Sustainability has emerged as an important measure to combat climate change. But, with its entrance into sectors like fashion, the effects are, hopefully, much more far-reaching.
Sustainability within fashion
Climate change’s widespread effect has changed attitudes. With individuals willing to tread with caution in their lives, there has been a natural shift in consumer attitude towards more eco-friendly products. Sustainable products have long existed in the market however, their presence has been largely ignored.
With the recent change in consumer attitude, these products are set to explode in market value. One of these prevalent sectors is that of fashion. Sustainable fashion is a way of creating garments with brands focusing on not only the material of their clothing but also the working conditions of their workers.
This business promises to promote a healthy work environment within society. Although sustainable fashion seeks to reduce the carbon footprint in the environment it is important to remember that these businesses dwell in a capitalist market. Thus, there is a need for businesses to help turn the notion of sustainability into profit maximization.
The importance of sustainable fashion
The fashion industry is highly damaging to the earth’s environment, losing out to only the oil industry. The fashion Industry is responsible for 20% of global industrial water pollution. Another important aspect is that clothes are made from plastic. This not only reduces their degradation rate, but it also adds fire to the ongoing microplastic disaster.
To better understand the notion of sustainable fashion let us take an example. Stella McCartney was one of the first companies to offer sustainable solutions to its clientele. The company uses products like ethically sourced wool, recycled textiles, and organic cotton. On top of this, Stella McCartney only works with eco-friendly suppliers.
Fashion companies wanting to divulge in the world of sustainability can take examples from such brands and design their route accordingly. For sustainability to work, early-stage economic sacrifices need to be made to ensure an efficient supply chain. Once a company gets that in place, profits should roll in, in no time.
Managing sustainability with profitability
Due to the growing demand of sustainable products, raw materials have gotten cheaper. However, they are not as profit yielding as their counterparts. For sustainability to thrive in any industry there needs to be a high demand within consumers for the product. Consumer participation is needed to derive any sort of profit from the industry however, this is a double-edged sword.
Since the supply of sustainable products is low in the market, the prices of these products tend to skyrocket. This makes sustainable products a market for the upper or upper middle-class, leaving most consumers living under the ambit of being either middle or lower-middle class.
For industries like sustainable fashion to really work its magic, a balance of the supply-demand curve is necessary so that the industry can house consumers ranging from varying economic backgrounds. Governments could provide subsidies to companies willing to invest in sustainability. This can ensure an economic boom and increased participation in the industry.