The need for sustainable business practices has increased recently since the textile sector contributes to climate change. Fashion has affected the environment so much, mainly because it uses plastic in approximately 60% of products, leading to 500,000 tons of microfibers ending up in the ocean. At the same time, about 1% of crude oil production is used to produce synthetic fibres, which are harmful to both consumers and garment workers.
Sustainable fashion is currently trending as people are trying to upcycle their clothes, buy from second-hand stores and support small businesses that make clothes from sustainable materials. These include bamboo, hemp, linen and more. Although consumers understand the importance of protecting the environment by fighting consumerism, companies continuously make new clothes from poor and toxic materials.
Sustainable and reliable textile practices are necessary to help lower global emissions and minimize the factors affecting the environment. Here’s how your company can adopt such strategies.
Be wary of greenwashing
When dealing with textiles for your business, what makes the difference between sustainable and toxic practices is the source of these materials. In many cases, the products you’re acquiring state they’re eco-friendly when this is far from the truth. Some producer companies will even claim to make textiles from recycled goods, but they only contain a negligible amount. At the same time, others will present their colouring process as naturally made when in fact, they’re using chemical and artificial methods.
This is called greenwashing, and it’s a form of false advertisement that promises consumers a range of green products when they’re no different than regular but presented and marketed as sustainable to reach a specific type of audience. As some businesses witnessed the increased demand for such products, they’ve been deceiving customers by promoting fake products and services. One example of this practice is when Volkswagen advertised one of its old car models as “clean diesel”, which led to fines and lawsuits when it was found that the vehicle emitted way too much carbon dioxide in real life than in its first developing stages.
Prioritize quality and durability
A company’s most wanted outcome is selling as many products as possible and making a profit. Still, in the world of sustainability, the goal is to sell products that last and provide high-quality features so that customers won’t have to make frequent purchases of the same product. Although qualitative manufacturing pieces tend to cost more and sustainable practices are not that easy to implement, your business will have enough profit to sustain these methods by selling high-end products, but with a bigger price, rather than selling thousands of the same models but cheaper.
Customers have also understood the importance of wearing qualitative clothes that allow the skin to breathe and not make it itchy. For example, lately, one trendy thing in fashion is bamboo used in sleepwear, which is hypoallergenic, incredibly soft and sweat-resistant. You can search for bamboo pyjamas in Canada made with quality-driven and ethical procedures which have made a positive environmental and social impact on nature.
Although it’s common for companies to blend in textiles to minimize costs, if you want to provide the best kind of clothes, it would be best to avoid or decrease material blends as the recycling process involves separating textiles from the same type. Consequently, the recycling process won’t make any difference if fabrics are blended.
Sometimes, your clothes should be made from single materials and be as simple as possible. If you want to make clothes only out of bamboo or linen, the quality of the finished product will make the garment last longer. And as these products are mostly 100% biodegradable, the recycling process will go faster, and the “waste” can be used in many ways. It’s also a good idea to avoid coating that could hinder the recycling process, such as backings or ornamental trims. Don’t worry that clients will get bored of them because trends come and go, but good clothes stay.
Look for innovative products
The fashion industry always needs something revolutionary, whether it’s about materials, designs or marketing strategies. If you want your fashion business to flourish, it’s best to keep looking for different textiles and practices constantly, only to bring fresh air into your organization. This will benefit your brand since it’ll be recognized as innovative, and your profit will also increase.
For example, Levi’s, the well-known jeans company, is known for its latest sustainable practices of making their pair out of recycled denim, sustainably sourced viscose, and cotton. The business is always looking for new and durable materials to work with.
Look at what your competition is doing and see if you can integrate these practices into your company. You can also look at what companies from overseas are doing to ensure their clothing is green and sustainable while maintaining their customers’ interest. For example, some of the most innovative practices include the following:
- Fabric from seaweed. After the extrusion process, the plant becomes a kelp-based thread that can be knitted or 3D printed;
- Knitting robots. These technological advancements can help make custom seamless knit garments, enabling the digitization of the entire production process;
- Leather from apples. Apple pectin is a part of the fruit that can be used to create a leather-like material that can be dyed without toxic chemicals;
These are only a few examples of how fashion can become sustainable and environmentally friendly. Circular fashion software, virtual influencers, and digital runways are part of the green advertisement process, far from the expensive and toxic ones. Similar to those examples, you can find similar practices at every stage of the product’s development process and implement them to create a better world of fashion.
The fashion industry has become quite dangerous to the environment. Driven by consumerism and trends, this sector contributes to a considerable part of what climate change has got us into up to this day. But as people and businesses understand the importance of a clean environment, sustainable practices might help us make an essential change toward environmentally-friendly fashion.