• Hazel Verbo

How To Minimize The Negative Environmental Impact Of The Fashion Industry

If fashion brands take the initiative to produce #quality, tailored clothing only when #customers #demand it, then yes - fashion can be sustainable.

Can Fashion Ever Be Sustainable?

Think about our grandparents – most of their clothing back in the early 1900s was perfectly #tailored according to their body type, size, and personal preference. Every piece of clothing was tailored, and quality textiles were used to ensure each garment lasted for a long period of time.

Fashion brands can adopt the same mindset and philosophy by making sure they only produce clothing that customers want. Instead of mass-producing clothes made from low-quality synthetic fibers and generic sizing guidelines, fashion brands can look around and integrate startup's #technology that is already available as there are already few startups and existing companies that are offering #3D #body #scanning. For example Unspan makes jeans on-demand and customers scan their body with their smartphones, so it's all about integrating those technologies into the service. In this way, fashion companies create clothing that is perfectly tailored to the customer’s needs.

What if fashion brands have the means to test the products before even producing them?

Investing in the right tools to #test the #fibers and #textiles is important to ensure that quality garments are being produced. Subjecting fibers to different water temperatures is one way to test if the garment can withstand #washing for a long period of time.

Increasing the #thread count of the clothing can be a way to #reduce wear and tear over time, as garments with lower thread count are prone to tearing and accidental holes. More thread count means the garment will be smoother, denser, and more #durable so it will last for a long time.

To prevent unnecessary textile #waste, fashion companies should only produce the right amount of clothing and adopt technology and new tools to reduce their waste - such as 3D design tool to reduce waste. You want to ask what type of clothing is appealing to the customers and what is the demand to avoid #overproduction because only around 60% of clothes made are sold without being marked down.

What if we increase the production on demand?

For this strategy to work successfully, you want to build close #relationships with your customers so you know what they like. The customers will tell you what type of clothes they like to see and you can #upscale the production. This means that logistics firms need to be improved in order to track deliveries efficiently. You can offer next-day delivery for customers who are subscribed to your website every month to incentivize them to purchase or rent clothes from you. This is the best way for fashion companies to stay profitable while keeping up with sustainable practices.

Offering unique services such as virtual fitting rooms with accurate #body #measuring, avatars with 3D body #scanning on our phones, or going to places offering 360 degrees body scanning is the most efficient way to measure body size. This means customers won’t have to go through a traditional tailoring service and minimise returns as they can accurately measure themselves from home.

The convenience associated with modern body scanning can be the pathway for fashion industries to skyrocket their positive environmental impact while making a profit. Discovering all these possibilities will ensure that fashion industries get a positive reputation over time.

How can fashion brands reduce their carbon emissions?

The main contributions brands can make to decrease carbon emissions are:

  • to improve their material mix by using more recycled fiber

  • increase their usage of sustainable #transport

  • improve their #packaging with recycled and lighter materials

  • minimise #returns

If brands followed this measure, we could lessen the carbon emissions by 308 million metric tonnes in 2030. Encouraging a more conscious approach to fashion consumption by following the philosophy of reduce, reuse, and recycle could lessen the carbon emissions by 347 million metric tonnes in 2030.

To achieve the 1.5-degree pathway, the fashion industry would need to intensify the reduction of carbon emissions and increase existing decarbonization efforts to lessen yearly carbon emissions to around 1.1 billion metric tons in 2030. Therefore, the fashion industry needs to put their genuine effort to reduce landfill waste and move the industry towards an operating model based on closed-loop recycling.