Sustainable Fashion is a very wide concept that covers many fields. All and all, it can be defined as clothing, shoes and accessories that are manufactured, marketed and used in the most sustainable manner possible, taking into account both environmental and socio-economic aspects. It is not just about producing in a more sustainable manners but also to keep a pattern of consumption that will change individual perspective and behavior.
According to William McDonough and Michael Braungart (2002) Cradle to Cradle®: Remaking the Way We Make Things;) is a new approach for designing intelligent products, processes and systems taking into account the entire life cycle of the product, optimizing material health, recyclability, renewable energy use, water efficiency and quality, and social responsibility.
This is what circular economy is about. It is a practical solution to the world’s unceasing trash. This is more effective than just recycling, as it is using secondary materials for primary ones. So, at the end this is based in restoring an industrial system in order to decrease the use of virgin materials on earth. The goal is not just to design for better end-of-life recovery, but to diminish energy use.
In fashion, cradle to cradle concept consists in create garments from recycled fibers, in order to close a loop in the supply chain and be more sustainable. Garments will be always in a continuous circuit, they can be transform in different pieces of clothing depending on the designer. The decrease of water consumption and energy are also associated with this concept, as it would be reduce considerably.
In his article, Lewis Perkins (2014) What Can You Do to Create Positive Change in the Fashion Industry? “Cradle to Cradle certification addresses the five attributes of Material Health, Material Reuse, Water Stewardship, Renewable Energy and Social Fairness. Applying Cradle to Cradle design methodology to the fashion industry is essential as we attempt to solve the problems of toxicity in our clothing, wasted materials and resources, improving social issues facing garment factory workers and fiber producers, and addressing the negative environmental impacts that currently plague the fashion industry.”
There is a brand working perfectly with this concept of circular fashion, OAT shoes. They make the world’s first biodegradable sneakers that grow flowers when you plant them. They have developed the first biodegradable leather shoes, bags that grow sunflowers. This is one of the brands that makes a positive impact on the world, creating harmless materials for the eco-system. Titania Inglis is a fashion brand that their source fabrics includes Japanese organic cotton, French vegetable-tanned leather, and dead stock wool from New York’s garment industry.
Image taken from OAT shoes homepage.
Image taken from Titania inglis homepage.
So, in this cradle to cradle concept, materials will be composting and turn into a new life. In textiles it might happen with wool, cotton, flax, bamboo, eucalyptus-based lyocell etc. But also, this includes all technical textiles, polyester, nylon, fleece, elastics, zippers, buttons etc. So, there are many fabrics that can have a second life slowing down their final life. The goal of this idea is that materials can be perpetually cycled. So, this is basically how the concept works. I hope I have give you some ideas on it and if you are into Sustainable Fashion it is important to have this in mind as it is very important to know. Have a wonderful weekend all of you!