Like most large-scale industries, fashion also leaves its mark on the environment. From the waste of over-supply of inventory to the encouragement of excessive consumption, there are many signs of a lack of sustainability and concern for the planet. But it’s not all bad news. New York, one of the world centers of fashion, has recently unveiled a Fashion Sustainability and Social Accountability Act that would put the spotlight on fashion manufacturers to help combat climate change. What is the industry doing already to reduce the harmful environmental effects of fashion?
Zeroing in on the problem
One of the problems of the fashion retail world is oversupply. When a garment is released for the new season, stores often order a lot of stock, hoping it will sell well. Products that do not move by the end of the season are sold at a reduced price. Better inventory management is a way to reduce excess inventory. An example is to keep a bare minimum of sample garments in stores for customers to look at and try on, and then manufacturing more only after a product has been ordered. Several brands and chains in the fashion industry are now experimenting with this so-called “zero inventory” approach.
Slow it down
Fast fashion, which grew rapidly in the 2000s, has earned a negative reputation for the resources consumed in its production, its tendency to encourage excessive consumption, and in the waste caused by the burial or incineration of unsold stock. Now it is making way for “slow fashion,” an umbrella term that encapsulates wearing clothes that reflect one’s individuality and taste for a long time, regardless of whether it is in season or out of fashion. The slow fashion trend is enjoying strong interest worldwide for its support for increased use of recycled or upcycled materials, more sustainable cotton, better labor conditions, and resistance to pressure to over-consume.
A brand-new eco-friendly bag
As well as using recycled materials to make clothes, they can also be employed in the manufacture of bags. Buff-colored eco-bags are already a common sight in shops and on the streets, but now there are bags with more color and flair. Beanpole Accessories, which has already been launching products that are both eco-friendly and sell well, has now released its Ari (RE) Bag that can be held in the hand or over the shoulder. The brand, part of Samsung C&T Fashion Group, uses eco-friendly polyester yarn made from recycled plastic bottles to produce this bag that comes in four color schemes.
The items shown above are all available at Samsung C&T’s online SSF Shop.