Sustainable Solutions Throughout the Fashion Value Chain
”By changing fashion, we can change everything” says model and activist Amber Valletta. Sustainable fashion is more than living wage and azo-free dyes. Sustainability is a way of thinking throughout the product lifecycle: from yarn to shopping experience, from packaging to end-of-life. In this blog we visit some inspiring examples of promoting environmental sustainability in fashion and take a look at our future role in being part of the solution.
Textiles of the future
Fashion brands are increasingly paying attention to the ethical aspects of their business and there are many great initiatives in the industry promoting sustainability, such as Filippa K eliminating e-commerce waste with RePack, H&M supporting the reuse of their customers’ clothes, and Adidas producing sneakers made of ocean plastic.
Ecological fabrics are naturally one of the key elements of sustainable fashion. There are several noteworthy textile companies in Finland developing entirely new fabrics that are environmentally friendly including Ioncell, Infinited fiber, and Spinnova, who has been piloting its materials with fashion brands such as Bergen and Marimekko.
These new materials are not burdening the environment like traditional production does, but the most concious choice is to simply buy less, use longer and recycle. Patagonia, for example, promises to repair your jacket, if it breaks in less than 100 years, while Darn Tough gives their socks a guarantee for life. Services like the digital marketplace Zadaa are there to help you find your clothes a second home.
The plastic challenge
Water consumption, harmful chemicals and animal welfare are some of the issues that the fashion industry has been tackling for a while already, whereas microplastic emissions is an example of a recently recognized challenge. When clothes made of synthetic fibres are washed, they release tiny plastic particles that run into rivers and oceans and eventually end up in the fish we eat. Some try to tackle this with washing bags, while others simply choose natural fibres over synthetic ones.
However, fabric is not the only application where you can find plastic in fashion. Plastic bags used in deliveries are clearly a red flag, while hangers – sometimes called ‘the straw of the fashion world’ – are another. They are typically made of conventional plastic and often treated as single-use items. To provide fashion brands a more sustainable solution for storing and showcasing clothes and accessories, we have developed a new Sulapac® material grade that is perfect for clothing hangers and jewelry boxes, for example. Like all Sulapac® materials, it is bio-based and organically recyclable, without accumulative microplastics.
When it comes to sustainable fashion, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. The fashion industry is inherently short cycled, which is why sustainability is both a tricky and an important aspect for fashion brands to consider. At Sulapac, we are eager to come up with value adding circular solutions to complex issues. If you want to incorporate sustainability into the important details of your customer experience in a new and innovative way, contact our sales team for a sample!