Fast fashion, disposable fashion, is the sector that contributes most to environmental pollution produced by the textile industry, one of the most impacting for energy consumption and natural resources. A frenetic market, which thrives on the constant proposal of new items at low cost and which in 2019 reached a turnover of 35.8 billion dollars.
A foregone success given that low cost clothing brings clothes that follow high fashion models and follow the trends of the moment directly from the catwalk to the wardrobe of each of us. But with what consequences? Poorly controlled and unsustainable production processes, the massive use of low quality synthetic fiber fabrics, high energy consumption and a high number of waste released into nature, due to the excessive and not very responsible use of clothes made to be used “no more than a season”.
Fast Fashion vs Green style: what future?
According to McKinsey’s analysis, more than 100 billion items of clothing are produced worldwide each year due to the variability of the fashion industry, while over 92 million tons of discarded clothing end up in landfills. Add to this that 35% of the microplastic pollution present in our seas is caused by washing synthetic fabrics, most of which are produced by low-cost brands.
From the 90s to today, the fast fashion market has constantly grown, chasing the moods and limited economic possibilities of a young audience and commercial policies that are not very attentive to the protection of our planet. But perhaps we are facing an epochal turning point.
On one hand, as reported by The State of Fashion 2020 study, there is a greater attention of small and large brands to the use of green and eco-sustainable fabrics accompanied by corporate positions more attentive to the environment in the production, commercial and social. Choices against the trend compared to a few decades ago, even among the youngest – or the so-called Generation Z – for which mobilizations against climate change and the exploitation of natural resources have become a real style-of-life and an ethical choice.
On the other hand, the consequences of the economic crisis triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic are beginning to be felt, which according to the Fast fashion Global Market Report 2020, should lead to a loss of over 4 billion dollars in the hit-and-run fashion sector. in the current year. A fact that can be read in two ways: as a global economic problem for the textile sector or as an opportunity to try all together to finally adopt a slower approach that starts from the importance of using garments made to last more and to have a milder impact on the environment around us.
Conscious choices for sustainable fashion
Changing the way we choose what we wear is certainly the first step to embrace a more responsible style. How are the garments we use produced? What materials are they made of?
Synthetic fibers are considered among the major culprits of environmental pollution caused by the textile industry, both for the raw materials and the manufacturing processes with which they are produced and for the difficulty of being disposed of quickly. Synthetic fabrics, however, in addition to being the first choice for many garments created to be sold at low cost, can offer greater performance than those produced with organic fibers. For this reason, they are among the favorites for the production of technical and sports clothing.
But not all fabrics made with man-made fibers are the same, in terms of characteristics and quality. To make a sustainable choice without sacrificing the performance for which we choose our clothes, just know that there are synthetic textiles that degrade faster than traditional ones, based for example on the use of organic synthetic fibers that do not contain toxic components for humans. It’s the nature.
If we learn to also buy high quality synthetic textiles, the impact that our clothes can have on the environment and our health is significantly reduced. We think of garments produced with solutions that combine high-tech synthetic yarns with the high quality of natural fibers capable of ensuring comfort and high technical properties for fabrics intended for particular environmental conditions or for sports activities.
Finally, by marrying a Circular Economy model, we can rely on all those brands that use regenerated or completely recycled synthetic fibers for the production of their textiles. In this way, any fabric can be reused and transformed into a new product preventing it from becoming a waste, allowing it to continue to create value, both within the textile supply chain and for the consumer himself. All this with less waste of raw materials, energy and non-renewable resources, such as oil.
Where to start, then?
High-tech materials, social responsibility and attention to the environment are some of the keywords of the Greenperforming philosophy and of the brands that have decided to promote the approach by following the production mood.
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