An explosion in the use of inexpensive, petroleum-based materials has transformed the fashion industry, aided by the successful rebranding of synthetic materials like plastic leather (once less flatteringly referred to as “pleather”) into hip alternatives like “vegan leather,” a marketing masterstroke meant to suggest environmental virtue.
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Inside a large industrial building in Jamaica, Queens, I sighed, taking a quick break from ripping staples off of fabric. My back was to the windows, but even if I wanted to look outside, I’d have a problem. A mountain of trash bags blocked any view, each stuffed with thousands of tiny fabric scraps from fashion companies around New York City. I had signed up to sort through the material, but after working for three long hours alongside five other volunteers, we had barely made it through five bags. Dozens remained. I was at the headquarters of FabScrap, a textile recycling company that processes material leftover from fashion production. They’re just one of many well-intentioned textile recycling companies that have bumped up against a painful reality: There is simply too much clothing to process. As it stands, 84 percent of all unwanted clothes end up in landfills, according to Newsweek. In New York City alone, this comes to about 400 million pounds thrown away annually—6 percent of the city’s waste stream. Traditionally, unwanted secondhand clothes are sent abroad, but some countries have started to reject the goods. Technology to transform the old clothes into new items isn’t ready yet, so many recyclers and designers are focusing on something else: getting consumers to buy less. “We have to educate consumers about the mindless consumption being forced down our throats,” says Adam Baruchowitz, the founder of Wearable Collections, a secondhand clothing retailer. “We need to be getting people to think twice about how quickly they consume things.”
At this year’s Consumer Technology Association conference, Samsung — maker of phones, laptops, refrigerators and more — announced a lineup of sustainability initiatives for its home appliances. Among the initiatives was a collaboration with outdoor clothing retailer Patagonia. That may seem like an unexpected collaboration, Mark Newton, head of corporate sustainability at Samsung Electronics America, told TriplePundit, but when it comes to tackling microplastics, he said it makes perfect sense.
Toward is a new fashion retailer that’s taking an unusual approach to promoting sustainability. The company is limiting the number of orders customers can place to twelve per year. Its goal is to encourage shoppers to think intentionally about the purchases they make, to think ahead to what they might need, and to discourage unnecessary overconsumption.
fter introducing sustainable footwear options, starting with the Plant Power sandals, Ugg has launched an eco-friendly apparel collection for spring ’22 called Organic Essentials. The nine-style capsule consists of casual T-shirts, leggings, dresses, tanks and shorts made with “mindful materials” such as organic cotton and Tencel Lyocell. “The beauty of the collection is the full versatility. As the world evolves, responsible personal s
Being trendy has never been easier! More than affordable retailers allow fashionista to renew their wardrobe quickly, and for a cheap cost. As Fast Fashion has become a popular phrase used to represent this cheap, trendy clothing lines from well know retailers, and it might even seem like technological innovation, the fast pace of designing and manufacturing all these new styles comes with a high cost, whether is an environmental or human right one, it makes the fashion industry a harmful one that should make you rethink the next time you buy a piece of clothing.
The city that never sleeps, the concrete jungle (where dreams are made of, right Alicia?), the Big Apple… That’s right, today we’re talking about New York. And more specifically about sustainable fashion brands from New York.
With Black History Month underway, it’s a great opportunity to acknowledge, commemorate and celebrate the hard work and achievements made by Black people in the fashion industry. So we’re refreshing and bringing our guide to Black-owned American fashion brands back to the top.
Wool is a go-to fabric for most people who live in a four-season climate: this fabric is comfortable, warm and soft. Who doesn’t have any bulky sweaters or cozy socks made of wool? It has actually been used for millennia before us, for various purposes and in many parts of the world. As it is made from natural fibers, wool is often seen as a sustainable fabric. We also imagine free-range sheep grazing in green fields and being happy to be shorn every year.
Consumer sentiment, especially among millennial and Gen Z shoppers, is shifting away from mass-produced apparel manufacturing and towards sustainable, locally sourced clothing options.