Sustainable fashion, also called as eco-fashion is a concept and a process that aims to improve the environmental balance and social justice of fashion goods and the fashion sector.
Fashion textiles and goods are only one aspect of sustainable fashion. It looks at the full process of garment production, including who makes it and how long a product lasts before it ends up in a landfill.
Reduced fashion’s environmental impact can help tackle air pollution, water pollution, and general climate change, perhaps saving millions of lives over the next century.
About sustainability and sustainable garments
The most basic definition of sustainability is the capability of a system to continue for an extended length of time; if a process upsets the natural balance in any way or creates harm that takes a long time to recover, it is not a sustainable practice. A product is also said to be durable if all of the processes that make up its lifespan are also sustainable.
The product that emerges from a continuous cycle is long-lasting and can be mass-produced. Those with a straight lifecycle should be manufactured in lower quantities and re-cycled if technologically feasible.
Raw materials, human resource management, and customers are the three significant elements in the garment sector. None of them should be harmed as a result of existing actions, and there should be no irresponsible depletion of natural resources that leads to a future disaster. A garment that is made under these conditions is referred to as a sustainable garment.
Businesses which strive to make sustainable clothes have a better chance of maintaining and ensuring economic growth in the future. If nothing is done, they will be crushed by rising input costs, increased customer awareness, and the decrease in the value when clothing is discarded in landfills.
Guide to make sustainable fashion materials
Consider choice of material
Garment production starts with the design and development process, where the design and raw material selection decide much of the garment’s fate and impact. The fiber blend chosen can make recycling more difficult or easier.
A Higgs Index, Life Cycle Assessment, and other life cycle methods should be used to examine the impact of materials, and environmentally friendly alternatives should be prioritized.
The Higgs Index assesses the ecological viewpoints like greenhouse gas emissions, water wastage, air pollution, air emissions; waste management, chemicals management and social aspects of apparel and footwear products over their entire life cycle.
Life cycle assessment is an analysis technique is used to evaluate environmental implications associated with all phases of a product’s life. From raw material extraction to materials processing, manufacturing, distribution, and usage.
Minimal designs should be favored over quick fashion, and excellence over volume should be prioritized. Colors and designs should also be constrained by the amount of eco-friendly dyes.
Consider source of material
The system of choosing the raw material plays a huge role on sustainability as well, because that will determine its recyclability.
Cotton supplied from cotton initiatives such as organic cotton, Cotton Made in Africa, Better Cotton Initiative, and others should be selected, with a specific function in mind.
Supplier visibility and accountability must be high, which can be achieved by personal visits, third-party inspections. Additionally, dealing with established suppliers, is a key consideration at this point.
This is necessary to ensure sustainable procurement and tracking of environmental footprints.
Optimize dyeing process
The processing step includes actions that have significant environmental and social impacts. Fabric dyeing alone can use up to 150 liters of water per kilogram, and the wastewater is frequently released into waterways unfiltered.
Furthermore, because garment workers are exposed to dangerous chemicals, the social impact of processing is believed to be the worst.
Improve production planning
The planning process can be used to provide long-term working hours. As well as specializing the training in labor health and safety. Cutting, sewing, embroidery, and the seam sealing the fabric are all part of the manufacturing process, as are some dyeing and finishing, such as stone washing.
Social issues such as laborers’ health and safety have recently gotten a lot of attention. And these are the key challenges at this point. Investing in technical advancements and improved production practices can increase facilities and energy efficiency.
Change packaging to eco-friendly options
Packaging and distribution have evident sustainability implications. Businesses should consider sustainable packaging choices instead of standard oil-based or single-use packaging.
Increase awareness during and after production
Customers should be educated about clothing repair, recycling possibilities, and encouraged to shop sustainably through controlled practice of store workers.
A purchase is made in retail when ambiance and aspiration collide. It goes unnoticed for sustainable development, which is disappointing. Because it has a lot of promise for improving energy efficiency, decreasing waste. And engaging customers by reminding them to recycle and emphasizing the significance of repair in order to extend the garment’s usable life.
Promote sustainable washing procedures to customers
Washing, drying, and pressing use a lot of electricity and water, which is a big concern. The quality and extent of soap used in the wash have an effect as well. The usable lifespan of a garment is determined at this step of the material’s life cycle.
Rather than turning a blind eye, firms could take advantage of this chance to promote the use of sustainable products. Give customers a variety of eco-friendly washing alternatives, and stimulate recycling and reuse. As a result, the customer will be more likely to interact with and value the brand.
With these small efforts at various phases of garment manufacturing, one can contribute to the preparation of a sustainable garment. As a result, to the creation of a profitable, long-lasting business. As a result, the stakeholders’ and customers’ jobs will be safe, and their health will be protected.