• Heather Beattie

Fashion for the Future!

Did you know that the fashion industry produces 10% of global carbon dioxide emissions every year? 'Fast fashion' refers to cheap clothes that are bought and cast aside rapidly, to keep up with ever-changing trends, and it is a main contributor to the environmental cost within the industry. Not all clothing brands are transparent about their practices and often consumers aren't aware of the damage some companies are causing - so, I have created a list of some great brands who are working towards reducing carbon emissions, using sustainable materials and encouraging recycling of their products!

A little bit of Background

For those of you wondering how clothing manufacturing causes so much damage to the environment, here are some of the key issues which the fashion industry are currently trying to address.

Hazardous Chemicals - These can come from dyes and finishes used throughout the production process and can be detrimental to the health of workers, and also enter community water sources and contaminate the water streams.

Waste - Fast fashion is a prime example of waste within the industry. Cheap items are less durable and have a short time span in which they can be worn, or 'trends' which change quickly can cause items to be thrown aside. Many brands are tackling this by making garments using recycled materials, implementing in store drop off recycling stations, and using more durable materials in their designs.

Water Usage - The fashion industry is the third largest user of water globally, relying on water throughout the production process. On average, it takes 10,000 litres of water to cultivate one kilogram of raw cotton! Water is a precious element, and with over 2 million people living in water stressed* areas worldwide, it is important that the fashion industry aims to use less water throughout production and manufacturing processes.

* Water stress refers to the lack of ability to meet human and ecological demand for water*

So with that in mind, here are some great fashion brands who are practising and encouraging sustainability!

1. Levi's - Not only do they sell the perfect fitting jeans, their 'Water<Less' collection pledges to use up to 96% less water to make.

2. H&M Conscious - Everything in the conscious collection at H&M has been made with materials or processes which lessen environmental impacts. If you don't fancy any items in the conscious collection, H&M stores also allow you to recycle your unwanted clothing! Simply take a bag of your unworn clothes and swap them in store for a £5 store voucher!

3. Rent the Runway - A concept which is set to take over the fashion industry in the near future. Rent the runway lets you borrow items of clothing which you know you will only wear once, often used for special occasions! This also allows you to rent items that may usually be outwith your budget! Renting these items allows each garment to get the most possible use during its lifecycle.

4. Arket - The design philosophy of Arket is based on the Nordic tradition of simplicity and function. Their aim is to create well made items that can be used and loved for a long time. During 2020, 76% of Arket's ready-to-wear, accessories and homeware collections were produced using sustainably sourced materials.

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