Sustainable fashion aims to make green the new black

Employing more than 300 million people and producing 100 billion items every year, the fashion industry has a colossal impact on the environment. Driving this trend is so-called ‘fast-fashion’, an exploitative yet highly profitable business model that turns high-fashion designs into low-cost, mass-produced styles.

In the EU, textile consumption is the fourth highest pressure category in terms of the use of primary raw materials and water (after food, housing and transport). It’s also fifth for greenhouse gas emissions. Most of the pressure and impact are linked to clothing and footwear.

Because these garments are meant to be disposable, fast fashion encourages over-consumption … Read the rest

Do you shop for second-hand clothes? You’re likely to be more stylish

Louise Grimmer, University of Tasmania and Martin Grimmer, University of Tasmania

Not only is second-hand shopping good for the planet and your wallet, but our new research also finds the more style-conscious you are, the more likely you are to shop for second-hand clothes and accessories.

In the 2020-21 financial year, 72% of Australians purchased at least one item of second-hand clothes – but we wanted to know more about people who were shopping second-hand.

It is often assumed those who shop for second-hand clothes do so to save money or reduce their impact on the environment.

In … Read the rest

It may not be possible to slow down fast fashion – so can the industry ever be sustainable?

Mark Sumner, University of Leeds

The fashion industry has some major sustainability problems. By 2030, it is predicted that the industry’s water consumption will grow by 50% to 118 billion cubic metres, its carbon footprint will increase to 2,791m tonnes and the amount of waste it creates will hit 148m tonnes.

These predictions are in spite of significant progress being made by brands and retailers to minimise their impact. Many are using sustainable cotton initiatives to reduce water, energy and chemical use, new dyeing technology to reduce water consumption by up to 50% as well as numerous energy and … Read the rest