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Sustainability is fast becoming a buzz word throughout the design and fashion industry. Fashion and Ecology are a paradox in itself, where the demand for fast-fashion life cycle clashes with the idea of an extended and slower fashion. Sustainable fashion, also called eco fashion, is a part of the growing design philosophy and trend of sustainability in product design. The goal of which is to create a system which can be supported indefinitely in terms of environmentalism and social responsibility. Sustainable product design is a hot word in the fashion world, but a lot of people mix words and terms together whatever seem to be the hottest; Eco Fashion, sustainable fashion, green fashion, environmental friendly clothing, and responsible fashion and “more sustainable fashion.”
Sustainable fashion design
Sustainability strives towards three principle elements; the goal of sustainability is to cut harm to the environment, use renewable forms of energy, reduce, reuse and recycle natural materials and increase quality according to extend a product life-cycle and of course add profit to the owners, designers and all other people who are a part of the product life cycle.
Fashion as a driver for sustainable product innovation’s fashion is the particularly right, powerful and well used tool in the global free-market economy, where the constant demands for brand new solutions to stimulate further growth of new markets and create a competitive advantage. This market-driven economy biggest enemy is in fact, sustainability. Our monetary systems demand a high and fast turnover of consumer goods, if this cycle stops or slows down the economy and system will fall apart.
Pollution of Jean’s manufacturing is massive.
Production of jeans is polluting due to various manufacturing stages; however, can be improved by making different choices. Nevertheless, the largest negative impact does is the consumer. Washing and drying the Jeans and T-shirts at home accounts for 60% of the product’s total environmental foot-print. Sustainable product design is not an internal closed process but a part of a bigger picture. Lots of people forget this. We need to reduce anyway, whether or not global warming created by humans. For example; now people living in India are moving from a traditional vegetarian-based diet and into a western meat-based diet. As it takes much more energy to produce meat than vegetarian food, there is simply not enough space to feed all of us. The lack of space occurs as it takes up to 10 times more land to grow the same amount of energy to produce meat vs. vegetarian based food…
The general rule given any product is this; the closer distance between the food and your mouth the less energy or carbon footprint. Even if the price of the product is lower when imported from a long distance, the environmental cost will be much higher than producing locally.
Fashion and sustainability what is it really?
Fashion connected to time, and as time passes the style changes and what’s now become shortly out of fashion as something new will replace the style. The clothes become old-fashioned, no longer desirable. And when the style circle turns at one point of time they become retro and get copied into new variations as concepts from the past. A few brands are true to their style and become or are classic: La Cost, Fred Perry and Levi’s 501. This is of course good for their business and also right sustainable product design strategy. The rate of such change has become in such a great rate that seasons products do no longer exist; now the term is weekly or even daily fashion. This change in the turnover rate has been seen as a good thing for the economic, competition and market stimulation, but a bad thing for resource’s conservation and environmental situation. Therefore, these negative issues are narrowing the way fashion manifested and used. A change is the nature of things and the only important factors that are and will change fashion as we know it.
Reduce, reuse, transform and recycle.
The process of recycling fabrics is happening first by collecting scraps of fabrics collected from clothing factories, processed back into short fibers for spinning into a new yarn. There are only a few facilities globally that are able to process the clippings and variations range from a blend of recycled cotton fibers, added repeat yarns for strength to recycled cotton fibers, virgin acrylic fibers added for color consistency and strength.
Big brands as Nike, H&M & M&S demand more.
When companies such as Nike and M&S demand more natural cotton supply (M&S is now using uppercase. 1/3 of the world’s organic cotton to make their white T-shirts) they help improve the conditions for growing greater supply of organic cotton by ensuring huge buying power and stimulating organic growing on a world-wide scale.
Organic cotton uses NO pesticides, fertilizers, insecticides or herbicides to grow the plants. The soil is fragile and needs to be handled with care. The soil is not being depleted as with traditional cotton growing, but crop-rotation used instead. Organic soil retains water better and demands less irrigation and thus uses less water. The farmers do not get sick, and do not need to buy expensive chemicals from international companies and paid a higher price for their organic cotton product. Even if organic soil demands a three-year transition period, efforts being made by companies to support “transition-cotton” to aid the farmers in the transition period. Standards for ECO-Cotton varied across the globe, but new “Global Organic Textile Standards” (GOTS) been implemented since 2006 and is helping companies label their products in a better and more uniform way!’
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Check out the new Eco Fashion Dictionary A – Z ECO FASHION DICTIONARY A – Z