The sustainable fashion movement has really taken off in the last decade. Brands and consumers are becoming more conscious of what goes into their products and how they are made. But what makes fashion sustainable and can it actually be that? Let’s take a Deep Dive.
🤷 What is sustainable fashion? This is a complex question about a trend that has taken the world by storm, even though there’s still no universal definition for it. Is it using renewable or reclaimed materials to make clothing? Is it recycling and reselling clothes? Is it brands committing to net-zero carbon goals? Is it consumers buying less? Is it all this and more?
“While [sustainable fashion] is a big opportunity, and yes, it presents a huge challenge, what exactly is sustainable fashion? The inherent challenge is, as an industry, in order to continue growing, we are driving consumers to purchase more, to consume more. And as we drive more consumption, we’re actually growing the carbon footprint of the industry.”
Even as brands commit to creating products from recycled materials such as plastic bottles, there are other issues they aren’t addressing, including the problem of microplastics
THE FULL PICTURE
In addition to its contribution to climate change, the fashion industry also has a huge impact on biodiversity loss. According to McKinsey & Company, different stages of the industry’s value chain have varying effects, but much of the negative impact on biodiversity comes from the production, preparation and processing of materials used to make clothing.
McKinsey & Company
Sustainable Fashion Pioneer Christina Dean Is Running Out Of Patience
Gen.T honouree Christina Dean, the founder of Hong Kong-based NGO Redress, describes the progress of the fashion industry, the urgency surrounding its transformation and how many of its problems are in our hands
Lablaco, the startup that Kuo ShihYun founded, is using blockchain technology to make second-hand luxury clothes traceable and their market more transparent. It has embarked on pilot projects with companies such as The Lane Crawford Joyce Group and Alibaba. READ MORE
Liu Yuanyuan co-founded Melephant Sustainability Technology, which has developed sustainable dyes from organic waste that can be used to replenish soil when disposed of. For its sustainability efforts, the company was among three organisations to receive 2019 K Generation Awards from luxury fashion group Kering. READ MORE
FROM THE ARCHIVES
Did you miss our Deep Dive on The Future Of Retail? Read it here
ONE FINAL THING
Flee From The Fleece
If you need a new jacket and really have to buy one, don’t get one of Patagonia’s best-selling fleece jackets. That’s not advice from us, but from the outdoor apparel brand itself when it printed those words in an advertisement in The New York Times on Black Friday, back in 2011.
Our Troubling Relationships With Machines
That's it for this issue. Have a productive week!
The Deep Dive is a weekly close-up look at an idea, issue or trend that’s shaping Asia’s future. This issue was written by Chong Seow Wei, with editing and production by Samantha Topp and Lee Williamson.
We’d love to know what you think of this issue, and future topics you’d like us to cover. Please send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. And if you missed it, don’t forget to check out last week’s Deep Dive, on The Future Of Retail.