Sustainable fashion is making a hole inside the fashion industry. With companies and consumers increasingly aware of the impacts generated by the textile sector, alternatives arise to the current consumption of clothing; More sustainable for the environment and more ethical in their processes.
The fashion industry is one of the most pollutants in the world. It sounds very strong, but it is a reality. In recent decades you are talking about a lot of climate change and the negative impact that human beings are doing on our planet. There are more and more voices that ask for a change, a change of trends and consumption habits towards a more sustainable path. For this, not only have the consumers who make changes, but are also the industries that most have to rethink in what way and how they generate those negative impacts.
Around 1950 the world's population was about 2,500 million inhabitants and their per capita textile consumption was 3.7 kg per inhabitant and year. In 2015, the population has reached 7.4 billion persons and per capita textile consumption reached 13.1 kg / dating / year. If the growth projections of the population are fulfilled and in the year 2,050 we reach 14,000 million inhabitants, the demand for textile products will double. It will be necessary to cultivate twice cotton, duplicate the sheep population, extract twice as a cellulose to obtain artificial fibers or extract double the petroleum necessary to obtain synthetic fibers. The same will happen with the amount of water and energy necessary to supply this new demand. The consumption of natural resources follows a dynamic of exponential growth, producing an ecological footprint that dangerously exceeds the load capacity of most ecosystems. However, our planet has physical limits and in a finite world, growth can not be infinite.
The most developed countries in the world are those that concentrate most of the world textile consumption. The United States, Japan and the EU are responsible for 40% of this consumption (only concentrate 13% of the world's population). The differences in consumption between countries is abysmal. While in the USA, about 40 kg / d'ethere are consumed, in Africa, it is just 5 kg / dancing / year. About 16% of the world population consumes annually more than 10 kg per capita (the richest countries consume between 20 and 40 kg per year) while the remaining 86% consume between 3 and 10 kg. Everything aims at the middle of the 21st century, a world average of 15kg / dated / year is loose.
Conscious and promote different consumption habits and develop new models in which both the environment are challenged that we will have to face together, companies and consumers, to try to reduce hyperconsumes that society demands. With this, sustainable fashion tries to uncheck from the current model, and advocate for much more sustainable and ethical processes, in which the excessive consumption and obsolescence are over.
Repeasing the model
The problem of background in key sustainability within the industry the current economic model, based on continued and non-stop growth. The exponential growth of the population will increase the demand for textile products and with this all the impact generated by the industry will be increased at its very level. In the textile and clothing sector, the improvement of competitiveness and increased sales are the basics to increase economic benefit. The model strategy is based on the continued consumption and the case of clothing is the most paradigmatic example of the so-called obsolescence perceived. We bought clothes not because it is worn or in poor condition, but because it has gone out of fashion, generating as a consequence a perverse hyperconsum dynamics conveniently powered by advertising.
This is the great challenge facing sustainable fashion within the textile and clothing industry: to do more with less, lengthen the useful life of textile products and when it finishes, reintroduce them in the textile chain assuming the logic of the economy circular. In addition, there are social and human challenges to which sustainable fashion is failed without fear; The human conditions in which the garments occur. In short, the challenge is great: rethink the products, its process of production, distribution, use and end of life using the new logic of sustainability.
According to a report on environmental indicators published by the European Environment Agency in 2014 (focused on consumer goods for the food, electronics and fashion sector), it points to the concepts of ecodesign and eco-novation as crucial factors capable of conditioning production habits and Consumption, since more than 80% of the environmental impact of a product is defined fundamentally in its design phase. In this sense there are marks In which the environmental impact is designed in the design and in which dyes and materials (such as hemp) are recycled, trying to generate the minimum impact for the planet.
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Sustainable and recycled raw materials
The use of natural fibers obtained in an environmentally adequate manner such as organic agriculture or certified ecological livestock contributes very remarkable to minimize the negative effects of intensive agricultural and livestock that have a high environmental impact. Use renewable raw materials such as hemp, Linen or FSC-type certified plantations for obtaining fibers is an increasing trend. The same happens in other natural raw materials of increasing use such as algae, animal proteins, natural dyes, etc. The "Bio" tendency, "organic" or "green" has also reached the textile sector and its demand grows especially in countries with greater sensitivity with environmental problems.
In the textile and clothing industry it has a long tradition of using the byproducts generated along the textile cycle for its subsequent recycling. From short fibers collected in the spinning process to the remains of tisa-left threads as the tissue retales generated in the pattern cut during preparation. This has even generated the development of the industrial subsector of the textile regenerates. The use of used polymers of diverse origin for obtaining chemical fibers is also a regular already consolidated practice, as is the case of the use of PET containers for obtaining polyester fibers intended for garment manufacturing. exist Garments Mixed with natural fibers (like hemp) and recycled PET. In any case, everything that represents the use of the byproducts generated in the long textile process is a necessary reality whose trend will not decrease, and is one of the pillars of what we call as sustainable fashion.
Since we live on a finite planet where non-renewable resources are limited, it will be convenient to use the minimum amount of resources to obtain a product. While until recently the technology was good was that which was able to exploit as much of a natural resource per unit of time, nowadays good technology under the sustainability perspective is one that with a natural resource matter unit is capable to get a greater number of different products and applications. On the other hand, the reduction of the amount of water, energy and materials used for obtaining manufactured products, ends up caretting economic savings. The textile industry consumes a large amount of water in the production process of textile fibers (mainly the cultivation of cotton and washing the crude wool), in the tincture and finishing processes (since it uses water as a means of Transport for the plication of dyes and other substances) and in the use phase during domestic washing. Natural fibers such as hemp would be a good alternative to the high water consumption of cotton crop. About 53% of the cultivated cotton area worldwide is irrigated, obtaining 73% of worldwide cotton production through agricultural technique. According to UNESCO, the agglodon is responsible for 2.6% of worldwide consumption, as well as 20% of the industrial pollution of freshwater comes from the treatment and dyeing of textile products. In short, the development and use of eco-efficient technologies is the way to meet this goal (do more with less).
Sustainable Fashion Markets
For a few years, it is increasingly common, hearing from markets or "markets" of sustainable fashion, in which several fashion brands and designers take place to sell and teach their products. Surely some acquaintance, friend or family member has ever gone to one of those meetings. With the rise of sustainable fashion and consumer knowledge of the great negative impact that we are generating with the planet, the markets were proliferating on which to find gathered diverse brand that try to do things different. In these spaces, attendees can see and learn first hand the garments made with recycled and organic materials, to know the designers themselves and enjoy parades, food and a relaxed and family atmosphere.
Parallel to the growth of markets in which to find sustainable fashion, events and conventions related to ethical fashion also grow. Events in which it is discussed in round tables on the current industry, its impacts, its benefits and on the road you should continue to end up being a cleaner and fair industry with the planet. Little by little it is aware that the path of consumption and practices within many industries will take us to an announced disaster.
Sustainable fashion in response to the problem
After realizing the problems generated by the current model of extreme consumption and few ethical practices, sustainable fashion exists as an alternative to respond to these problems. The waste generated, the carbon footprint emitted in transport due to the relocation of the textile industry, the very high water expenditure that entails the cultivation of cotton are some of the problems that lead the model in which we are immersed. Sustainable fashion within the textile sector generates a lower impact for the environment. Local productions and responsible clothing consumption generate positive externalities that not only have an impact on the planet, but promote the local economy and ethics in productions. With the local economy, we also save CO2 emissions to the atmosphere, since transportation of long distances (and above all aircraft) are a great responsible for the carbon footprint that emit human beings. As we have seen before, encourage the use of more sustainable materials, such as hemp, and recycled materials is also part of the solution.
For everything seen before, we have to rethink the model of the fashion industry?
We believe that if ...