Framing sustainable fashion: need of the hour


Sustainable fashion is becoming popular in India.  

The clothing and textile industry contributes 2.4 trillion dollars to global manufacturing. 300 million people depend on it for livelihood.  

Therefore, it is significant to keep a check on the economic, political, and environmental impact of the fashion industry.  

It contributes about 8% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. This industry consumes around 215 trillion liters of water every year. Underutilization of materials worth 100 billion us dollars is another peril. Textiles are responsible for 9% of annual microplastic losses to the ocean.  

Hence, the concept of sustainable fashion is being talked about everywhere. At this time, we cannot ignore the ambiguity associated with questions like: ‘Define fashion.’, ‘What is sustainable fashion?’, etc.  

Fast fashion is the present trend. People look for trendy clothes and accessories at a cheaper rate. This has shifted manufacturing to developing countries where cheap labor is available. After a particular season, these things become out of fashion and disappear in the public.    

The fact that cheap brands exploit laborers, overuse natural sources, and leave a lot of materials into the garbage are overlooked by the customers. This unawareness of the danger behind the current fashion life is a threat to the future.  

Several brands have come forward for promoting sustainable fashion. Indian Terrain and Fairtrade India has partnered in 2020 for this purpose. Madame launched its Eco-Aware collection in April 2021. In August 2021, Ethik released the ‘Live Leather Free’ campaign to raise awareness about sustainable fashion. Tata’s brand- Taneira launched an ethnic collection of sarees inspired by heritage and nature, collecting natural materials from places across India.  

Woodland-made t-shirts recycled from plastic bottles processed into fibers. A range of eco-friendly fabrics called- ‘Ecovera’ was launched by Raymond in association with Reliance was released in 2020.  

Over the past few years, many new sustainable brands arose giving us more hope.  

But the problem of the cost of sustainability hovers in the industry. In 2020, The Business Research Company reported that the fashion market will grow from $6.35 billion in 2019 to $8.25 billion in 2023 at a CAGR of 6.8%.  

Fashion has to blend efficiency and sustainability to meet the goals of 2030. We cannot ignore the economic, political, and cultural realms of fashion. Mass awareness programs might help. 

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