Can Fashion Ever Be Sustainable?

Can Fashion Ever Be Sustainable?

Can Fashion Ever Be Sustainable?

Most fashion designers don't know what the word sustainable means any more.

You don’t have to be a famous designer to think so, probably most of the consumers feel the same.


The Chinese online fashion market is forecast to be larger than that of the USA and Europe combined | Source: Statista

Sustainability means 10 different things to 10 different people.

The main objective of sustainable fashion is to produce clothes without leaving a negative footprint.

Some fashion brands are working diligently to help make a difference.


Fast fashion is harming the planet | Source: BBC

During the past four years, the number of clothes described as sustainable has quadrupled.

The use of such words is not effectively regulated. They are non-quantifiable adjectives.

The word sustainable itself has no concrete legal definition.


Life cycle of a cotton t-shirt | Source: The SustainabilityX® Magazine

Sustainable fashion takes into account the full lifecycle of a product including design, sourcing, productionenvironment and processes.

On the other handfast fashion refers to clothing that is cheaply made and intended for short-term use.

A doubled lifetime of garments would in theory mean that only half the number of garments could be produced. The impacts in the production phase would be reduced by half.

As a consumer, it can be tempting to leave the responsibility for lowering fashion’s impact to businesses.

Share of consumers who prefer purchasing clothes from sustainable brands in the United Kingdom (UK) 


Share of consumers who prefer purchasing clothes from sustainable brands in the United Kingdom (UK)  by age and gender | Source: Statista

Choosing not to buy fast fashion products is the most sustainable thing you can do as a consumer, instead of reflecting what sustainability means.

Buying high quality environmental clothes or vintage pieces is the best way to go, if your budget allows it.

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Susanna Koelblin

Commercialization & Sourcing Leader Focused On Circularity

From blockchain to recycling, Susanna talks about emerging technologies and circularity topics in the fashion industry.

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