The Rise of Sustainable Clothing
The fashion industry, in the past few years has experienced a profound shift in awareness and consumer expectations, prompting a growing need for sustainability. The industry, once synonymous with disposable culture and rapid trends, is now under scrutiny for its contribution to pollution, resource depletion, and unethical labor practices. Factors such as climate change, environmental degradation, and social justice concerns have gained attention and are influencing purchasing decisions. With this, a new commitment within the fashion industry has emerged globally - that is of sustainable clothing/fashion.
What is sustainable clothing? Sustainable clothing is a movement to minimize the negative impact of the fashion industry on the environment and society. It comprises durable and recyclable clothing made with eco-friendly materials. Today, just like the rest of the world, most Indian fashion brands are taking a stand, asserting that fashion need not come at the expense of our planet and its environment.
Sustainable Fashion – A Growing Trend
Sustainable clothing fashion is not just a fad - this belief is here to stay for long. This approach comprises reusing, recycling, and repurposing materials and supplies. In India, sustainable fashion concentrates on leveraging natural textiles such as cotton and jute, and organic threads for yarns. Also, eco-friendly methods such as minimal water usage and waste are prioritized. This is a crucial step in acknowledging the severe impact fast fashion has on the environment. Various factors contribute to India's prominence in sustainable fashion:
- Rich Textile Heritage: India has a centuries-old tradition of textile craftsmanship and weaving techniques.
- Promotion of Handloom and Handicrafts: The Indian government and various organizations actively promote handloom and handicraft sectors.
- Cotton Production and Organic Farming: India is a huge producer of cotton, and there is a growing importance of promoting organic cotton farming.
- Innovation in Sustainable Materials: Indian designers and brands are exploring and incorporating innovative sustainable materials.
- Craftsmanship and Artisanal Techniques: Indian fashion often incorporates traditional artisanal techniques, such as block printing, tie-dye, and embroidery.
- Socially Responsible Brands: Most Indian fashion brands are dedicated to ethical and social responsibility.
- Fashion Weeks Dedicated to Sustainability: Indian fashion weeks have started dedicating specific segments or entire events to sustainable fashion.
Natural Fibers for Sustainable Fashion
Looking at the trends in sustainable fashion this year, we see that there has been a rise of organic cotton, hemp, jute, bamboo, felt, and many more eco-friendly materials. Fashion brands and platforms are increasingly incorporating these sustainable materials within their collections, catering to the requirements of environmentally conscious customers. India has a rich history of textile traditions and several fibers for sustainable fashion practices are produced in our country:
- Organic Cotton: India is undoubtedly of the largest producers of cotton worldwide. Organic cotton is increasingly used in sustainable fashion to boost environmentally friendly and socially responsible practices.
- Linen: Linen is a product of fibres from the flax plant and India has a long tradition of manufacturing high-quality linen textiles.
- Hemp: Hemp derived from the Cannabis sativa plant has been traditionally grown in India. Hemp fibers are strong, durable, and require minimal water and pesticides.
- Bamboo: Bamboo available abundantly in India is a fast-growing, renewable resource. The Bamboo fibers are soft, breathable, and biodegradable which helps boost sustainable fashion.
- Tussar Silk: The fiber is produced from the larvae of several species of silkworms prominent in India. This silk is considered more sustainable than traditional silk as it involves fewer environmental inputs.
- Khadi: The traditional hand-spun and handwoven fabric in India is often made from cotton. It gained prominence during the Indian independence movement and is associated with sustainable and ethical practices.
Sustainable Practices in Apparel Manufacturing and Certifications
With India taking strides towards sustainable clothing, Tradyl takes a pledge towards sustainability with a collection made of sustainable fabric only. Sustainable practices in apparel manufacturing comprise adhering to environmentally friendly, socially responsible, and ethical methods throughout the entire production process. Certification systems also play a crucial role in verifying and promoting adherence to these sustainable standards.
Sustainable Practices in Apparel Manufacturing
- Material Selection:
- Sustainable Fibers: Choose organic cotton, hemp, linen, or other eco-friendly fibers that require fewer environmental inputs.
- Recycled Materials: Incorporate recycled fabrics generated from post-consumer or post-industrial waste.
- Minimizing Environmental Impact:
- Management of Water: Implement water-saving technologies, recycling, and treatment that reduces water usage and pollution.
- Energy Efficiency: Deploy energy-efficient technologies and practices to minimize the carbon footprint.
- Zero-Waste Design: Design patterns to minimize fabric waste.
- Recycling and Upcycling: Incorporate practices that repurpose textile waste and reduce landfill contributions.
- Social Responsibility:
- Fair Labor Practices: Ensure safe working conditions, fair wages, and reasonable working hours for labourers.
- Ethical Sourcing: Source materials ethically, keeping in mind the social impact on communities and respecting human rights.
- Supply Chain Transparency:
- Traceability: Deploy a supply chain transparency to track the journey of materials from the source to the finished product.
- Supplier Audits: Regularly assess and audit suppliers to confirm compliance with ethical and environmental standards.
- Circular Fashion Economy:
- Product Longevity: Design durable products that last long.
- Take-Back Programs: Establish systems for the collection and recycling of used clothing.
- Notable Certifications in This Context
These days, it’s hard to tell brands apart as most claim of deploying sustainability practices and following ethical methods. One quick and easy way to know if a brand is walking the sustainable walk is by looking at its ethical fashion certifications. A few prominent ones are:
Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS):
Covers the production, processing, manufacturing, packaging, labeling, exportation, and distribution of all natural fibers.
Ensures fair wages, safe working conditions, and community development for workers in developing countries.
OEKO-TEX Standard 100:
Certifies that textiles and fabrics are free from harmful substances.
Focuses on the sustainable and responsible use of resources in the textile industry, ensuring products meet stringent environmental and safety standards.
Cradle to Cradle (C2C):
Evaluates products for their environmental and social performance throughout their life cycle, with the goal of being regenerative.
An international standard for environmental management systems, helping organizations minimize their environmental impact.
Ensures adherence to social accountability standards, covering labor practices, health, and safety.
To boost and enhance the idea of sustainable clothing, both education and collaboration are crucial. Brands, government bodies, and NGOs need to come together and create educational programs and campaigns highlighting the social as well as environmental impacts of fast fashion. Sustainable clothing is a necessary shift in the fashion industry and with the popularity of sustainable fashion rising, fashion brands and platforms need to deploy the same on a larger scale. Are you looking for the sustainable clothing, check out our latest collections and take advantage of our current offers.