How Can Sustainable Fashion Be Possible?

General | 19 min Read

Fashion never falls off the agenda, good or bad.

The environmental and social damage caused by the fashion industry is enormous. We have fundamental problems that worsen global warming that we have not yet resolved, such as rates of natural resource use, pollution, and waste levels.

As the climate crisis deepens, the unsustainability of fast fashion comes to the forefront once again.

The industry alone is responsible for 8% of total greenhouse gas emissions and contributes to 35% of all ocean microplastic pollution. 

Consumers are asking brands for sustainable fashion in a circular economy practice, while brands are making sustainability commitments, setting climate targets, and pledging to minimize their environmental impact. 

Fashion changes almost every day. As a result, consumers quickly get bored of clothes and throw them away. It can almost be said that it is produced and consumed at the same time.

circular fashion

How much waste does the fashion industry generate?

  • Fashion Revolution says the number of garments produced annually has doubled since 2000. It is also noted that textile waste will increase by approximately 60% between 2015 and 2030, and an annual total of 148 million tons will be generated with 57 million tons of additional waste annually.
  • According to the “Five of Us” analysis, a pile of clothes the height of the Eiffel Tower is sent to a landfill every 16 seconds.
  • Europe’s excessive consumption of clothing, footwear, and home textiles uses 675 million tonnes of raw materials each year.
  • About 30% of the clothes produced each season are not sold. The average piece of clothing is now worn 36% less than it was 15 years ago.

Social Effects of Fast Fashion

The fast-fashion sector also raises the issue of modern slavery and child labor.

  • The 2018 report from the Global Slavery Index states that $127.7 billion worth of garments is imported annually by G20 countries, which is a group of nations that account for 80 percent of world trade. Worldwide, these imports resulted in 40.3 million people being trapped in modern slavery in 2016, of whom 71 percent were women.
  • Ghana, for example, has women on their heads carrying 120-pound bales of clothing, many donated by people in the Global North. An insufficient fee of 30 cents to $1 per trip is paid to transport the bales to stalls, storage, and disposal areas. These people live within a few meters of clothing dumps, nearly tripling during the pandemic as more and more second-hand clothes, plastic packaging, and e-waste come to landfills every day. People here are struggling with air and water pollution as well as poverty.
  • Kantamanto is the world’s largest resale and recycling economy, successfully circulating at least 25 million garments each month. Unfortunately, this country is working on “solutions” for the profit of foreign companies. 

In addition, it is possible to see the serious effects of the waste crisis, which fashion is responsible for, on human health.

sustainable fashion

Cost of Raw Material to Nature

Cotton is a plant that requires more irrigation and uses pesticides and chemicals in its production.

Cotton production is responsible for 22.5% of pesticides consumed in the world. 2.6% of the world’s clean water is used to produce cotton.

85% of the daily water requirement of India’s entire population is equal to the water used to grow cotton in the country. Yet 100 million people in India do not have access to drinking water. 

Therefore, there is a need for more environmentally friendly and sustainable material production.

circular fashion software

Can circular economy redesign the fashion industry?

The fashion industry has had to look for sustainable materials with the increasing awareness of consumers. 

Focusing on the questions “Can fashion be ethical and sustainable?” and “What can be the benefits of sustainable fabrics?”, several initiatives are taking serious steps in this regard.

  • Brazil-based Nova Kaeru produced leather from discarded scales of the giant pirarucu fish and the tropical “elephant ear” plant.
  • Bananatex has produced bags, T-shirts, and a range of shoes using leaves from banana trees in the Philippines.
  • UK-based Ananas Anam Ltd turns pineapple leaves into a leather weave called Piñatex.
  • Orange Fiber s.r.l. extracts cellulose from the peels of squeezed oranges and turns it into a silk-like material.
  • Spanish firm PYRATEX® offers many options, from recycling waste from corn and sugarcane production to fiber production from Icelandic seaweed, Chinese bamboo, or Austrian wood.

We should demand sustainable products from brands, and we can contribute to the environment individually with a few changes we make in our lives.

What can you do to adapt to circular fashion and reduce waste in the industry?

“When was the last time I wore it?” The question is the first and most important question you should ask yourself first. The answer will certainly help determine if the garment has served its purpose and what should stay and what should go.

  • Donate what you don’t use to a local charity.
  • Know whether the brands you buy are doing ethical work.
  • Live according to the 5Rs of fashion. (Recycle, Re-wear, Repair, Re-sell, Reduce).
  • Consider renting clothes and participating in clothes swaps.
  • Changing your clothes with a friend every few months gives your old clothes a sense of novelty while encouraging people around you to reduce and reuse them.

It is possible to achieve a more environmentally friendly life by following the sustainability trends in the fashion industry. Nowadays, national and international institutions are actively working towards making sustainable products the norm.

sustainable fashion design

What precautions are taken for Fast Fashion?

Businesses and governments need to work together to successfully reorient the fashion industry toward sustainability because an average person’s clothing requirements need 9 cubic meters of water, 400square meters of land, and create a 270kg carbon footprint. So:

  • Sustainably produced textiles in order to normalize fast fashion consumption are the focus of the Circular Economy Action Plan prepared by the EU. All clothing sold in Europe will need to be noticeably longer lasting and easier to repair.
  • The European Environment Agency states that the use of clothing accounts for the region’s 4th largest climate impact.
  • New York, one of the fashion capitals of the world, announced the Fashion Sustainability and Social Responsibility Act last January as it wanted fashion companies to do more about the climate crisis.
  • EarthDay.org’s Fashion for the Earth ambassadors set sustainable examples for the industry.
  • The Fashion Impact Fund leads high-level sustainability and equity programs. Maxine Bédat, author of Unraveled: The Life and Death of a Garment, founded the New Standard Institute to facilitate industry accountability with data. 

So, what is Evreka’s solution to fast fashion waste?

With sustainable waste management solutions, Evreka takes a closer look at the circular economy and waste in the fashion industry and produces solutions in this regard.

If you are one of those who ask yourself the question “What does zero waste in fashion mean”, Evreka has studied in this direction. Let’s look at our most effective solutions for circular fashion.

Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR)

Evreka’s integrated EPR solution provides an end-to-end chain of custody. Thanks to Evreka’s end-to-end integrated EPR solution: 

  • Managers can cover every detail with real-time digital auditing and reporting.
  • All stakeholders, especially PROs and companies, are fed from the same information source and can instantly extract the necessary data.
  • As Evreka, we handle every detail from collection points to recycling facilities, thanks to the seamless integration of digital and state-of-the-art waste management modules.

You can also check our circular economy solutions.

circular economy transition and sustainable waste management

Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) Management

In addition to this, MRF Management, one of the most striking solutions of Evreka’s product range, will facilitate the difficult recycling process of fashion wastes for you. With this solution, it is now easy to optimize the recycling production line with full control!

  • Monitor and manage every step of your operations
  • Track your inventory
  • Track your expenses to increase your profits.

Thanks to our MRF Management system, you become more efficient by reducing the total management time you spend.

In short, we offer the most efficient circular fashion software service. Sustainable waste management solutions are the foundation of a circular and greener economy. Evreka is already ready to be a part of the solution with sustainable cloud technology and IoT algorithms.

Evreka develops all software and hardware products in line with its vision for a sustainable future. Contact us to be a part of the solution!

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