Right now, we are trying to outpace pollution, and it has become a furious race to the finish line. The combined effort of humankind to battle climate change should be seen reflected in alternative practices across all possible industries. With that in mind, certain fashion brands are doing everything in their power to make a switch to renewable material sources.
Still, the situation within this branch of industry is not exactly ideal, due to the mass production and competitive markets from every corner of the globe. The materials used and the byproducts of production are still polluting our environments and oceans due to two factors trapped in a vicious circle: overproduction and overconsumption.
How Do Overproduction & Overconsumption Affect Our Planet?
Since we have brushed against the topic of polluted oceans, we should address one of the key issues – ghost nets. While it is true that ghost nets typically begin their ‘life cycle’ with lost fishing nets that float away into the horizon, the crux of the issue appears as they begin to collect floating waste – and this includes pieces of clothing and plastic objects.
Subsequently, ghost nets tend to become terrifying garbage islands that move along the ocean currents and destroy marine life. Around 60% of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch consists of lost fishing gear! These terrifying monsters of the oceans are a horrific reflection of where overproduction and overconsumption lead us.
The time to act is NOW
Believe it or not, a substantial amount of the material lost in those ghost nets can be recycled and reused in the fashion industry. If the giants of clothing and accessory industry go out of their way to implement comprehensive green strategies and, of course, technology, the fashion industry will not only turn a good profit and produce just as many goods as the market demands but also contribute to the betterment of the global ecosystem and mankind. A staggering amount of material in these ghost nets is still salvageable, especially nylon which is a staple of the fashion industry.
However, it has to be noted that every facet of the fashion world needs to embrace the change for this endeavor to work. It is not merely enough to alter the methods of production; marketing, promotion, and events need to follow suit. The fashion industry needs to promote green thinking as the ultimate virtue. For this, we require outspoken representatives of fashion with social clout to advocate for changes.
Things we can do
Luckily, numerous brands around the world are already raising awareness about this pressing issue. One of these brands is Rockay, which is renowned for high-quality athletic socks fashioned out of recycled materials. They offer an excellent blueprint of the fusion between sustainable production and tasteful promotion, so other brands can follow their example. Below you can see the visual representation of Rockay’s mission and execution as an example to all of us.
One of the known issues in the garment industry is the reliance on cotton. Even though nylon is quite prominent, cotton is the most ubiquitous material in the industry. Cotton comes from a crop that wastes water and pesticides are overwhelmingly utilized in its production.
By switching to sustainable materials and fibers from fruits, such as banana silk and pineapple, we will not only create a more sustainable environment but also produce clothes that are healthier for those that wear them. Furthermore, the professionals in the field are working on harnessing ‘fruit leather’ as an alternative to cattle variants, and fermented yeast for the same purpose.
Of course, certain goods will never go out of fashion with some people. For example, in the green future accessories made from genuine leather and fur may still be part of the market, but they will likely become rarified and, most crucially, extremely pricey.
These days, sustainable fashion is an umbrella term for any practice that promotes eco-friendly clothing production, without sacrificing the quality of the craft and, of course, the health of the individuals. Sustainable material needs to be well processed and medically approved for contact with skin.
Consider that certain facets of the fashion industry were ostracized only decades ago for promoting greener behaviour. It was thought that valuing these things necessarily meant a reduction in quality. In light of this, it is encouraging how embraced and celebrated these same practices now are, and how accepted the eco-friendly line of thinking has become.
About the Author
Vedrana Damjanovic is the Editor at Rockay, a premium running apparel brand. She's a communications enthusiast who loves to help people and businesses tell their story. Vedrana's skilled in journalism, project coordination, content marketing, interviewing, and magazine articles. In her free time, she likes to run, read books, explore new places and cultures.