The fashion industry is incredibly wasteful, and is now making an effort to change their approach. This most noticeable in the connections between farming and fashion. Farming is a key part of the fashion industry, supplying many key resources. Tech innovations are already being implemented to make important changes.
The fashion industry relies on farms for much of its critical resources–cotton, among others. This means that much of the damage caused by farming is caused by the fashion industry as well. Cotton tends to lower the quality of soil, diminishing biodiversity. This occurs when farmers and plant only one type of crop, known as a monoculture.
The fashion industry is turning to what is known as regenerative agriculture. This allows the industry to attain the products it needs while limiting their impact on soil and the environment as a whole.
Farmers use a variety of techniques to mitigate their impact on the soil. These include composting, avoiding synthetic fertilizers & pesticides, and the year-round planting of crops to prevent erosion. These measures combined help to decrease the amount of C02 produced by an average farm each year.
Kering is a French high-fashion brand, which has devoted their attention towards how their cotton and other products are being produced. The movement was launched in collaboration with the Savory institute: a non-profit organization working to support regenerative agriculture by creating a network of eco-friendly farms.
Kering has long-term plans that are quite ambitions, such as cutting their environmental impact by 40% over a period of six years. The company plans to use Savory’s Ecological Outcome Verification to meet these goals. It will also affect the production of wool, cashmere and leather.
Other brands such as Patagonia and Prana are also taking steps to increase their involvement in regenerative agriculture. They have become allies of the Regenerative Organic Alliance, with the goal to create a set of industry standards.
Patagonia is currently working on a pilot project for their own cotton farms in India. The goal is for farms to be fully regenerative when the project concludes. It will take six seasons: meaning it will take six harvests to reach the goal.
One way to reduce waste in the textile industry is to focus on what is known as circular economy: the shift from take-make-waste to creating products in a circular fashion. The goal is to keep materials and products in use as much as possible at different stages.
Many leading brands such as Burberry, Gap, H&M, Nike and Stella McCartney are taking part in the Make Fashion Circular Initiative. They are working with producers, marketing experts and governmental institutions to make the most out of this initiative.
Wear Next Campaign is part of the Make Fashion Circular Initiative made in cooperation with New York City. The campaign is rather simple. Some stores are designated as drop off points for unwanted clothes. From there, clothes are recycled instead of simply being thrown away.
“For Days” is a startup initiative with a different approach to the issue of circular fashion. The company is a small T-shirt business using a circular process for producing clothes and recycling them, in order to create new ones. The process is circular in its entirety and has zero waste.
The fashion industry is very closely connected to the world of agriculture, relying heavily on farmers for materials. This means both industries must work together to tackle issues of climate change.
Date:Sep 25, 2019