Why fashion should be sustainable?

fast fashion protest

Climate change protest

Globalization, the capitalist system, the need to follow trends, due to the compulsive need to always feel in step with the times: these are some of the causes that led to the development of that system known to the public as “fast fashion”. Starting from the end of the 90s up to the consolidation during the first twenty years of the 2000s. The fashion sector has thus reached the sad goal of “the second most polluting industry in the world”. But the times seem ripe and there is a need for change in the air: how can fashion become an ethical and sustainable sector?

The emerging cracks of “fast fashion”

By “fast fashion industry” we mean the production system which, like the submerged part of an iceberg, is under the department stores. Here you will find ridiculously low prices for photocopied garments made in imitation of those just presented by the big fashion houses on the most exclusive catwalks in the world. The presentation is continuous. A complete replacement of the entire collection is estimated every 15/20 days. This is to satisfy the constant desire of a clientele who aspires to keep up with the times, buying in a compulsive manner also induced by the mass media with commercials and advertisements and promotions.

Initially considered a “democratization of luxury”, this system is gradually showing its shortcomings more and more openly: exploitation of low-cost decentralized labor, little and / or no interest in conscious and eco-sustainable production, enormous environmental impact. The goal is a poor quality offer for a period of just over a season.

A question of timing

The big fashion houses that aspire to maintain the primacy of the market trend, the minor brands and the small tailoring boutiques that still make attention to detail, to the quality of workmanship and production, are opposed to this system. distinctive stylistics. In fact, to make a dress an eco-sustainable one, you need time and care. Not for anything else, this now large phalanx of opponents to the world of fast fashion is defined as “slow fashion”, claiming by contradiction the availability of the time necessary for the production of a garment destined to last well over a season. Slow fashion therefore speaks to us of a conscious industry, which has its roots in the artisan tradition and offers us an ethical and eco-sustainable fashion, which prefers the quality of the garment over quantity and the respect that those who create it.

The characteristics of slow fashion

By definition, all those entrepreneurial realities that adhere to the concept of ethical and eco-sustainable fashion are part of slow fashion. When we talk about “ethical fashion”, we refer to those involved in the production process of clothing. A “slow fashion” brand will not have a displaced production, but creates jobs in its territory of belonging. Furthermore, it will offer decent employment with adequate wages and working hours and in line with the collective labor agreements of the sector, respecting the rights of workers and guaranteeing holidays, paid sickness and a healthy and safe working environment.

When we talk about “sustainable fashion” we mean the production process: a brand belonging to the “slow fashion” category will strive to have the least possible impact on environmental resources. This means the use of materials produced with renewable energy sources, dyes that comply with the regulations and are not highly polluting, and the minimization of any kind of waste throughout the production process.

Making ethical and sustainable fashion, producing eco-sustainable clothes, is possible. Currently there are already many production companies that have joined this rediscovered version of the fashion business. In addition to a change in the production system, however, there is also a need for a change in consumption habits. If the offer does not meet consumer demand, “fast fashion” has no market and risks yielding under the weight of its own strengths. For fashion to become truly ethical and sustainable, it must also play its part.

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