Post B – Buy Less, Buy Smart, Buy Better

Our demand on new clothing is slowly making fashion industry one of the biggest polluters in the world. Chain stores are considered as Fast Fashion Stores as they change the clothing on their shelves as fast as every month. ‘Trends run their course with lightning speed, with today’s latest styles swiftly trumping yesterday’s, which have already been consigned to the trash bin.’ (Joy et al, 2012).

The amount of waste produced throughout the process of garments making is enormous but because of the cheap price, poor quality and mimicking of the trends taken from luxury brands, the clothes from fast fashion stores are becoming more disposable. The fast changing of trends and cheap price makes mending or tailoring clothes no longer a popular option as consumers can just go to any store near them to purchase something new with affordable price. To make it more profitable, the use of sustainable textile or workers’ condition are rarely taken into consideration especially for big retail shops on the lower end.

Sustainable fashion has been a trend for the past decade and a lot of brands are taking into account the environment, health and working conditions of people of the industry(Challa, 2010), however, the real innovations are often in small brands as they don’t have the burden of a history or a production chain (Moulds, 2015). Zero Waste Scotland, an organisation funded by the Scottish Government to support and help the Scottish society towards a low-carbon and sustainable economy. The organisation recently announced their newest funds to all Scottish textile and fashion designers to create zero waste clothing ranges. It is to help Scottish designers to reduce the waste produced in garments making by adopting sustainable design methods (Kane, 2014). The campaign offers not only up to $10000 fund but also mentoring from industry experts for all successful applicants. Sustainable fashion designer Orsola de Castro commented ‘We need to look at waste as a resource, and inspire young designers to its immense creative potential and help the industry to understand its viability, scalability and role in the future.’ By providing support and fund, the campaign truly encourages and helps designers to be innovative and creating methods and materials that are eco-friendly and beneficial for the fashion industry. With affordable and good quality sustainable fabrics, fast fashion stores may consider using them on their garments, which would help reduce the waste and harm caused during production. The better quality and slowly updated contents in store could also lead buyers into buying less and buying better.

Instead of continuing having small brands as the main supporters of sustainable fashion, developing new design methods and materials that are environmental friendly could maybe take chain stores on board on the journey of building a eco-friendly industry and bringing more attentions to environmental issues.

References

A, Joy. & J F, Sherry. & A, Venkatesh. & J, Wang. & R, Chan. 2012, Fast fashion, Sustainability and The Ethical Apparel of Luxury Brands, Fashion Theory, Volume 16, Issue 3, pp.273-296, viewed 20 April 2015, http://www3.nd.edu/~jsherry/pdf/2012/FastFashionSustainability.pdf

A, Kane, 2014, Zero Waste Scotland Announces Fund For Sustainable Fashion, Resource, viewed 19 April 2015, < http://resource.co/article/zero-waste-scotland-announces-fund-sustainable-fashion-6964&gt;

R, Godelnik, 2014, Can Fast Fashion Really Be Sustainable?, TriplePundit, viewed 20 April 2015, <http://www.triplepundit.com/special/sustainable-fashion-2014/can-fast-fashion-really-sustainable/&gt;

Challa, L. 2010, ‘Impact of Textiles and Clothing Industry On Environment: Approch Towards Eco-Friendly Textiles’Fibre2Fashion, viewed 20 April 2015, <http://www.fibre2fashion.com/industry-article/textile-industry-articles/impact-of-textiles-and-clothing-industry-on-environment/impact-of-textiles-and-clothing-industry-on-environment1.asp >.

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