Innovations That Have Helped To Make Fashion Greener
One of the most contentious eras in the history of fashion may be close to its end, as conscientious customers and businesses have opted to buy wholesale aprons from manufacturers and wholesalers with a long-term sustainability plan.
For the last few decades, however, fast fashion had been a dominant part of the industry, with many people opting for cheaply produced disposable fashion lines and outfits that are worn once before being thrown away.
Whilst there are still many successful businesses in the world of fast fashion such as those part of the Boohoo Group, Asos and Zara, the backlash is getting louder and harder to ignore, with sustainable fashion alternatives becoming increasingly popular and easier to access.
Here are some of the innovations that have made the fashion world greener, in terms of technological advances, industry and political movements and greater awareness of what individuals and businesses alike can do to be the change they want to see.
Vegan Leather That Isn’t Plastic
Fake leather has existed for over a century but relied heavily on plastic and unsustainable production methods. However, the rise of alternative leather textiles has helped to create vegan leather that is much closer to sustainable, such as pineapple leather.
Made from the fibres of pineapple leaves, it has many benefits over traditional leather, and whilst the production method does still rely on polylactic acid, improvements in production methods have allowed for biodegradable pineapple leather to be created.
Making Clothes From Resilient Plant Fibres
One of the biggest changes in sustainability efforts is to take advantage of plants that already grow in abundance in sub-optimal conditions and use them to create sustainable clothing fibres.
This includes hemp fibres, which take advantage of a plant that needs very little water to survive, and does not need any pesticides or fertilisers to grow effectively but has been hampered by drug legislation that connects industrial hemp with cannabis.
However, whilst hemp is a solution yet to be fully exploited, other plants that are similarly resilient have also been considered, such as the breathable bamboo fibres and nettles, both of which are similarly sustainable and can grow in less-than-ideal environments.
A Transition To Slow Fashion
Slow fashion, the antithesis of fast fashion, is less of a specific technological innovation and more of a change in ideology, with a focus on ethical production, long-lasting garments that require less frequent replacement, and the ability to recycle and reuse them once finished.
It comes from the slow food movement, a worldwide cultural movement that prioritises local, traditional cuisine, small businesses, high-quality foods and sustainability as opposed to overproduction and homogenised culinary landscapes as typified by fast food restaurants.
Empowering The Conscious Customer
One of the biggest issues surrounding sustainable fashion movements is how difficult it can be to know whether a sustainable fashion brand has legitimate goals or is merely using green fashion as an aesthetic.
Websites and directories have since been developed that grade different fashion companies and outlets, allowing customers to see at a glance which producers are actually looking out for the environment, for animals and for their workers and which are not.