Fashion x Climate Change

Today, the world probably faces no bigger threat than climate change, and fashion industry being one of the highest contributors to warming up the planet. Even though the fashion industry still hasn’t surpassed the reputation of the oil industry, it is still making a sizeable contribution to the issue.  ‘McKinsey research shows that the sector was responsible for some 2.1 billion metric tons of greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions in 2018, about 4 percent of the global total’.

Let’s start from the beginning to understand the situation here.

Climate change is caused by greenhouse gases, namely Carbon Dioxide, Methane, Nitrous Oxide etc that are trapping the heat and causing climate change.

Even though most consumer goods have a role in this, what makes the fashion industry more problematic not just because of pace of change that it undergoes but also encourages. Fashion isn’t changing every season any more, it’s changing on a weekly basis at this point. Consumers are pushed into buying the latest items to stay on trend. The need v/s want mindset is somewhere lost with one overpowering the other. Let’s take one particular clothing, say for example denim. According to an article by BBC published on 11th March, 2020, ‘The UN estimates that a single pair of jeans requires a kilogram of cotton. And because cotton tends to be grown in dry environments, producing this kilo requires about 7,500–10,000 litres of water. That’s about 10 years’ worth of drinking water for one person.’ It also states that the stretchy elastane material that is woven is made using synthetic materials derived from plastic which reduces the recyclability aspect and increases the environmental fabric further.

If we go beyond the raw materials stage, the energy used in the manufacturing, transporting, packaging a garment, all have their contribution to the carbon footprint. However, the climate impact doesn’t stop there. The garment’s lifetime contributes and so does the end of its life. A study showed that ‘fewer than one percent of garments are made into new clothes, with only around 15 percent of clothing being recycled at all – the rest go into landfill or get incinerated’. The onset of fast fashion is pushing the consumers to consume, wear it fewer times, not repair and ultimately throw them away sooner.

trueBrowns founder, Udita Bansal, recently had the opportunity to be a part of The Voice of Fashion’s New Year, 2022 Special edition, The Changing Climate of Fashion. An initiative where they encouraged young designers and entrepreneurs to come on board and talk about the steps that the brand wishes to take to help fight climate crisis. With sustainable fashion emerging as a trend in the coming years, it’s necessary to practice it at all steps of building a brand. A new generation of brands are coming forth with sustainability as the main crux of the design process as well as the business models.

We feel honoured to be able to share our efforts on a bigger platform alongside brands that share the same ethos as us. Here are a few things that we wish to achieve this new year:

We have always been mindful about our impact while making conscious decisions, from the design process to the sourcing, manufacturing, or be it our plastic free packaging. Therefore, our plans this year is to use more of fabrics like khadi and kala cotton, linen, to reduce our carbon footprint.

We are also trying to come up with ways in which we can re-use our scrap fabrics so that they don't end up in landfills.

We never compromise on quality and hence Our products are not fast fashion. We focus on timeless pieces that transcend through seasons. To propel this further we are planning a campaign very soon to create awareness against overconsumption and instil the idea of quality over quantity mindset.  It's an effort to bring our consumers along with us on this journey and enable them to contribute their bit to the climate crisis.

To get more insight on this topic and how other brands are approaching, we encourage you to visit this link: https://thevoiceoffashion.com/sustainability/the-changing-climate-of-fashion/climate-change-resolutions-from-emerging-designers-4818

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