Sustainable Fashion vs Fast Fashion: Why is Ecological Integrity Important?

The fashion industry had been criticized frequently on its negligence towards our ecosystem, with being responsible for 10% of all humanity’s carbon emissions, along with being the second-largest consumer of water. This boils down to individuals taking the ‘wear to discard’ approach ardently, taking an honest liking towards new outfits for every occasion, and clothes being a disposable commodity.

‘Fast Fashion’ looms over the ecosystem like a grey cloud, constantly thundering over its balance. It is a contemporary term rightly described as a swoosh from the catwalk to retail stores. Fast Fashion thrives on mass production and consumption and strives to provide masses of consumers with the latest trends to ‘up their look’. Around 60% of fabric fibers used in today’s clothing are synthetics, and hence when these clothes end up in landfills as waste, they do not decay.

Sustainable Fashion vs. Fast Fashion
Fig: Sustainable Fashion vs. Fast Fashion
Fashion, however, has a massive power it holds as an industry. It is working towards establishing each artist’s voice through the colours, styles, and patterns that they ideate and create. Fast Fashion seems to dim that individuality within the artist, promoting homogeneity and blindly following bland trends that the market condones ‘hip’, out of which most of these clothes end up in waste landfills, discarded. In the United States, almost 85% of the waste in landfills consists of textile materials.

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Now, the COVID-19 pandemic is a time-sensitive construct, an invisible entity that has confined people to the four walls of their homes and given them time to reflect on their consumption patterns and greedy habits. While some fashion houses are still focusing on ‘Tips and Tricks to look your best during your Work From Home’, several specifically homegrown brands like Label Varsha, are focusing more on some real issues at hand, opening up conversations to new avenues that haven’t been touched before.


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They are talking about the recycling and reusing of clothes, using fashion as art to promote individuality, and keeping a tap on the ‘sustainable’ aspect of the clothing they produce. Sustainable Fashion is a fairly easy construct to navigate through, theoretically. However, in practice, it does prove to be harder than the definition. It works towards curating clothes while respecting the social, cultural, ecological, and financial systems we are a part of. This works towards garnering ecological integrity and social justice.


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As of today, various fashion brands are pushing their ‘Summer Collections’ to as far as October, to help clear their inventory already stocked up. ‘Slow Fashion’ is growing in its importance. Massive losses are being felt in every business stream, however, problems like ‘Climate Change’ are still extremely real and can be felt to a large extent, which they are dealing with simultaneously.


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Slowing down processes, taking care of the people that work with you, and focusing on the processes as much as the results are what is important in uncertain times like these. A lot of homegrown brands have taken their offerings online, to lower the economic brunt post lockdown. It is an unfortunate situation we sit in, and we are trying to work towards creating a better future in all aspects.

Author of this Article:
Yashraj Bhaiya
Director, Label Varsha
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Mazharul Islam Kiron is a textile consultant, entrepreneur, blogger and researcher on online business promotion. He is working as a consultant in several local and international companies. He is also a contributor of Wikipedia.


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