The younger and consumer-driven generation is already considered the most environmentally-conscious one yet. Mainly taking their thirst for knowledge into account, fashion brands are investing heavily in more creative methods alongside technology to deliver and encourage a more transparent and sustainable experience for consumers, in order to stay relevant.
Having said that one-third of Millennials are more likely to buy from and build a relationship with a brand which is mindful of social responsibilities. With this in mind we explore some innovative ways adopted by the fashion industry to succeed in the so-called green revolution:
Embracing the circular business model
It is a shocking fact that more than 21 billion pounds of clothing gets thrown away and ends up in landfills every year, and consumers are already aware of that.
However, the paradoxical nature of life always reminds us that every negative situation has a positive counterpart that comes with it. In fashion, this progressive side comes with the slowly but surely shift away from throwaway culture, and the promising trend of a circular commerce - repairing and reselling.
The renowned outdoor wear brand Patagonia is an inspiring example to illustrate such a business model. It has recently launched the Worn Wear initiative, which accepts their branded clothing back – as long as it still functions – to be repaired and resold. In exchange, Patagonia gives the contributor a generous credit that can be used in both their physical and online shops, as well as at WornWear.com.
The Aftercare Comeback
Fashion brands are also finding an opportunity in aftercare and product preservation to raise their sustainable bar while ethically improving post-purchase customer experience. According to the Stella McCartney’s Clevercare Initiative, laundry accounts for a quarter of the carbon footprint of clothing.
The young fashion brand Monki has also invested in a sustainability campaign called the Monki Cares initiative, which has its focus on easy and ethically-thought twists and adjustments, that its customers should consider when doing their laundry in order to help protect the environment. You can watch the playful videos on their social media platforms and official website, and take your first step towards a more sustainable lifestyle by following their tips.
Spoiler: You can even freeze-clean specific garments!
Another brilliant aftercare initiative is the fashionable laundrette-style pop-up by Hermès, or simply Hermèsmatic. Launched in four cities across the world last year, the pop-up allowed owners of Hermès’ statement silk scarves to have them reconditioned, dry cleaned and dyed while experiencing a luxurious, yet fun and unexpected environment.
Shop to your values
Aiming to conduct a real change in the way people shop for fashion, the Good On You app was launched in 2015 with a straightforward and purposeful slogan that shouts “Fashion Without Harm”.
The ethical, must-have app rates more than 1000 brands based on the impact that they have on people, animals, and environment, and not only deepens your knowledge regarding the biggest brands in the industry and their values, but it also introduces users to new and more ethical ones. Showing them the best deals from higher rated brands and giving them space to write to a brand about whether it needs to rethink their values.
Likewise, in the Good On You website, you can learn about how ethical materials and brands are through case studies, as well as keep yourself up-to-date with the newest ethical brands and valuable tips.
The Fashion Tech Lab by Miroslava Duma
Miroslava Duma is not only known for being an international street-style icon but also –and mainly– for being a tech entrepreneur with a strong commitment for the bridging of fashion and technology in order to powerfully bring sustainability into the industry.
The co-founder of Buro 24/7 and owner of a rapidly expanding digital media empire, Duma has now launched a new venture named Fashion Tech Lab (FTL), which aims to accelerate the fashion industry’s efforts to be more innovative and sustainable through funding schemes and experiments.
The new company has secured at least $50 million to invest in groundbreaking and environmental-conscious companies such as Orange Fibre a California-based start-up which is exploring ways to produce lab-grown leather. This is just the tip of the iceberg of FTL’s efforts with plenty more initiatives underway.