Environmental Issues In The Clothing Industry

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The fashion industry has accelerated to such an extent that the individuals involved are finding it hard both to keep up and to think up anything new. The demand for products, the instantaneous feed of imagery, the realisation that fashion is entertainment as well as physical things, with the public made more knowledgeable about the fashion system than ever before, has led to a constant cycle of want, which the fashion companies and the media feel needs to be continuously fed. A true fashion democracy has arrived. Due to the power of exposure on the internet, it has never been easier for people to get more into the fashion industry, as it has never been easier for brands to be able to reach a wider audience. Small designer companies are now…show more content…
A graphic illustration for this is the draining of the Aral sea in Uzbekistan over the last four decades, largely attributed to the irrigation needs of cotton growing (Black, 2008). All aspects of fabric production, both synthetic and natural, use a range of chemicals at some stage in the product cycle and their environmental impact is still a major concern, which only recently started to be tackled by the legislation, the chemical companies and textile manufactures themselves. Given this scenario of a polluting textile industry, more sustainable approaches have now become essential to survival and need to consider the whole life cycle. Eco-fashion must aspire to be the norm, not the exception. The role of designers inherently has ethical and ecological implications, as it carries with crucial responsibilities for choices in materials and processes and is currently changing to embrace broader issues around sustainable technology and manufacturing. One of the most important decision a fashion designer has to make is what cloth to use in the collection (Montgomery,…show more content…
While the garments and accessories themselves do not look much different and ad campaigns are yet to enlighten these new developments, a shift is emerging in the business practices and the choices of textiles employed within the luxury market. A recent example of sustainable high fashion is the ‘Dionysus’ shoulder bag from Gucci, designed with polyurethane rather than PVC. However, the marketing does not highlight the switch and only the vaguest reference on the Gucci website notes that it is produced using an ‘earth-conscious process’ . If Gucci’s new green sensibility represents the changing philosophy of its parent company Kering and the luxury industry in general, including the LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the brand’s reluctance to make that shift evident highlights the unsettled relationship between the luxury business and eco-fashion. Robert Burke, founder of the New York retail consultancy says “Consumers look at luxury brands for exclusivity, quality and status. I’m not sure where sustainability fits in that pecking order” (Givhan,

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