Sustainable fashion is finally the new trend, only this one seems to be here to stay.
What used to be a discussion only for the scientists and ecologists seems to have taken over our lives, making finally the issue of Climate Change a central issue and a mainstream topic.
It makes small difference in what triggered the agenda to alter.Whether it is the extreme weather conditions in every corner of our planet -shifting the topic of the weather from a small talk opening line to a main and alarming subject- or it is the discussion started by activists such as Greta Thunberg, the point is that environmental awareness is starting to be a mainstream trend. From what used to be a topic for the minority -even leaving space for deniers of the scientific conclusions- it is now the central topic for citizens, consumers, industries and politics. The European Parliament declared the “Climate Crisis Emergency” is a clear sample of the situation we live in and affects everyone on this planet.
The clothing industry is one of the main polluters, even more than international flights and shipping combined! The numbers according to this recent European Parliament report are alarming:
*In 2015 EU citizens bought 6.4 million tonnes of new clothing (12.66 kg per person).
*Between 1996 and 2012, the amount of clothes bought per person in the EU increased by 40 %.
*At the same time, more than 30 % of clothes in Europeans' wardrobes have not been used for at least a year. Once discarded, over half the garments are not recycled, but end up in mixed household waste and are subsequently sent to incinerators or landfill.
Fashion enters late in the game, but seems to be entering with force and massively. Even better: it has been activating the reflects of the biggest players. Other industries seem to have taken more immediate action, having grasped earlier the direction of the consumers, especially the millenials and the Generation Z, whose consuming habits seem to be more demanding and conscious. But what is importantIt is that it isn't only fast fashion brands that seem to be improving their policy but environmental awareness seems to be taking over the trends of the major houses and luxurious brands.
Some time ago, it was only up to a few visionaries. Stella Mc Cartney is one of them. She started her brand on 2001 and since the very beginning she has always been environmentally conscious. And up to this day she leads the matter Her last collection included more than 70% of sustainable materials and even the way her shows are organised are aligned with the cause. For example "Wild and the Moon", the famous little shop in Haute Marais caters her shows.
Major luxury brands have joined the wave. According to the Independent, Prada has made a 50m sustainability deal with Crédit Agricol Group which is the first time for something like this to be a goal and a financial agreement of this kind to be taking place in the luxury industry : “it allows the Italian fashion House to alter its interest rates on an annual basis if it achieves certain eco- friendly objectives.” It has also taken other initiatives such as a collection of plastic bags made out of recycled plastic.Chanel has recently announced that one of her core strategies will be clean technology, and has started its implementation by investing in green chemistry start up Evolve By Nature (https://www.businessoffashion.com). Ralph Lauren commits to be soon only using renewable resources (cpp-luxury.com) 75% of all Nike shoes and apparel now contain some recycled material.
Most of the partipants in the lastest Paris Fashion Week had this idea in mind. With France being one of the pioneer countries in the world, showing genuine concern and taking the matter seriously enough to ake dynamic and immediate actions towards facing the problem it ws inevitable that the Fashion Week of it capital woul be influenced.
Previously, the Fashion Week of Helsinki was dedicated in the environmental crisis.
This is just some of the efforts going on right now. Fashion is stepping up and taking responsibility.
Eco fashion, Green fashion, Responsible fashion or Sustainable fashion seems to have shaped a trend so massive that the ones who miss the opportunity to jump on the wagon will not only be definitely be out of fashion but also out of the game.