The Future of Fashion, or Virtual Couture Fashion
Sustainability in Fashion, AI4Fashion
by Alizay Maniya, ELSE Corp
In the past or still now, customers had to choose between being ethical shoppers or being trendy, because there were no fashionable clothing items that were made in a sustainable way. However, with the increase of knowledge in how harmful fashion can be, specially on the “fast” scenarios, there are more and more options for ethical consumers, and less and less options for brands. If fashion companies continue to realize the importance of sustainable supply chain models, we will eventually live in a world where all fashion items will be ethically made.
Reformation, a fashion brand that is praised very highly by vogue and a favorite of Taylor Swift, has changed the sustainable fashion industry. The brand has introduced trendy clothes that are all made in a truly sustainable way. Yael Aflalo, the founder of the company, was inspired to create Reformation after traveling to China and being shocked by the amount of pollution caused by the textile and clothing manufacturing industry. Reformation designs and manufactures almost all of its products in their LA headquarters. They source sustainable fabrics and incorporate better practices in their supply chain.
Another company that is making strides in sustainability is Everlane. Their motto is “radical transparency” and they offer that to customers by showing exactly where products are sourced from and made and by showing the exact cost of every part of their supply chain. Customers have access to what the real cost of making the product is and what the markup is. This idea of radical transparency is implemented in every part of their product, nothing is hidden from the customer.
Small companies aren’t the only ones that are concerned about sustainability. Fashion giants such as H&M, Mango, Zara and ASOS are launching sustainable collections to decrease their environmental footprint and to appeal more to ethical consumers. Although only a very small fraction of what they manufacture is sustainable, it seems like a step in the right direction for these companies.
There are many aspects of sustainability. In order to be sustainable, companies must ethically source the materials, manufacture the products in an ethical way and sell them ethically. The reason that many fashion companies don’t practice sustainability is because of the high costs and high risks associated with it. However, in the future, we can expect to see more and more companies increasing their sustainability and social responsibility, as they learn the negative impacts of what they’re doing now. In the future, hopefully very soon, customers will never have to choose between being trendy and being ethical.