The Ultimate Introduction To Sustainable Fashion pt2
Living and Working A Sustainable Fashion Life - Understanding and Creating a Brand
First of all, we need to understand the word sustainable it’s made up of several important factors. For fashion products this includes:
- Carbon footprint - the journey the material makes in its manufacturer and distribution, or how much fuel has it used before it gets to you or the consumer.
- Environmental- over use of energy, the chemicals used and plastic and material waste are the biggest issues caused by the fashion industry.
- Ethical standards -who is making the product, are they legally working, fairly paid, have good working conditions.
- Animal welfare- are animals cruelly treated in obtaining materials, what’s alternative to meat and meat by products.
It’s been broadcast many time over, that after oil, fashion is the world’s second most polluting industry - it’s never been a more crucial time to start leading by example.
“To Understand Sustainability is Knowledge”
Sustainable living is a mind-set, not a thing. It’s how we think and what we do based on making the world a better place, not in the spiritual sense, but actual physical improvements. We do this by implementing changes in the way we do things to cause a ripple effect. Lifestyle changes that can cause a positive effect include:
- Change energy supplier to a green one
- Eat less meat
- Avoid palm oil
- Shop less and buy good quality
- Don’t buy polyester
- Purchase products with natural materials, preferably organic.
We already know of Fashion Revolution which started the #WhoMadeMyClothes? Campaign where consumers ask their favourite brands to cough up some answers.
Traceability is a better term than Sustainability, it speaks a clearer message of what is required and will be used less frequently by all the brands currently shouting out this fashionable word.
When starting a sustainable brand it’s now fully understood when experts say “Do one product category and do it well”. This might sound obvious, but to creative people this can be a battle especially as we are oozing with ideas and keen to implement them all now. I remember having a conversation with my coach last year and him telling me to hone in on all the ideas and products I wanted to launch and just to start with the antiques then move onto the others slowly, then do the apparel last. I only half listened but the point I’m trying to make is, if you want to do sustainably well and correct, you can only manage one sector at a time. Why? Because as mentioned earlier ‘sustainability is traceability’, you need to work backwards and create a clear transparent path back to the very beginning.
You need to know not just where the products are being made but also the components, materials that make up the components, where was the yarn spun and by whom? Are the chemical in the fabric ferocious free? Who and where was the cotton picked? How is that person living? Once these questions are answered then it’s your job to stream line your resources so materials are in fact produced by workers receiving a fair wage, that your raw materials are grown, produced and manufactured in as low carbon footprint as possible with little to no effect to the environment. It’s like a check list in working towards ticking the boxes that your products are meeting all four important factors that make up the true sustainable label. But let’s be realistic, we can only do so much especially at a time when resources and finance is low on a new or small brand.
So that brings us back to the beginning. “Do one product and do it well”. No one is expecting you to tick all the boxes, set yourself a strategic target and select which sustainable factors to focus on that fit with your beliefs and brand ethos.
- Focus on 1-5 products and do it well.
- Keep Instagram tight and knowledgeable
- Research - watch the true cost
- Follow the many sustainable industries - materials, sourcing, brands
- Run a ‘Green’ studio, no plastic waste, recycling etc...
- Make less collections
- Use vertical manufacturing eg. Turkey or India from raw material to distribution
- Start on one material / component at a time, trace and document your sustainable trail.
For further info check out the following organisations
Pin the image below to read later and share with other creatives.
For more insightful creative features into interiors, antiques and lifestyle, please do join our mail list for The Urban Vintage Affair. You will also immediately receive 10% code for your first web order Click To Join