Sustainability in the fashion industry today is vital; both designers and society have scarily increased the demand and production of clothing, causing devastating environmental, social and ethical problems. Sustainable practices need to be introduced throughout the production lines worldwide for both designer and high street garment construction to be beneficial rather than detrimental. As of 2019, ethical, eco-friendly, sustainable fashion is finally on the industries agenda in order to save the environment from ourselves. After the disaster of the Rana Plaza factory in India with 1,138 fatalities in 2013, the #WHOMADEMYCLOTHES movement began to spread awareness of the inhuman practices taking place right under the world’s nose.
High street labels are in need to change what they are doing; trying to make a difference and encourage sustainability is H&M. In 2012, the label made the move to go green in the efforts to create a more sustainable future in order to reduce their impact; thus was the birth of the ‘Conscious Collection’. Not only are they aware of their environment, they are also using this collection as a platform to give back to local communities and as a way to make humanitarian changes, they are one step closer to improving their carbon footprint.
In recent months, the British Fashion Council created several sustainable initiatives in partnership with Dame Vivienne Westwood and the Mayor London to campaign in order to bring the fashion industry together to progressively lead climate action to attain a greener future. While reading about the several Initiatives created in order to encourage action against fashion, the SWITCH to Green shouted at me. With the help of Vivienne Westwood and the Mayor of London alongside the British Fashion Council, they are using their platforms to reach out to fashion brands and businesses to commit to switching to greener methods by 2020. This particular year coincides with the Parisian Agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Such collaborations with brands Marks & Spencer, Selfridges, Stella McCartney and Vivienne Westwood, the campaign aspires to be a catalyst for global change.
Maybe it’s the time to reconsider what we can do to help with these initiatives in order to be more sustainable and pick up the pace to save our planet.
By Alex McCluskey