HOT READS The Fate Of Fashion
The future of the industry will have less of a human cost
The fashion industry is reportedly one of the most polluting industries in the world. Extraction of raw materials, textile production, dyeing processes use up high quantities of energy and water t hat release physical and chemical waste into our environment —just some of the scary, often unseen, truths about this industry. Entreprenuer David Roberts from Singularity University( a NASA and Google-funded venture created to help solve global grand challenges ), calls fashion the“second dirtiest industry after oil ”. Let’ s not forget the fast-paced industry’ s impact on society with its garment factories. The Ran a Plaza disaster where a building collapsed in the Dhaka District, Bangladesh in 2013 rings loud est with a death toll of 1,134 due to improper management and lack of transparency. A silver lining? The industry is fully aware and have taken steps to initiate change within their systems. In 2013 Swedish retail giant H& M introduced a garment collecting initiative with hopes to produce new clothes f rom old, discarded scraps. This same awakening has also given birth to ecofriendly and slow fashion brands, but is it enough?
WHERE FAST FASHION IS AT NOW
The Pulse Score is a global and holistic baseline of sustainability performance in the fashion sector and as of 2018, the overall number of the entire industry clock sin at 38/100. If this were a standard is ed school test, this number would equate to a solid F on a report
card. The only source of reassurance and comfort would be t hat t he Pulse Score was at 32 i n 2017, and f or i t to i ncrease by 6 points within t he span of a year i s an encouraging star t but we need to pick up t he pace. I n- depth Pulse Score 2018 data shows t hat t he l argest contributors to a positive change stems f rom mid- price spor t s l abels , l eading t he pack at 84, f ollowed by sustainabilit y champions i n t he premium segment at 80, both over a scale of a 100.
HOW DO WE START?
Following allegations of child l abour and sweatshops i n t he past , Nike aims to r i ght previous wrongs with new codes of conduct by giving “preference to f actories t hat operate i n countries where governments help enforce l abor standards” and working with suppliers t hat share t heir new commitment to respecting r i ghts of workers , health , safet y and t he environment. Future t argets i nclude 100 per cent renewable energy i n all Nike f acilitie s , 20% reduction i n f reshwater use i n dyeing and f i nishing , 10% reduction i n products environmental f ootprint , and absolute zero f ootwear waste i n l andfills — “Just Do I t ” i ndeed.
Traceabilit y and t ransparency are t he key to t he f ashion i ndustr y ’s success i n achieving a sustainable f uture, but i t i sn’t as easy as i t sounds. The secrecy on supply chains and production have l ong been a t rade secret , kept private and confidential to maintain a competitive edge over r i val brands. For t he sake of t he environment and f uture generations , major players l i ke t he Kering Group ( subsidiaries i nclude l uxur y l abels Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent) are t aking t he plunge i n t he t rend of t ransparency. “Sustainabilit y i s no l onger a philantrophic cause, i t i s a business i mperative”, says Eva Kruse, president and CEO of Global Fashion Agenda and Copenhagen Fashion Summit.
FLASH TO THE FUTURE
I n t he world of tech, apps are being created to i nstill positive change. Good on You, a globally available mobile application acts as a resource and shopping tool . Over 2,0 00 brands are l i sted and ranked on environmental i mpact, l abour r i ghts and animal protection to help consumers make an i nformed decision. ( Flip to page 21 f or a f ull l i st of apps to download.) Updates i n tex t i l es such as vegan “l eather ” f rom pineapple l eaves and biodegradable polymers as a replacement to plastic are a handful of t he disruptive i nnovations t hat are available to t he market today.
So, what can you do as a customer and consumer? I t ’ s as simple as exercising your buying power. Recognise your i ndividual capacit y to i nfli ct change by supporting brands t hat practice t ransparency and are i n l i ne with your values. Next, question ever y t hing before you make t hat purchase. Who made t his? Where was t his made? What material i s t his? Action l eads to change. Once you’re satisfied with all t hose answers, go ahead and ‘Add To Cart ’. . . and don’t f orget to upcycle. I dentical shoes all lined up
The Stella McCartney F/ W 2017 campaign was shot in a landfill and on leftovers of a junkyard to highlight consumer culture that affects the earth
H& M Conscious Exclusive’s S/S 2018 collection was made from EOCNYL, a nylon fibre made from fishnets and other nylon waste