Consumers are looking for brands that prioritize sustainability and foster eco-conscious choices. However, positive attitudes do not always translate into actual purchase behavior. This gap is known as the attitude-behaviour gap.
Fashion brands can adopt sustainable practices during all stages of production, from sourcing materials to manufacturing garments. This approach reduces the environmental impact of clothing.
Increased Product Life
Creating high-quality clothing that lasts longer and endures multiple wears is a crucial benefit of sustainability. This is a significant shift in luxury fashion, where shoppers are used to purchasing new clothing frequently and often discarding it after just one or two wears. Creating durable clothes and implementing initiatives to prevent waste, like garment rentals or a recycling program, are essential to greater sustainability in fashion brands.
The more a brand can make its products last, the less it will need to produce in the future. This reduces the need to use virgin materials and produces fewer emissions. Sustainable brands prioritizing longevity can also benefit from the increased revenue potential of resale and rental options.
In an oversaturated world with fast fashion, buying less is becoming increasingly popular. This reduced consumerism outlook not only improves the environmental impact of our wardrobes but can also increase happiness levels. This has been supported by the rise of secondhand shopping, with platforms such as Thred Up and Poshmark gaining popularity among consumers.
Despite this growing desire for sustainability in fashion, many fashion brands still need help implementing it. This has been partially due to the need for a clear definition or standard for sustainability, which makes it challenging to communicate to consumers. Additionally, complex supply chains and production processes make evaluating a garment’s environmental and social impacts difficult. Closing this information gap would decrease the attitude-behavior gap and encourage more consumers to purchase sustainably.
Reduced Waste Generation
Brands can help reduce this waste using recycled materials or renewable alternatives, minimizing water and energy use during manufacturing, and eliminating excessive shipping materials.
Another way to reduce waste is to produce longer items so consumers can replace them slowly. This means using quality materials that will withstand repeated wear and wash, offering accessible repair services, or designing items with a more timeless style. One example is Amour Vert, a clothing brand that makes its sustainably sourced garments in smaller batches to avoid the waste of unsold pieces. The company also partners directly with mills to ensure its fabric uses non-toxic dyes and only the most sustainable fabrics. In addition, it plants a tree for every item purchased and follows a zero-waste policy.
Closing the information gap between fashion consumers and the environmental impacts of their purchases is a crucial challenge for brands. Most consumers need help understanding the impact of fast fashion and need more motivation to act on their concerns.
However, most consumers are interested in sustainability and want to purchase sustainable clothes. Closing this gap will allow brands to introduce more durable, enduring garments and build a narrative around reducing fashion waste.
Reduced Carbon Emissions
Ethical fashion is a sustainable trend that prioritizes workers’ welfare in the garment industry. This includes preventing child labor, ensuring equal gender rights, promoting safe working conditions, and paying fair wages. Since 75 million people worldwide work in the apparel industry, these efforts go a long way toward creating a better future for everyone involved.
Sustainable brands produce premium clothing using durable, long-lasting materials resistant to environmental damage. This reduces the need for frequent replacement and helps save energy and resources used during production. In addition, these companies encourage consumers to make intelligent purchases by buying only what they need and cherishing the items they already own. This approach also supports local artisans and small businesses.
Most fabrics used in fashion are made from petroleum-based, synthetic fibers, which generate significant carbon emissions. Sustainable fashion brands use organic and recycled materials that require little chemical treatment and little water and energy for production to reduce these emissions. Moreover, some designers opt for eco-friendly fabrics such as mushroom leather and kelp that are biodegradable.
The best method to measure a company’s total carbon footprint is with a cradle-to-gate accounting approach that includes upstream, downstream, and direct operations. To ensure that manufacturers’ calculations are accurate, they should be based on actual transaction data from suppliers rather than estimations. This can help reduce costs, waste, and unnecessary effort spent calculating and managing carbon emissions.
Reduced Water Consumption
Brands prioritizing sustainability will minimize their impact on water quality and help address the looming global water crisis.
One way to do this is by using fabrics that require less water to produce, such as organic cotton or recycled fibers. Also, eco-conscious brands will use less water-intensive production processes such as ozone washing and dry dyeing. They will also invest in innovative technology to monitor their water usage, which can reduce costs and increase efficiency across their supply chain.
Lastly, these brands will strive to make their products closer to where they will be sold. This will lower transportation emissions and reduce their carbon footprint. Additionally, many will seek to use renewable energy for their offices and factories.
Consumers can also play a role in this effort by purchasing fewer items and caring for them responsibly so they last longer. This will reduce waste and reduce the need to manufacture new clothes. Additionally, consumers can support sustainable fashion by buying secondhand garments that have been loved and worn once.
Arman Ali, respects both business and technology. He enjoys writing about new business and technical developments. He has previously written content for numerous SaaS and IT organizations. He also enjoys reading about emerging technical trends and advances.