Position of Argument
Sustainable fashion aims at coming up with fashion in a way that it has negligible effects on the environment and that it is pocket friendly. As much as eco-fashion is slow, the results are good, environmental-friendly and sustainable. It is; therefore, a good step that the fashion industry has taken in order to participate in the fight against global warming (Emma). Due to the rapid changes in fashion industry, it is imperative to implement strategies that do not lead to the exhaustion of natural resources or damaging of the environment; hence, the need to embrace eco-fashion.
In developing green fashion, designers mostly use natural fibers. The fibers can be grouped into protein fiber or plant fiber. The common plant fiber used is cellulose; examples are jute, cotton, bamboo, abaca, hemp, soy and beech wood. Protein fiber is from animals; examples are alpaca, silk, wool, mohair and cashmere. There are also fibers which are manufactured through natural processes; these are lyocell and polylactic (Emma).
History, Philosophy and Trend
Initiative and Studies
Sustainable fashion originates from the need to look into the negative environmental effects, some of which were brought about by the raw materials utilized in creating fashion items. This work was started in the 1990s, and the trend has been growing ever since as it is being practised by public and private companies (Watson et al).
The trend was started by Pentagonia and ESPRIT companies under the leadership of Yvon Chouinard and Doug Tompkins. The duo conducted research headed by reputable ecologists, Arne Naes, Ernest Callenbach and Fritjof Capra. They analysed the effects of certain fibres (nylon, cotton, wool and polyester) on the environment. Their work led to the first organic conference in 1991 in California. Other materials to be used include low impact dyes, naturally processed and recycled wool, naturally dyed cotton and clothes without electroplating. The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) was also form as a part of the campaign (Fletcher).
Eco-fashion trend is a green movement just like other measures put in place to curb global warming. Apart from contributing to environmental conservation, it also give the consumers the feeling that they are buying items which are safe. NOSB has the mandate to ensure that companies use acceptable and standard raw materials in the manufacturing process. Animals are also protected in this quest since a lot of leather products are obtained from them. Eco fashion is cheap since it results in products that can withstand wear and tear for longer periods (Fletcher et al).
Fashion companies should ensure that consumers are aware of the prices of the skilled workers, raw materials and the high end products. Once clients understand that the cost of production is high, they will be willing to buy the quality items at higher prices.
Sustainable brand in fashion
The growing trend has encouraged popular fashion houses to adopt eco fashion. The common outlets are Reve en Vert, Elborne, Frjodlife, Modavanti and Ethica. Reve en Vert makes jackets and jumpers for women from leather, organic silk &cotton and fur (Oakes & Summer).
It has been discovered that only 1% of the cotton in the world is organic, therefore increasing production costs. Farmers also argue that caring for organic cotton requires intensive labor, which is also expensive. Some of the green materials are safe only in their natural forms but become harmful just like synthetic ones the moment conversions are made.
Future of Eco-fashion
Consumers have realized that cheap fashion is harmful to the environment and are therefore investing in sustainable products. Other entrepreneurs and businesses have also begun to consider the benefits of Eco fashion to their clients. Producers are also aiming at making aesthetical and stylish eco-friendly items (Oakes et al).
Emma Watson, Lucy Siegel. The New Sustainable Fashion Revolution. Oxford, UK: New Internationalist, 2011.
Fletcher, Kate. Sustainable Fashion and Textiles Design Journeys. London: Routledge Publications, 2014.
Oakes, Summer R. The Savvy Shopping Guide to Sustainable Fashion and Beauty. San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2009.