Brands wishing to survive in current times “must deliver omnipresence, agility, and sustainability,” as stated in the report, Meet the 2020 Consumers Driving Change by IBM and the National Retail Federation. Americans, like many other global customers, have expressed their interest in backing eco-friendly brands in a vast array of industries – from food to fashion. Indeed, the fashion industry has been highly responsive to this demand, with a plethora of brands working to establish the tenets of the new sustainable fashion movement. Read on to discover the ways in which fashion brands are heralding the new age of clean, green, ethical fashion.
Transparency is Key
Committed fashion brands are putting transparency at the forefront of their marketing strategies, with customers able to glean information on supply chains and staffing (everything from where materials are sourced to how they are made). Brands like Stella McCartney, for instance, publish annual Eco Impact Reports. Moreover, every year, campaign group Fashion Revolution publishes its list of the world’s most transparent brands (H&M, C&A, Adidas/Reebok, and Esprit are leading the game). Brands like Psylo, meanwhile, inform clients of the process employed to dye sustainable clothing. This process is intricate and involves dyeing fabrics in small batches, filtering waste, and using eco-septic tanks. All this information is provided openly by brands on their websites, with blog sections being a particularly fascinating source of information on virtually all processes involved in the making of a garment.
A Strong Emphasis on Material Choice
Top rated eco fashion brands prioritize the use of cruelty-free, ethical, eco-friendly materials that reduce waste and save on energy and water resources. Many rely on materials such as organic cotton, recycled fabrics, regenerated cashmere, natural dyes, and ethically obtained wool. Companies are likewise invested in creating high-quality vegan fur and leather items, made from recycled plastic, a polymer called polyurethane, and plant-based materials such as apple peels, cork, and pineapple leaves.
Design for Life
The design for life concept in fashion seeks to promote the production of clothing that can be worn forever. Quality, sturdiness, and classic designs all work together to fight against the ‘wear one season then throw away’ ethos that is so dominant in the world of fast fashion. Companies like nylon producer Aquafil, for instance, enlist the help of volunteer divers to collect fishing nets that have been left or lost in the ocean. These nets are then converted into a resilient nylon fiber called Econyl. Other brands use recycled plastic in fashion, which lends materials a tenacity that can extend their lifespan. Swedish brand Isbörn uses fish traps to make items such as jackets, all of which have name tags with space for three names (since the jackets are so sturdy they are meant for use by at least three people).
Top brands have long been committed to sustainability, with leading brands like Stella McCartney demonstrating transparency and eco-friendliness since their inception. Brands are choosing to let customers know where they source and manufacture their products. They are also keen to share information on processes that enable fashion to be more durable to highlight the value of the zero waste concept.