For some seasons now, green has been the star of the show. And by green we don’t mean the color, nor a specific dye, but rather a course of action.
Green is a synonym of sustainability, something long forgotten by fashion brands that has, thankfully, returned to the table of every designer.
Think of the typical fashion magazine you read on a Sunday morning. If you pay closer attention, you’ll be able to find that at least ten pages of the magazine address the issue.
The thing is that society has been aware of the importance of environmental preservation and conscious consumption for some years now. We all go to the grocery store with our reusable bag, eat greener, use public transport whenever possible and use cruelty-free cosmetics.
However, fashion seemed to be missing from that equation. The fast-fashion production chain is (or was) simply unsustainable, and it was about time that this important industrial field did something about it. There are many, many examples of brands that are trying to do their bit to change the panorama.
COS, for instance, has taken a different approach to many of its competitors. If we’re used to the initiative of brands such as Inditex or even H&M that offered a service co- llecting used-clothes gathering in their stores (with a reward in the case of the swedish brand), COS has innovated with the Resell platform.
Defending the quality of their pieces, they now offer the possibility of using their platform to buy and sell pre-owned styles that might be as good as new. A vintage corner right inside their website. The downside? Well… they take a generous commission out of it, but that’s not the point… (at least not for the time being)
Something similar is what Levi’s has put into motion to do their bit. They also have a second- hand platform, that is called just like that: Secondhand. When entering the website, a shocking fact fills our screens: If everybody bought one used item this year, instead of buying new, it would save 449 millions pounds of waste. 449 MILLIONS. That’s for sure something to take into deep consideration. What they do is to collect used jeans in exchange for a gift card of about 15-25 dollars, and clean and repair them to be sold in Secondhand.
Some other brands are creating their products straight out of, to put it bluntly, “trash”. An absolutely great way of turning their production chain into a more sustainable one.
Converse has got a whole line called “Renew”, dedicated to sneakers made out of recycled materials, and brands like Adidas has also created a model using fishing nets found in the ocean in collaboration with “Parley For The Oceans”.
And for those who want to see the data behind every sustainable action that brands claim to be doing, Desigual has been publishing a ‘sustainability report’ for three years now, as well as their Strategic Sustainability and CSR plan. For the curious out there, here goes the link: https://www.desigual.com/en_US/love-the-world/
On a broader scale, this sustainable trend as also reached the highest fashion spheres.
John Galliano has declared that ‘there’s so many clothes in the world already’ and Gaultier, in his goodbye show, defended the ‘Upcycling’ by transforming some of his most iconic designes into something new, exciting and absolutely runway-worthy. And not to forget, of course, Viktor & Rolf, pioneers on bringing the ‘Upcycling’ to their fashion shows.
Before wrapping this article up, let’s not overlook the role of the ‘vintage’ current in the protection of the environment. Some great examples of this are online shops that are being created on instagram, such as desupadreydesumadre, an account with absolute treasures to be found thanks to the work of its creator. Another example to take a close look at is alavisita, a relatively new vintage shop that sells, in its own words: ‘vintage & unusual kids clothes’. And with the most original 90s glasses, there’s the great gafasmurcia, an authentic paradise for lenses lovers.
There’s even a masters degree that talks about sustainability in the fashion industry, offered by one of the most important (if not the most) fashion editorial groups: Condé Nast. A great way to raise awareness among the youngsters and the designers that will be shaping the future of fashion.
What is clear is that there’s a long road yet to be explored by fashion brands to put on the brakes on pollution and CO2 emissions. Let’s just hope that this path is one to be ‘learned by doing’.
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