Sustainability Pulse #9

Sustainability Trends & News Worth Exploring — October 4

Pablo Mendez operates a sewing machine in 2017. SB 62, just signed into law, seeks to improve wages for garment workers. (Claire Hannah Collins / Los Angeles Times)

Gov. Newsom signs bill expanding protections for garment workers.

Pablo Mendez operates a sewing machine in 2017. SB 62, just signed into law, seeks to improve wages for garment workers..

(Claire Hannah Collins / Los Angeles Times)

Garment workers in California will be paid an hourly rate and receive other new protections under a law Gov. Gavin Newsom signed Monday afternoon.

SB 62, which faced heavy opposition from fashion brands and trade groups, aims to overhaul a pay model for garment workers that has led to subminimum wages in the industry. The law will expand liability for fashion brands that have largely been able to avoid responsibility for rampant wage theft by their suppliers.

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The New Fashion Consumer

How are people's fashion behaviours and preferences changing?

Greta Thunberg, the Swedish activist and campaigner, was recently chosen to be the first ever cover girl for newly launched Vogue Scandinavia which claims to be ‘the most sustainable publication in the world.’

The fashion magazine uses plastic-free packaging and plants two trees for every one that is cut down to create the printed issues. (They prefer readers to download digital versions). For them, and many others, 18-year-old Greta perfectly encapsulates the new generation of environmentally aware fashionistas. Wearing an oversized pink trench coat, Greta took aim at the fashion industry for its ‘huge’ contribution to climate change, which is the second most polluting industry in the world, according to the UN. Like many of her contemporaries, she rejected fast fashion in favour of recycling and vintage, pointing out that she hasn’t bought an item of clothing for three years and that was ‘second hand.’

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Conscious Fashion Campaign Rolls Out Next Phase With Billboard

Organizers of the Conscious Fashion Campaign launched its next phase with the seven-story-high Nasdaq billboard in Times Square touting the message: “Are you a woman social entrepreneur transforming fashion for people and the planet? This billboard belongs to you.”

The goal of this phase is “to amplify the visibility of women social entrepreneurs transforming the fashion industry,” the organization said of the campaign, adding that it is being done in collaboration with the United Nations Office for Partnerships and the PVBLIC Foundation.

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Global Sustainable Clothing Market 2021-2026: Cruelty-Free Leather to Exhibit Highest Growth Rate

COVID-19 Outbreak Significantly Impacted the Global Sustainable Clothing Market

  • Last year, the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic shutdowns generated unprecedented challenges for the clothing industry, including reduced consumer spending & disrupted supply chains.

  • The pandemic affected the Global Sustainable Clothing Market, mainly due to international trade restrictions, disruptions in supply chain & logistics, order cancellations, and suddenly diminishing demand.

  • However, the growing environmental awareness encouraging many consumers to switch to more sustainable & greener clothing choices shall positively impact the fashion sector.

  • Moreover, sustainability is the new trend & more consumers are demanding it. For instance, according to a story posted on the UN's Environment Program website in June, the designer Nimco Adam, 'Queen of Tie-Dye,' realized during the pandemic that chemical dyes had severely impacted her health & the environment. It made her decide to make sustainability a part of her work ethic & life.

  • Similarly, this awareness has influenced many consumers & businesses to opt for sustainable lifestyles.

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Sustainable fashion: From the red carpet to our wardrobes?

It's been a big few weeks for showbiz award ceremonies - and for many, the fashion glitz of the red carpet, from the Met Gala to the Emmys, is a huge part of the fun.

But increasingly it's the question of sustainability, not just designer labels, that's making the biggest fashion statement.

Just ask Northern Irish singer and presenter Hannah Peel, who turned heads at this month's Mercury Prize ceremony in an eco-friendly rainbow dress - based on the Pantone colour chart.

Peel told the BBC's Chi Chi Izundu that its designer Kitty Joseph made her outfit from eucalyptus trees, grown and harvested in the world's driest regions.

"There's no chemicals, it uses 90% less water than it would if it was another material. And it's got a beautiful flow to it," she said.

This year's London Fashion Week, which has just finished, has made "circularity" its buzzword. This concept is all about "designing out" waste, ensuring clothing can be remade again and again.

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