Sustainability is no longer a trend. The clothing industry is one of the most polluting industries, severely impacting the planet. Hence, for any apparel brand to become sustainable, focussing on the concept of Circular Economy has become crucial. It means using regenerative materials that are reusable, recyclable, and biodegradable.
While one cannot undo the harm the clothing industry caused to the planet, it is never too late to introduce some positive changes. With sustainable fashion, you have plenty of room for innovation. But, before you take steps towards becoming a sustainable fashion brand, check the following steps below:
Understand the fashion system
To break the mould of the fashion industry, you must thoroughly understand the way of its operations. Without knowing the industry’s complexities, making your brand, a sustainable one can be difficult. Also, you could end up making some costly mistakes.
You can try different means to boost your knowledge and skills. This way, you will better understand how the Circular Economy framework fits your business and aligns with your practices.
Develop your sustainability policy
You must have a well-developed sustainability policy that directs your business operations. The two key elements you need to focus on as a brand are ethical means of production and the sourcing of sustainable materials.
For example, if you’re sourcing wool for your business, ensure it is produced and sourced ethically. When you use wool, your brand can easily develop circular products and be a part of the circular economy. Consciously using such natural and biodegradable materials reduces waste and pollution, and your environmental consciousness becomes integral to your sustainability policy.
Choose eco-friendly materials
To become a sustainable apparel brand, you must consciously use eco-friendly materials. It means whether you are selecting organic or recycled synthetic fibres, you must consider both the end of life of a product and the labour and energy involved in its production.
Common eco-friendly materials are certified organic cotton, pineapple leather, linen, wool, and bamboo. You can check the attributes of each of these materials and be well aware before using them.
You may also note that eco-friendly materials, including recycled and unused fabrics, are sometimes sourced from the waste stream. Further, you may also consider packaging to get everything right for your sustainable fashion brand.
Focus on design
Your approach towards sustainability starts with product design. The average product life is 2.2 years, and when you develop a product to be recycled and reused, the product life cycle increases enormously.
The design can also reduce the impact on the environment. And for that, you need to choose design techniques that reduce waste. Also, focus on increasing the functionality of clothes and prolonging their life cycle. Your design should also foster good consumer use like care, repair, recycling, and reuse.
Get associated with ethical manufacturers
Creating a sustainable business is not restricted to the choice of products. You need to work with manufacturers that make sustainability a priority. Ensure that the factories focus on the health and well-being of the workers. Also, look for manufacturers focusing on water, energy efficiency, and reduced chemical usage.
You must sign a code of conduct to ensure favourable working conditions and fair wages. Also, you can try new means to decrease waste or do something innovative from your material waste.
The apparel industry is undergoing a lot of transformation to develop eco-friendly products and reduce environmental harm. Many brands also run sustainability projects to produce cleaner manufacturing and better alternatives. Initially, different kinds of information on the newly introduced sustainable changes can be overwhelming, but you must keep pace with them to make better and improved choices for your business.