Sustainability comes from the word sustainable which is ‘sustain + able’, which means “to bear”, “to support”, and “to hold up”. It is the process of maintaining an ecological balance in the consumption of natural resources for the future of humankind.
When it comes to sustainability in fashion, things are quite complex and known to be toxic. The fashion industry is large and immensely powerful, and so is its impact on natural resources. Sustainable fashion is when the manufacturing, making, and execution are done in manners that are ecologically safe, which means the raw materials used and the process of making should not impact the environment negatively or deplete resources.
It is the need of the hour for consumers to buy clothes that are ethical and sustainable in their method of producing clothes. Buying local, making conscious choices regarding the fabric and brand ethic, is important. Shopping timeless pieces over micro trend styles, thrifting, and clothes swaps are certain ways to also practice sustainability. Sustainability is basically the usage and life of the clothing, which is supposed to be long-term and recyclable. It also means paying a fair share to the laborers and providing them with good working conditions, less usage of water, and is cruelty-free. There are various aspects to sustainable fashion and ample designers taking the hard road.
Image Credits: The Peak
The ‘Dress for Our Time’ project by Prof. Helen Storey is one interesting way fashion has been reinstated in this era. An amalgam of science and fashion, the project showcases a different outlook toward fashion and helps change perspectives in the right manner. Storey brought around a few collaborators and showcased a dress in various locations to emphasize the issue of climate change and sustainable fashion choices.
Image Credits: Vogue
A report on the UAL site on ‘Dress for Our Time’ describes, “The dress has traveled to various locations where it has digitally displayed scientific data, showing the impact of climate change on our physical world, broadening the dialogue around migration, and highlighting the millions of displaced people and the paths they take in search of a better life.
The first installation of the dress at St Pancras International train station on 26 November 2015 for four days, focused on mapping & predicting climate change. As the gateway to Paris – the host city for the United Nations Climate Change conference COP 21 – it was an opportunity for the delegates passing through the station to come face to face with the world’s first digital couture dress dedicated to exploring climate change and its human impact. The dress digitally displayed data that showed us the impact of climate change on our physical world in 3 stages and powerfully shared the impact on our planet, if we DON’T DO ENOUGH to mitigate it. The dress was developed in partnership with award-winning interactive creative agency Holition, and the data was taken from a study conducted by a team of global scientists and provided by the Met Office.”
Image Credits: HuffPost UK
Image Credits: dress4ourtime
The feature of a dress as such at events started the conversation and acknowledgment of the issues and need for sustainability in fashion. Similar projects have been showcased all over the world now that encourage and promote conscious fashion choices and fashion sustainability. And slowly and steadily, it's time that people are aware of the choices and the impact it has on the environment. Go Green can’t just be a slogan anymore, but a conscious choice for a better and healthier world.
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