Article by Kartikeya Semwal- Fashion and Lifestyle Expert
It all started with the Rio Earth Summit’s “green issues” in which publications about well-known companies such as ‘Patagonia’ and ‘ESPRIT’ were printed, who introduced environmental concerns in their textile-businesses in 1980s. These companies’ owners Yvon Chouinard (Patagonia) and Doug Tompkins witnessed that the environment was being harmed badly due to heavy production and over consumption of clothes and other related goods by consumers/people. It was then that they decided to do research on “impact of fibres used by their companies for making fashionable clothes of latest trends. The research proved to be successful and ‘Patagonia’ decided to carry out a life-cycle assessment for 4 fibres namely- wool, cotton, polyester and nylon. While ‘ESPRIT’ focused on finding a better alternative to cotton, which formed the backbone of their garments business with a lion’s share of 90%.
Even after 35 years, the focus on ‘use of materials & their impact on the environment’ is still the same. This is also the norm for sustainable fashion in today’s world, which now is catching up in the fashion industry. Throughout 1990s & 2000s, practise of sustainable fashion broadened and today, it includes many famous brands of UK, Europe and US. Many fashion companies and brands carry out ad-campaigns and messages for general public in their clothes, to not over-buy and over-use clothes. These messages and ads (advertisements) urge people to buy only as much, as is needed and not more. They appeal to audience to act sensibly and buy sustainably to reduce harm to the environment.