Sustainable fashion: what is it and why is it important

(opinion article)

The fashion industry is one of the largest environmental pollution factors. The dominance of ‘fast fashion’, when the largest fashion brands are racing for the speed and cheapness of clothing production, leads to an increase in greenhouse gas emissions, encouraging the production of low-quality clothing with a short cycle of use, to scandals due to poor working conditions.

Sustainable fashion is clothing, shoes, and accessories that are manufactured, sold and used in the most conscious way from an environmental and socio-economic point of view.

One of the first to develop eco-style was Stella McCartney, who founded the eponymous fashion house in the mid-2000s, whose philosophy is based on the principles of environmental friendliness and awareness.

In 2017, Stella McCartney used photos of models in the landfill to promote her new fall/winter collection. Such an unusual decision was supposed to convey the brand’s philosophy: “We must think about what we leave to future generations after ourselves, and also try to make our consumption reasonable and environmentally friendly.”

At the moment, sustainable fashion is the value of luxury brands.

If in the mid-2000s eco-style was just emerging and was the lot of niche brands, now adherence to the values ​​of ‘responsible fashion’ is becoming an obligatory part of the philosophy of fashion houses in the luxury segment. On August 23, 2019, 32 companies from the fashion world, including leaders of the luxury segment, such as Chanel, Ralph Lauren, and Prada, signed Fashion Pact at the G7 Summit in France. Pact participants pledged to work together to reduce the environmental footprint of the fashion industry.

Sustainable fashion is developing in the following areas:

  • exchange of things, clothing for rent and popularization second hand;
  • use of organic, “vegan” (obtained without killing animals) and recycled materials;
  • support for small local producers and compliance with labor protection measures;
  • minimalism and slow fashion — reducing the number of things used and increasing the life cycle of clothes.
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