Sustainable Fashion Is The New Trend
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“Sustainability brands are products and services that are branded to signify a special added value in terms of environmental and social benefits to the customer and thus enable the differentiation from competitors” (Belz F., Peattie K. (2009) : Sustainability Marketing: A Global perspective. John Wiley & Sons.)
Sustainability and Fashion:
Sustainability is slightly different to just being green. It is the development of the consciousness towards the entire ecosystem in which exists. In our world of Fashion, we have seen the evolution of so many trends: right from the glittering Great Gatsby’s era in the 1920s which became further liberated by Coco Chanel, to the 1940s trend elevated by Katherine Hepburn in her masculine shirt and loose fitting trousers racing to the 1950s Pencil Skirt introduce by Christian Dior into the decade of the 1970s which saw experimentation and non conformity. Fashion always speak the language of the political, social and cultural times of an era.
A wise saying goes “We do not inherit our Earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children”. Today, this is our language and we need to raise our consciousness towards it. The trend towards development of cheap as well as fast fashion has seen dangerous trends towards causing massive environmentally destructive practices in the producing countries as well as economic enslavement of so many people. Whilst one may argue that it has given jobs to many across the globe, one cannot deny the fact of huge wastage caused across the the producing countries as well as the receiving countries. This level of pollution directly and indirectly affects the health of all the living beings across the globe. We need to pause and think if it is worth to build great buildings and destroy our ability to source good clean drinking water.
Moving Towards Sustainable Fashion:
Producing more is no solution at all. With so many financial options available in today’s times, designing desirable products that lasts for long without contributing to the wastage that our precious Earth is facing and allowing people to contribute through their skills that sustains the art and culture of their place is the way forward. This is our language today and our Fashion Fraternity will speak this language. Of course one challenge is how do we bring this form of awareness to all those across the globe?
I fathom we take the age old approach of:
Storytelling: Let the design convey this story of sustenance and its importance. Design is used as a tool to convey such messages.
Encouraging art in all forms: Art in schools, colleges, should be re-inforced. Children should be brought out to the open and made aware of the fun in being one with nature. I did a wonderful Kite Art Festival as an exercise to bring the young children out to the open. It was a wonderful success with so many kids loving to draw art on their kite and then seeing these kites fly. The best part is to see the parents helping the children to fly these wonderful kites.
Creating opportunities for us all to help in our neighbour activities: Such programmes such as CAS, Social service activities has to be highlighted in the news. It will allow children and parents who have something to contribute appreciate the village art and will increase potential sales of such art forms. Once they appreciate they become part of our fashion world since we have raised these awareness. Magazines and other media should look out to cover such opportunities and present such activities to the world.
The world today needs to bring forth Sustainable Fashion to the front. With combined efforts of all stakeholders we can truly give back a wonderful world to our children.