sustainable fashion 2016: who, what, where, when, why?
2015 was an outstanding year for sustainable fashion. With the release of The True Cost: Documentary Film putting the fashion industry under a magnifying glass. It started the growing conversation about the impact the fashion industry has on the environment and people all over the world.
We should say thank you to 2015, for educating the world. We now have a slightly better understanding of the issues surrounding ethics and sustainability in the fashion industry. The groundwork of awareness has been laid, we have a stable platform for 2016 to start new projects and collaborations in all areas.
Do you remember the day's when you would put money aside to save for the things you wanted, that pair of shoes, that winter jacket? It was an investment, right? I believe 2016 will be the year where we will take fashion back to what it should have always been: good quality clothes made with passion and love. Sustainability is a journey that requires time, persistence and a transparent motive. The results are often not immediately visible, but 2016 is the time to begin building better alternatives, create more captivating stories and educate a wider group of people.
Who in 2016?
The sustainable fashion industry is small and diverse. It is populated with a new generation of fashion designers who are putting ethics at the heart of everything they do. Each designer with their own unique voice and character, each picking a couple of battles with sustainability and creating beautiful clothes that make women (and men
) feel great in their bodies. 2016 will see more designers measuring their success on the quality and durability of their clothes and reducing their impact on people and planet. "Really beautiful design can never be made at the cost of people or the planet
" Sass Brown, Author: ECO Fashion
Here are some of my personal favourite designers to watch in 2016: Lois Hazel Livia Arena No Worries Eva Cassis Bhalo
What in 2016?
So, what emerging technology and trends will we see in 2016 that will benefit the sustainable fashion industry? Fiber recycling, a hot topic on every sustainable fashion designers lips. Everyone is hoping for an operable fabric that is suitable for mass-market apparel. Will 2016 be the year we find out which recycled-fiber producer will be the first to offer this technology? If technologies continue to develop, it will enable us to capture wasted resources before they hit landfills. This could be the year we see textile-waste decline, and everyone can be apart of it. Tip: Follow Evernu and Bolt Threads to see what great technology they are developing. Clothes swapping, we'll see a rise in swapping, sharing and repairing clothing. Finding new homes for second-hand goods prevents them from hitting landfills. Pre-loved items have already served their function so any extended use is recycling. The education of the everyday consumer is a huge task for people in the sustainable fashion industry. Currently vague terms like "transparent," "ethical," and "sustainable" need to be explained further and used in everyday language. As a result, consumers will be empowered to make more informed choices, which will push the industry forward. A huge win for the industry is the new mobile app, Good on you. Good On You gives you the power to make a difference every time you shop.
Where in 2016?
Products will be manufactured closer to their final destination. If something is manufactured locally there is a greater chance it is socially responsible and meets Australian standards. You also minimise the carbon footprint because the item has not travelled the globe. Nothing is 100% sustainable, but you can just try to do the best you can, with the tools and knowledge that you have. Collaborations with local independent designers keeps skills local, and I think it encourages fine art, and that makes the world a happier place.
When in 2016?
Here are a few fashion and sustainable event's coming up in 2016, in Australia and beyond: Ethical Fashion Show, Berlin - January 19-20 Ecochic Design Awards, Hong Kong - January 20 Sustainable Living Festival, Australia - 6-28 February The Dress Collective Runway, Melbourne Australia - 13 February Melbourne Fashion Festival, Australia - 7-13 March STYLE Runway Australia, Melbourne - 19-20 March Ecofashion Week #efw, Vancouver - 9-14 April Fashion Revolution Day #whomademyclothes?, Global - 24 April Sustainatopia, San Fransisco - 1-4 May Copenhagen Fashion Summit, Copenhagen Denmark - 10-12 May Mercedes benz Fashion Week, Sydney Australia - 15-21 May SXSWeco, Texas USA - 10-12 October Fash Fest, Canberra Australia - Dates coming soon Undress Runways - Brisbane, 8 October (Dates for other cities coming soon)
Why in 2016?
To summarise, based on all the topics discussed in this blog, there is an incredible opportunity in 2016 to build awareness, engage more, and keep pushing for a dramatic change in how we make clothes and how consumers manage the aftercare. However, everything we do, all this hard work, won't matter until we can loosen the consumers’ grip on "fast fashion" and get them to think about fashion as an investment. We fix our iPhone's, take our cars for a service, and repair furniture. So, why not our clothes? 2016 is the year we put all of this into practice. So, why in 2016? Because it's about time.
Tell me, what are your sustainable fashion predictions for 2016? I would love to hear them and discuss, just comment below.