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Sustainable Fashion: Building eco-friendly systems

Sustainable fashion seems to be the buzz-word today. Yes, it is no longer enough to be fashionable for the millennials. As the younger generation grows increasingly conscious of what they wear and how it impacts the environment, brands must adopt practices to minimise their carbon footprint and reduce wastage to stay in the good books, and closets, of their loyal fans.

But what does sustainable fashion mean?

To apprise you, the word sustainable has been doing the rounds in the fashion world since the second world war. However, what started as rationing in the 1940s leading to short skirts that reduced the wastage of fabric, today, sustainable fashion includes within its ambit an array of concepts that promote sustainability across business processes.


Eco-friendly fashion may mean different things to different people, yet, it must fulfil the following criteria to make a positive impact on society and the environment.

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Slow Fashion

Sustainable fashion or eco-friendly fashion, as opposed to fast fashion, promotes ethical consumption.

Refurbishing old clothes, making clothes or accessories at home, buying from smaller producers and prolonged use of clothing are a few aspects of slow fashion that minimise wastage and reduce the overall impact of the fashion industry on the environment.

Of course, styling old clothes does not translate into cheap fashion. In fact, eco-friendly fashion utilises quality material, that is not cheap but long lasting – focus on quality and not quantity.

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Green and clean

Did you know that the fashion industry is the third highest-polluting industry in the world?

During the 1990s, Patagonia decided to bring sustainability into its business to combat the adverse effects of over-consumption on the environment. Consequently, they commissioned research into the lifecycle assessment of their commonly used fibres to reduce wastage in all aspects of the manufacturing process.

Today, most global brands have turned eco-conscious and innovating on various aspects to make positive changes across their supply chain. From sourcing 100% sustainable cotton to energy efficiency labels on garments stamped by various brands to help consumers make better choices, many players in the fashion industry are fighting hard to produce affordable fashion with minimal environmental impact.

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The Bottom-line

Sustainable fashion may mean different things to different people but there are some common conditions that all brands must fulfil to be worthy of the eco-friendly label. These include:

  • Making use of sustainable and recycled fibres
  • Creating equal and humane conditions of work for everyone; and
  • Utilising eco-friendly processes that save water and minimise the discharge of effluents into nature.

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Remember, most of the millennials today want to know what goes into their products before making a purchase. Adopt these positive practices into your design process at JD Institute of Fashion Technology to boost your sales and popularity, while also saving the planet! With design courses varying from Fashion Design to Fashion Styling, learn about these practices to create a positive impact on the environment.