Are Fast Fashion Brands Moving Towards Sustainable Fashion In COVID 19?

A lot has changed since 2019, life has slowed down and necessity has taken to the forefront. COVID 19 and the increasing Corona cases have rung a bell of alarm amidst the people and industries. The fast fashion industry is no stranger to polluting the environment, with an increased supply and demand of fast fashion products; the fashion industry is termed to be the second largest industry responsible for polluting the environment. COVID 19 however has changed the consumption and consumer buying pattern. Increased usage, buying the necessary and sustainable fashion has stepped up discouraging the excessive buying of fashion behavior of the consumers. Social media and other digital platforms have created awareness about the ill effects of fast fashion brands awakening the consumers by making them question their fashion choices.

What Is Sustainable Fashion?

Sustainable fashion as the term suggests is fashion that sustains with nature. The best sustainable fashion practices involve scrutinizing the whole process of procuring, manufacturing, transporting, buying, and utilizing in fashion. Practices native to Asian cultures such as one-mile wear and hands down promote sustainable fashion.

The fashion that does not harm nature in making or disposing of products falls under the sustainable fashion umbrella.

How Do Fast Fashion Brands Harm The Environment And Influence Excessive Buying Behaviour?

Fast fashions brands in India and abroad harm the environment in many ways:

  • Green House gas production sums upto 1.2 billion tons annually
  • Synthetic fibers are the local freshwater polluting agent
  • Second largest polluter of water and second-largest consumer industry of water
  • As per IUCN, 35% of microplastics in the ocean belong to the textile and fashion industry
Colors in water as pollutant by fashion industry- source@intouchquality
Colors in water as pollutant by fashion industry- source@intouchquality

The fast-fashion brands also lead to exploitation and hamper society ethically; they exploit the workers to gain more profits. The workers work in unhygienic and dangerous conditions.

  • In 2013, Dhaka (Bangladesh) saw a collapse of an eight-floor factory killing more than 1000 workers and injuring about 2000+ workers of the garment factory manufacturing goods for fast fashion brands.
  • As per an article on The Good Trade children under the age of 18 were allegedly forced through a government transfer program to work in the Longfa Shoe Factory in China’s southeastern Guangdong Province.

Many initiatives such as #whomademyclothes #payup are stirring up the revolutionary movement of creating awareness and discouraging social exploitation by the fast fashion brands in India and abroad.

Fast fashion brands often introduce new collections in the whole year, this encourages excessive buying behavior patterns. Consumers buy more than required from these fast fashion brands as their collections are season-based. This leads to the piling up of unused garments that cannot be decomposed hence land up in landfills.

Most of the garments produced are discarded in 1 year that pile up in land fills -source@businessgreen
Most of the garments produced are discarded in 1 year that pile up in land fills -source@businessgreen

Are Fast Fashion Brands Indulging In Sustainable Practices During COVID 19?

COVID 19 has changed the behavior of the consumers, the worldwide pandemic has led to consumers contemplate on what they buy and the need for the same. The hit in the job market, increased unemployment, decrease in business and profits, and the overall sentiment of COVID 19 or Corona being the avenge of Mother Nature is making the client/ consumer check on sustainability parameters of the brand along with longevity and usage.

Top fast fashion brands have succumbed to the situation and are opting for sustainable methods to promote and strategically place themselves amongst the consumers.

Seasonless fashion has become the talk of the town between the pandemic, fashion that can be worn at any time of the year is referred to as seasonless fashion, this discourages the excessive buying behavior of theconsumer, the seasonless fashions is not just promoted by the fashion brands but also by the fashion designers.

Fashion Designer Brands such as DHI and Payal Khandwal have introduced collections owing to seasonless fashion.

Levis_Buy better wear longer -source@prnewswire
Levis_Buy better wear longer -source@prnewswire

Many fast fashion brands are urging the consumers to buy good products and consume them for a longer duration instead of throwing them and buying new ones, as most of the thrown aways land up infills. The top fashion brand LEVI’S recently launched a #buybetterwearlonger initiative.

Fashion brands such as H&M and ASOS have focused on initiatives and collections based on upcycling and recycling of materials. Recycling means the destruction of the garment to create a new piece whereas upcycling refers to adding or altering the original product to create something new.

Hermes Mushroom Leather-source@nssmagazine
Hermes Mushroom Leather-source@nssmagazine

  • Faux Leather or Alternative Leather

A mind-blowing sustainable fashion initiative involved many luxury and top fast fashion brands to substitute animal leather with plant-based leather-like ingredients like vegan grape leather, orange fiber, andmushroom leather by Hermes and Stella McCartney’s.

The lockdown followed by the widespread of COVID 19 saw a rise in the rental in fashion culture from fashion designers to fast fashion brands all have registered in some of the other rental fashion outlet or online app. Rental fashion allows increased usage of the brand product thereby discouraging the frequent buying behavior of the consumer.

The fashion industry is responsible for excessive consumption of water, top fast fashion brands stepped up to cut down on the consumption of the same to make their products, American Eagle committed to greater sustainability by announcing to go carbon neutral by 2030. The brand also introduced ‘The Real Good’ products that are made in sustainable efforts.

Luxury brand Giorgio Armani introduced an eyewear collection that focuses on sustainability as its main character, the collection as per the brand follows the sustainable pattern from make to sell.

Sustainable
Sustainable

I Knock Fashion Desk

COVID 19 has made many fast fashion brands change their outlook and operations, top fast fashion brands are listing into the best sustainable fashion trends following the sentiments of the people amidst the pandemic. Be it the fashion designers, brands or luxury brands each have introduced sustainable fashion practices in the pandemic.

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