HOT READS The Fate Of Fash­ion

The fu­ture of the in­dus­try will have less of a hu­man cost

CLEO (Malaysia) - - CONTENTS -

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?


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.


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.


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

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