Many people believe that living sustainably solely involves making sure to recycle, turning the light off before leaving a room, cutting your shower time in half, or driving less. Although these are daily things that one can do to become more environmentally friendly, it doesn’t stop there.
Fashion, and its means of production, is extremely harmful to the environment, but people don’t think about that when they do their weekly shopping at the mall. They walk from store to store, buying garment after garment, without even needing them! They throw away a button up shirt if a button falls off, without even thinking of repairing it (which is easy to do, may I add). This is what most people, who consider fashion as a sport, do.
Using fashion in a sustainable way must be executed on both parts: the consumers must learn how to buy more sustainably, and companies have to learn how to stop being lazy and produce more sustainably.
Sophie Mather, portrayed in The Next Black as the former Head of Innovation at Nike Asia, has begun working toward the revolutionary technology of dry dying, which uses 50% less energy and 50% less chemicals than traditional methods, and diminishes that amount of escape dyes that end up polluting waters. Companies like Patagonia have advertised in ways that discourages excessive buying, and have even created “repair kits” so that customers can fix their clothing rather than throwing them away and buying new ones. If only all fashion companies considered these options when running their businesses.
Most fashion companies care about making money. Because mass production would be difficult and very expensive to do in a sustainable manner, they tend to abandon the ideas of producing in ways that use less water, less energy, and produce less waste.
It is time for consumers of fashion, which is everyone, to wake up. Some people in class view fashion as a sport. A competition of who can acquire the latest fashions. I have friends who shop just to shop, because it makes them happy to constantly have new garments to wear and new heels to show off. It needs to stop. If consumers were to begin developing sustainable habits when choosing their clothing, buying better quality clothing that lasts longer rather than the cheap kind that don’t, shopping less, and being content with what they have, then companies would become more induced to producing textiles in a more environmentally friendly fashion. This is what the future of fashion is.
The Next Black - The Future of Fashion