Image courtesy of African Fashion Fund. Kenneth Ize's collection.
As consumers demand more and more change, the fashion world is finally responding: stars like Meghan Markle are leading the way in clothing choices and designers looking to disrupt the waste model. In brighter news, however, it should be noted that the negative impact of the garment industry led to the birth of a slow fashion movement that led to the emergence of many clothing brands such as Goodwear, that make clothes using sustainable fabrics and do their best to save the environment.
Designer labels always seem capable of making huge fashion statements, but the most important thing may be how and where your clothes are made. And this is important because, according to one UN agency, the fashion world produces about 20% of the world's waste and about 10% of global carbon emissions. Furthermore, the fashion industry is expected to triple its resource consumption in line with current trends by 2050.
Currently, less than 1% of clothing is recycled into new clothes, and only 20% of the fabrics are recycled, and the rest goes to landfills or incinerated. As a result, we buy more clothes than ever before, wear them less often, repair more minor and throw them away faster.
But as consumers, the changes we all make to our behaviour can add up and drive industry change.
Some fashion innovators are seriously considering the role of industry in pollution and climate change. Zady is one of these emerging sustainable fashion brands and a leader in the slow fashion movement, which creates online resources for consumers to understand how their clothing choices can significantly impact the environment. Maxine Bedat, CEO and co-founder of Zady, described the role of consumers in sustainable fashion choices and the changes the industry can make to achieve new sustainable development goals.
Sustainable and ethical clothing is about making clothes and accessories from natural materials and even from waste (provided they are recyclable) such as plastic bottles or paper and wearing them longer. The future of sustainable textiles depends mainly on its ability to reduce resources such as land, water and oil and reuse and recycle products to minimize waste. If we want to encourage more sustainable garments in the fashion industry, we need to show that we have concerns with what we buy.
This is one of the main reasons we have created NYC Sustainable Fashion, to offer a platform for ethical fashion to be (re) discovered by consumers.
Our fashion shows are non-profit, open to everyone producing clothing and accessories and/or accessed in an ecologically and socially responsible manner.
If you're a designer reading this, or you know someone who should be part of our community, our Designer Application is now open for NYFW 2022!