashion had a 4.7% share of revenue in 2021 and is anticipated to increase to 6.8% by 2026.
How Can Clothing Brands Be More Sustainable?
In recent years, sustainability has become an increasingly important topic in the fashion industry. As consumers become more aware of the environmental and social impacts of their clothing purchases, clothing brands are being held to a higher standard of sustainability. To meet this demand, clothing brands must take steps to reduce their environmental footprint and ensure their products are ethically produced.
Make Use of Sustainable Materials
One of the most effective strategies for fashion companies to reduce their environmental footprint is to utilize materials that are sourced from renewable resources and do not cause harm to the environment during production or disposal. Sustainable materials are those that have a minimal effect on land use, water use, carbon emissions, and habitat destruction.
Reduce The Amount of Materials Used
One of the most important steps clothing brands can take to become more sustainable is to reduce their use of resources. This can be done by using more sustainable materials, such as organic cotton, hemp, and bamboo, and by using fewer resources in the production process. Clothing brands can also reduce their environmental impact by using more efficient production methods, such as using renewable energy sources and reducing water and energy consumption.
Minimize Water Usage
Another way clothing brands can become more sustainable is by reducing their waste. This can be done by using recycled materials, such as plastic bottles, and by using more efficient packaging. Clothing brands can also reduce their waste by using more efficient shipping methods, such as using reusable packaging and reducing the amount of packaging materials used.
Manufactured in An Ethical Manner
Clothing brands can also become more sustainable by ensuring their products are ethically produced. This can be done by ensuring their suppliers are paying fair wages and providing safe working conditions. Clothing brands can also ensure their products are ethically produced by using sustainable materials, such as organic cotton, and by ensuring their suppliers are using sustainable production methods.
Avoid Dangerous Chemical
Clothing brands can cut down on both the cost of production and the environmental damage caused by their products by not using any hazardous chemicals in their supply chain. Brands can take steps to limit the use of hazardous chemicals by finding suppliers that list the chemicals they use and ensuring that these chemicals are not detrimental to people or the environment. Doing so can help protect both people and the planet from the various environmental issues that come with traditional materials.
Sustainable Marketing Practices
Finally, clothing brands can become more sustainable by engaging in more sustainable marketing practices. This can be done by using more sustainable materials in their marketing materials, such as recycled paper, and by using more sustainable advertising methods, such as digital advertising. Clothing brands can also engage in more sustainable marketing practices by using more sustainable models in their campaigns and by using more sustainable messaging in their campaigns.
By taking these steps, clothing brands can become more sustainable but still be able to meet the demands of their customers.
Also read: Clothing Waste Impact in Australia & What You Can Do