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

Adidas and Nike, Two Rivals on Sustainability: Who Wins?

Emilia Sharpes by Emilia Sharpes

In a world saturated with big-name brands,  Adidas and Nike are two sportswear giants that have found success in the apparel sector. Inevitably, they are rivals and it would be hard to find someone who does not own a single item from either brand. But in terms of sustainability, which one is best? The Impakter Index enables us to answer that question. But first, it helps to understand what are the issues they, or for that matter, other brands seeking to become sustainable, are facing in an industry where “fast fashion” has become a key phrase and a … 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

Six simple ways to fill your wardrobe with sustainable clothing

Sarah Lees, University of South Wales

The environmental impact of fashion waste is overwhelming. Every year the UK alone sends 350,000 tonnes of clothing to landfills. And as the majority of garments are made from oil-based materials like polyester – 22.67 billion tonnes of polyester clothing is produced every year worldwide – they aren’t going anywhere fast. Oil doesn’t decompose, and if burned the material will release harmful chemicals into the atmosphere. There are also problems associated with trimmings such as buttons, zips, studs, and interfacing or lining. When buried with other waste in landfills, the combination of metal … Read the rest

Normcore: when being ordinary becomes a fashion statement

Josephine Collins, University of the Arts London

Putting together words like normal and fashion feels like a contradiction, but that’s exactly what Gap is doing with its autumn/winter 2014 advertising campaign, called Dress Normal. It makes a virtue out of the normality of its clothes and proposes that individualism comes from authenticity, not flashiness.

Gap is following the flurry of media discussion about “normcore”, a term coined by a New York-based trend forecaster K-Hole that has been present since last spring and early summer. Normcore elevates ordinary clothing – basic jeans, T-shirts and trainers, for example – … Read the rest