Sustainable Fashion

Published 18th December 2018

The word sustainable can be interpreted in many ways, especially in the case of sustainable fashion. Some consumers see sustainability as pollution free and limited chemical used in production, where the focus is on environmental impact. Whereas, others relate sustainability to social compliance with fair rights for workers and emphasis on good labour practice.

Fast fashion continues to grow. However, so are the number of brands and retailers creating sustainable strategies. Often these sustainable strategies come with the label of eco-friendly; some products are derived from reusing waste materials such as plastics found in our oceans and others can also feature biodegradable materials from natural sources, such as Bamboo and Cotton.

Is circularity a cure for fast fashion? The fast fashion industry is linear, with a product typically being produced with limited thought on its end of life. Being able to recycle a used piece of clothing and create an entire new garment or using materials which can biodegrade is the basis behind circularity. Both reusing materials and producing new biodegradable materials would reduce the amount of waste being produced. However, whilst these tasks are easy to suggest, in reality they can be difficult to achieve.

Additionally, there is an ever-growing pressure for sustainable fashion from consumers, with Generation Z having high expectations on brands and retailers to provide more environmentally friendly products. In contrast, consumers within the age group of Generation Z tend to be more image driven than previous generations and studies have shown that as consumers, they are often replacing clothes more frequently than there intended life. Thereby creating a generation of consumers with misaligned values; the want for fast fashion from sustainable sources, presents an evolving challenge for brands and retailers.

Chem-MAP® can help in identifying if your products are sustainable

The b-MAP programme created by Chem-MAP®, is a specially designed programme to support brands and retailers with implementing responsible chemical management in their materials supply chains for leather, textile and synthetic leather products. b-MAP also helps brands and retailers work towards ZDHC goals and objectives as well as achieve ‘Associate Brand and Retailer’ status, which is awarded upon successful completion of the b-MAP Programme.

Through joining the b-map programme your brand and retailer can clearly define the supply chain, conduct testing and have site audits in order to develop strategies helped by the Chem-MAP® team, in order to meet the ongoing demanding needs of the sustainable fashions and fast fashion market place.

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