The fashion industry is gradually embracing a circular innovation, marked by a shift from chemical and mechanical processes of production to more ecological choices.
The fashion industry has emerged as the second most polluting trade globally, second only to oil, which retains the top spot in contributing to the carbon footprint. With the deterioration of the environment and the imminent threat of climate change looming large, the pressing need to make a shift toward sustainable practices in fashion is finally gaining momentum.
The urgency of such initiatives can be gauged from the fact that eco-friendly fashion has remained a key focus for the United Nations in the recent past. The international organization has even forged an alliance for sustainable fashion to lend impetus to an organized effort in this direction on a global scale.
The need for cleaner, greener practices in garment, textiles, leather, and accessories manufacturing, eco-friendly products that can be upcycled and recycled, and better working conditions for people employed in fashion manufacturing has resulted in the emergence of an undeniable sustainability revolution in the industry.
These five trends are proof:
- Changing User Behavior: There has been a continued emphasis on instilling informed purchasing decision sensibilities among the average buyer, without which the entire movement of sustainability would fall flat. As a result, a sizeable section of buyers has become more conscious and leaning in favor of renting, swapping, or upcycling clothes, instead of embarking on mindless shopping and hoarding.
- A Shift in Production Processes: The fashion industry is gradually embracing a circular innovation, marked by a shift from chemical and mechanical processes of production to more ecological choices.
- Transparency: Easily accessible information regarding sustainable choices in the fashion industry, which can be comprehended by market players and consumers, is an important tool for making the din around this movement stronger and persistent.
- Going Back to the Roots: Disposable fashion items hamper our environment while being created and after having run their course. The answer to this predicament lies in going back to local and regional heritage and techniques. Fortunately for us, India has a rich repository of handloom to fall back on, and the domestic industry is finally waking up to the role of this priceless treasure in creating stunning yet sustainable fashion.
Sustainable Fashion and India
On the home turf, many leading fashion designers and brands are taking a pledge towards sustainability. The need for sustainability was widely discussed and acknowledged at the Lakme Fashion Week Winter Festive 2018. In 2019, 16 fashion brands vowed to produce sustainable fashion on the sidelines of the Lakme Fashion Week held in August. The CEOs of these brands signed a charter of sustainability as part of Project SU.RE, or Sustainable Resolution.
The Bottom Line
Sustainable, ethical clothing has made a mark in the fashion world. As the world becomes increasingly aware of the environmental impact of fast fashion, India has a unique opportunity and ability to spearhead a change in the right direction.
(Image: World Economic Forum)