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Hot and sustainable



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Hot and sustainable

Besides texting your ex on a night out, purchasing non-organic cotton is the most toxic thing you have done.

Sustainable fashion refers to a movement that is all about creating a shift in the fashion industry as a whole, with the purpose of it leading to a better world through meeting our humane ecological, economical and social needs at the same time.

“Sustainable fashion” is a common term used a lot in the modern-day fashion industry. More awareness about this specific topic has been spread mainly via social media in the past few years and now more than ever, people are showing more conscious purchasing behaviours.

The big challenge remains creating a fashion company that has sustainability as one as its core values and that sees it as an essential and inevitable part of the business model.

Getting into the mind of a sustainable consumer:

First of all, we need to understand our golden consumers’ core values, wants and needs and by diving deeper into their consuming habits, we can gain this understanding. These consumer habits include:

  • Purchasing less clothes.
  • Purchasing products of better quality, made for long-term usage.
  • Purchasing flexible, basic clothes.
  • Purchasing from authentic sustainable brands.
  • Cleaning clothes with cold water to avoid micro plastic fibres to unnecessarily get trapped into water systems.
  • Replacing traditional detergents with organic ones to avoid water pollution.
  • Upcycling clothes when there is an opportunity for it.
  • Purchasing from thrift stores.

How to Be A Sustainable Fashion Brand: Trends and Ideas for Your Business – Green Business Bureau

 

There are a few rules in the fashion world when you want to open your own company, these rules are:

Ethics are essential:

Before thinking about how eco-friendly and socially approved your fashion brand could be created, it is essential to determine your business’ ethics and what you stand for and value within your company. Ethics go deeper than sustainability. Sustainability is more about how the final product affects the environment, people, and economy around it. On the other hand, ethics refer to the processes involved during the product creation, it is more specifically related to the workers, animals, chemicals, etc. involved that could either lead to a sustainable, green product or not. This way, determining your business ethics is the first and most essential step of creating a sustainable fashion brand. If you think about the average sustainable consumer’s behaviour, your ethics should align with them as well as your own business values in order to make it successful. These combined consumer and company ethics include examples such as: being 100% honest about how “organic” your product actually is, while understanding that no business can be 100% sustainable. Other examples are things like: including humane working hours and salaries for your employees, ensuring that your product creation process doesn’t cause any harm towards animals, etc.

 

Fashion industry > clothes itself:

Things like packaging, corporate culture and company guidelines all play a role in sustainability. If your company is packaging upcycled clothes in a brand-new plastic bag, the consumer might get the idea that your company is being hypocritical with its actions, and will doubt your product in general if your whole business is not based on sustainable actions. You need to walk the talk of sustainability if there is a chance of gaining a large, qualitative target audience.

 

 

 

 

Greenwashing is a fashion sin:

Greenwashing refers to creating a false idea to the public that a brand is sustainable and ethical, when in reality, many unsustainable actions are hidden. Companies do this to gain a larger target audience but it harms the authentic sustainable industry more than anything. Since many people are becoming more aware of greenwashing happening in bigger companies, real sustainability driven consumers do the effort of doing research about the brand’s values, ethics, inner processes, working environment, etc. When creating an authentic sustainable company, this is the type of consumer you’d want to attract. Therefore, to gain the ideal consumer’s trust, getting your brand certified by companies such as Oeko-Tex or GOTS, will make your brand more reliable and therefore create a larger authentic target audience as well.

 

A clothing piece’s after life is as important as its current one:

In order to create true sustainable clothes that provides true benefits to people, the planet, and the economy, you need to consider what happens to it when it has reached the end of its life cycle in the closet. One way to ensure a sustainable after life for your clothing is by using the right recycled or organic fabrics. Other ways include upcycling education to your consumers via marketing and general awareness to the consumer about how to live sustainably while being fashionable at the same time. Being aware of what happens to your clothes after they have served their purpose is one of the most important aspects of creating a sustainable brand.

 

Manufacturing is key:

Since there has been a societal label put on the fashion industry about using underpaid workforce or even child labour to produce clothes, consumers are less like to trust a new fashion brand, especially if the clothes are of good quality and if it is aesthetically pleasing, because it seems too good to be true. Therefore, one way to gain a consumer’s trust is by being open and honest about your manufacturing processes. Post it on social media openly, have open visitations available to the public, talk about the pressing issue of unethical labour and don’t avoid it and throw a blind eye to it, because your target audience most likely knows about it and knows the importance of doing something about it. It is always better to play open cards and be honest about every stage of your clothing creation process. People are looking for brands to be honest, not perfect, showing your flaws within your company make you seem more real and honest, which will most likely only turn into your favour.

How to Start a Sustainable Clothing Line — The Fashion Business Coach

 

As hard as it seems in the beginning to open a sustainably driven business, it is worth every second. Once you get the basics of your company sustainable and make it a core value in your company, the rest of your journey will be somewhat of a breeze in terms of making an actual difference in the world, creating a better workplace for people, being part of creating a better planet for all, etc. Hot and sustainable is the way to go.

 

References:

Mowery, L. 2021. How to be A Sustainable Brand. Read on 5.4.2022. How to Be A Sustainable Fashion Brand: Trends and Ideas for Your Business – Green Business Bureau

Donaldson, J. 2019. How to Start a Sustainable Clothing Line. Read on 7.4.2022 How to Start a Sustainable Clothing Line — The Fashion Business Coach

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