This year is shaping up to be a fabulous one for eco-friendly fashion. Social media continues to shed light on the wasteful and polluting aspects of the fashion industry, and the recent report by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has mercifully scared enough people to the point that climate change is now a trending topic in mainstream media outlets.
The report states that we have just 12 years to reduce greenhouse gases enough to keep global warming to a maximum of 1.5°C (34.7°F) or irreversible, catastrophic events will occur, including floods, droughts, and extreme heat that will impact hundreds of millions of people. The costs from our inability to act are already taking financial tolls on both wealthy and impoverished people.
In fact, Harvard University’s NiemanLab, which helps journalists stay on top changing media trends, has dubbed 2019 the “Year of the Climate Reporter.”
What does this mean for fashion?
Climate change is going to impact every sector of our economy and our lifestyles, and in many ways, it already has.
The decisions that designers and consumers make now will dictate whether the fashion industry is a scourge to our planet or a part of the solution.
According to the online art and design site AnOther, the ethical and eco-friendly clothing market grew by nearly 20% last year, notably because millennials don’t want to buy clothing that has a negative impact on the environment.
UN Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action
Another groundbreaking development that started last year promises to boost the eco-fashion movement even more. Stakeholders in the fashion industry cooperated to create the Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action under the auspices of UN Climate Change.
The charter identifies ways in which the textile, clothing, and fashion industries can work together on holistic commitments to fight climate change. And it goes beyond previous commitments with a goal of reaching an industry-wide 30% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, and net-zero emissions by 2050.
Here’s a video that talks about the Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action:
Vegan Fashion Takes the Lead
Sustainable and vegan fashion are two branches of the same tree, and the rise of veganism and vegan fashion, including vegan shoes and accessories, is helping to infuse more sustainable practices into the fashion industry.
Because animal agriculture is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, eating a plantbased diet is one of the easiest ways we can personally fight climate change.
Many vegans considered themselves to be environmentalists, so vegan consumerism is extending well beyond eating organic and non-GMO food to wearing ethical and eco-friendly clothing, as well as choosing organic and vegan personal care and homeware items.
Vegan Designers Who Believe in Sustainability
A new breed of vegan designers, like Will’s of London, are playing a big role in combining cruelty-free and sustainable business practices by infusing them into every aspect of their supply chains and operations.
Will’s creates a 100% vegan line of men’s and women’s shoes and boots. He also uses OEKO-TEX® certified vegan leather in his designs and runs a carbon-neutral supply chain. Furthermore, Will’s shoes and boots come in sustainable, eco-friendly packaging that can be recycled.
Recycled Fashion: Not Your Cousin’s Hand-Me-Downs
Other exciting development are happening with a rise of clothing rental services, such as Rent the Runway and the increased use of recycled materials in textiles.
And of course, cool vintage clothing pieces will never go out of style!