Sustainable clothing is a new word was floating around this year’s London Fashion Week. The world of fashion is guided by its own set of buzzwords that are used to describe trends and clothing styles. The pieces created by the designers are wearable art that has a special meaning.
The tragedy that took place in Bangladesh, where the Rana Plaza garments factory had collapsed killing over 1129 workers and the severely malnourished Cambodian workers which the Labor behind the Label had reported as being underweight. We wonder if these tragedies have affected the fashionistas.
These stories and environmental concerns have lead to the increasing use of certified materials from sources that are protected. It seems that sustainability is important today and trend spotter, Yvan Rodic says that it will be a good idea for designers to have eco friendly pieces in their collection. So it’s safe to say that sustainability can look good. Studies have shown that we throw out garments every day; in the UK alone, over 350,000 tonnes of clothes are turned into landfill annually. So sustainability isn’t simply about being eco friendly but rather about clothes that we won’t really wear.
The fashion industry is interconnected with other industries like textiles, communications and agriculture; it is capable of making significant impact on these other industries. Orsola Castro from Estethica, says that the fashion industry is one that is difficult to change because of its various elements, but at the same time it could really make some differences.
Environmentalist Jocelyn Whipple and her colleagues have started the Green Carpet Challenge, a movement to get top Hollywood celebrities to showcase sustainable fashion on the red carpet. Livia Firth, founder of the Green Carpet Challenge, says that design can go hand in hand with ethical practices and the use of materials that are environmentally safe. Although it is far from likely that we will ever see an entirely sustainable fashion week, but incorporating some sustainable pieces and elements is possible. Fashion designers need to know their sources for materials; this will ensure that they are aware of what they work with.
Designer Jane Hemsley said that if there were two options for doing things, she would always choose the sustainable one if it was available. Hemsley’s design company knows the men and women who work at the tanneries, who sew and cut as well. She believes that it is the responsibility of companies to be sustainable and that it isn’t just a social phase.