Sustainable Fashion, the “New Fashion” of the Fashion Industry

Have you seen the slogan “recycle old clothes” when you pay for your clothing purchases? Have you noticed that your favorite coffee shop has switched to biodegradable straws? Have you noticed that fashion brands are reducing their use of animal fur and recycling waste? More and more people are talking about “sustainability” around us. Even if you don’t participate, it is slowly infiltrating your life. “Sustainability” has become a trend, a trend, the most fashionable way of life, and has even entered the public consciousness as a cultural phenomenon.

The “New Fashion” of the Fashion Industry

The textile industry is responsible for 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions, according to a study led by the European Parliament. According to a report by McKinsey & Company and the Business of Fashion Review, the fashion industry is responsible for 6% of greenhouse gas emissions and 10% to 20% of pesticide use.

As consumers’ awareness of the fashion industry’s adverse impact on the environment and health increases, consumers’ requirements for product materials and production transparency are also increasing.

From the perspective of consumption habits, more and more young consumers, pay attention to whether the products use biodegradable materials from the perspective of the health, durability and environmental friendliness of the materials used of natural materials. In the manufacturing process, the sustainable direction of the production process focuses on energy saving and carbon emission reduction, following the principles of recycling, reuse, and energy consumption reduction. In addition, in the circular economy, designers integrate the design concept of environmental protection, which plays a key role in building an ecological system for the circular development of the entire supply chain.

Taking these opportunities a step further, recycled and recycled materials have become a focus for consumers and brands. Among many brands, the recycled fiber developed by the Prada brand recycles textile waste and converts it into recycled nylon ECONYL. There are also active research and development of innovative materials. For example, Stella McCartney has cooperated with Bolt Threads, an American biotechnology start-up company, to use leather clothing made of mycelium materials, bio-based PU and new environmentally friendly materials TPU, EVA as PVC substitutes, etc.

Low-carbon environmental protection has become a “must”

Low-carbon environmental protection is becoming a new vane of the fashion industry, or in other words, an important consideration for business operations and PE/VC investment.

Looking at the investment field, with the changes in consumers’ environmental awareness, the spread of sustainable concepts and the advancement of new technology applications, the research and development of environmentally friendly textile materials, data management and analysis systems, digitization, and supply chain traceability have become the focus of investment institutions.

Last year, California-based LifeLabs announced the completion of a new round of seed financing of US$6 million, led by Asia Green Fund. As of the aforementioned financing, LifeLabs has 11 patented technologies to promote the sustainable development of the textile fabric industry through technological and material reforms, reduce energy consumption and change the impact of clothing on the environment in people’s traditional impressions.

Sustainability is a Path

Sustainability is a path that is possible and is gradually becoming a need. The relationship between fashion and sustainability, can be fruitful only if the product is the result of an intelligent interplay between ethical awareness and design research. Awareness and information transparency on both sides, producers and consumers, have resulted in a natural rejection of almost all products derived from obsolete, unsustainable, and increasingly illegal practices.

The expectation of achieving full circularity is a high bar and is not without complexity. At the end of the day, companies can and should find a balance between social, environmental and economic considerations as they develop their path toward a more sustainable future.

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