HOW SUSTAINABLE IS THE FUTURE OF SUSTAINABILITY?
Business Of Fashion|January 2021
With customers becoming more conscious of the impact of the brands they buy on the Earth, brands are expediting their attempts to appeal to the ever-growing and evolving market…

Sustainable consumer habits have gained quite a lot of significance over the years. The major driving forces include the realisation of environment damaging practices, and the strong desire to make ecofriendly choices. Further, millennials and Gen Z consumers have taken the sustainable fashion movement forward by being ecologically conscious. The new generation looks for fashion that is sustainable, fair and circular without limiting the preference to latest trends. Sustainable and responsible consumers are encouraging brands to demonstrate transparency and sustainability in their supply chains. With customers becoming more conscious of the impact of the brands they buy on the Earth, brands are expediting their attempts to appeal to the ever-growing and evolving market.

Meanwhile, retailers around the globe are understanding the flipside of fast fashion and are moving towards sustainability as it is beginning to dawn on them that the harmful chemicals and plastic waste created due to their heightened usage of polyester and other raw materials is non-biodegradable. “A number of homegrown brands are investing into sustainable collections and several international fashion houses are launching ‘green’ collections as part of their product offerings,” explains Charath Narsimhan, Managing Director, Indian Terrain Fashions Limited.

“We all are aware of the adverse impact textile and fashion have on the planet. As responsible businesses and professionals, it is expected of the industry to address this massive issue,” adds Arpit Srivastava - Country Marketing and Branding Manager, South Asia & Thailand at Lenzing Group.

Needed Fast: Slow Fashion

Slow fashion represents quality and longevity and there is nothing like quality when it comes to judging a product. Whether it is raw material like fibers and dyes to the fair treatment of human resources, slow fashion is synonymous with ensuring the best of all elements involved in making the product. At the same time, the end products have longer shelf lives in wardrobes. This is part of a larger solution where the goal is to reduce wastage and exploitation of resources making the concept of slow fashion very significant.

“We, as buyers, have not been very conscious when it comes to our buying patterns within the fashion stream. We are partaking in this tornado of constantly changing trends and the need to stay updated and relevant, but at what cost? Fast fashion supports the glamour and glitz that is the fashion industry, encouraging constantly changing trends, clothes that don’t last more than five to seven washes but are conversely designed to give us a sense of confidence. Sadly, all this comes at a great cost to the environment, since fast-fashion retailers use nonbiodegradable materials in their endless collections and depleting the Earth of its resources for every garment that is put on those fast-selling racks in a bid to cut costs and work towards skyrocketing profits. Our production processes have increased by 200 times in the last 15-16 years, and consumers must pause and assess if the implications of their buying habits are worth it. The notion that needs to be popularized among our consumers, no matter the age bracket, is to Buy Less and Buy Smart as every purchase matters, and every product counts,” explains Varun Bansal, Founder, Vrone.

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