What Young Designers Must Know About Sustainable Fashion



Amidst our current shiny new era of hyper capitalism, green is slowly emerging as the new black. Sustainable fashion and sustainable issues in fashion are finally gaining traction across the board with it becoming an integral part of dialogue in the industry.


In today’s fashion climate, creators and consumers alike are all more eager and willing to be part of a global movement that is the #fashionrevolution. This movement’s objective is a straightforward no-brainer belief that “clothes shouldn’t come at the cost of people or the planet” and well, who can ever come to oppose that? Their philosophy is paving way for increasing demands for better care and for more change to occur at every level in the fashion industry. In light of that, here’s five ways we can all easily integrate sustainability when it comes to designing:


Question everything right from the beginning


The designing process should not only focus on the end product in its entirety as it should also take the origins, ethics, methods and impacts into consideration. A multitude of issues should be explored as open discussions will lead to a broader understanding on the true cost of materials - and that’s why questioning everything is imperative. 


Create narratives around products to effectively relay stories to attract and engage consumers


More often than not, designers are so involved with the process that they simply forget that consumers do not share the same first-hand accounts. It is important that that care and consideration is made transparent for consumers to understand and engage with those ethical choices. Having transparency and clear communication will help to break down perceptions around sustainable fashion and its corresponding issues.


Fashion timeless designs without an expiration date


We’ve reached a critical point in time where we should all ditch the ‘what’s on trend’ philosophy. Quality should be favoured over quantity and that means stepping away from the fast-fashion mentality. The goal is to transition from making fast, cheap goods to making slow, quality goods readily available.


Consider the entire life cycle of a garment. From the raw materials to production process, to garment care and finally to consumer consumption.


Sustainability starts before an idea for a product is even developed and continues long after the product is bought. Designers should continue to ensure ethical and sustainable options are favoured during product development and find ways to extend a garment’s lifespan or to simply recycle/upcycle. Things like offering lifetime guarantees of repairing, trading in used textiles, teaching proper garment care and creating designs that are built to last must slowly become a norm.


Zero-waste is the way to go


Many industries (fashion included) have constantly been criticised for being wasteful of resources and materials. The future wave of young designers should learn to adopt and commit to a strict, zero-waste policy by approaching the economic, social and environmental aspects with equal care and thought. To quote the #fashionrevolution, designers must learn that “clothes shouldn’t come at the cost of people or the planet” and adopting a zero-waste policy will contribute to healing our already-scare resources.

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