Can you look good and feel good at the same time?
Well, if you want to be fash, eco-friendly and care for basic human rights such as securing that no slavery or child labour has been utilized, you have to realize some difficulties – it can be pretty damn difficult! You’ll need both tons of time to figure out what clothes and which brands you can buy and tons of money to buy it, because it is more expensive.
So why isn’t sustainable fashion more fash?
I had a sustainable fashion talk with “Unfair”, some up-and-coming-designers, established designers, agents, and the Roskilde Festival to figure this out, and I ended up concluding that it is in fact more fash! Especially in Scandinavia where consumers want sustainability and there is a hype among up-and-coming designers who think it’s common sense to make sustainable fashion. But it isn’t just the up-and-coming designers who see it as a trend anymore. Tons of the big brands have noticed this, and that is why Acne junior moved the production from Asia to Sweden. The movement meant getting a better quality, saving tons of money on communication and transportation, making sure the working conditions are good and saving a lot of CO2. H&M made a conscious line with eco cotton and ended their production of Angora wool because of animal cruelty in these instances. Asos.com stopped selling products with Angora wool and lots of brands like Topshop and IC companies followed.
But why doesn’t everyone just produce sustainable fashion then?
“If H&M made their entire production with eco cotton, there wouldn’t be anything left for the rest of us, they probably wouldn’t even have enough for themselves” answered a young designer who use a lot of energy on making her collection sustainable. So basically – it’s impossible.
Apart from that small detail that there isn’t enough eco cotton in the world and that it takes about 6 years to make a cotton production eco-friendly, there are still a lot of problems to consider. Should we make new fabrics with better working conditions in Africa and Asia, so that we help them get a job and a better life? Or should we move the production to Europe and make more workplaces for ourselves? We would probably use less CO2 if we moved the production, and isn’t that a part of sustainability? And aren’t we supposed to help the poor people in Africa and Asia by giving them jobs and the opportunity to build a life?
And what happens afterwards? When the production is sustainable but we still throw it out when we don’t want it anymore? Sure, we can give it to Folkekirkensnødhjælp or some other second-hand-shop. But after that we still throw away the fabrics, so if we want sustanible fashion we need to recycle the fabrics. Would we need to find a way to thread up the fabrics and make new ones from the material?
According to the Danish designer David Andersen who is a big spokesman in the sustainable fashion discussion it is impossible to make it completely sustainable, but as a designer you need to consider how to make a small step in the right direction. And the Roskilde Festival agrees to this by helping big corporations to change their mindset and support the small ones who are fighting for sustainability.
So yes, it is pretty difficult to look good and feel god at the same time, but we can take a small step and discuss how we can make a big fashion industry more sustainable.