Thrilling to See Optimism on Sustainable Fashion from Industry Experts

Disclosure: I am not affiliated with Ecouterre or any of the publications mentioned in this article. Linked content is the property of the authors and publications listed, not my own. Quotes are credited to the best of my knowledge based on the sources listed.

At the start of the year, Ecouterre published a list of 47 experts on the sustainable fashion predicting what 2017 holds for the industry. It is heartening to see how many of these predictions are for positive momentum and advancements in the textile and fashion industries. There are a few overarching themes that many experts touch on including transparency, increased demand and the impact of online shopping.

The primary area that almost everyone discussed was supply chain improvements because of consumer demand for transparency. Marie-Claire Daveu (Kering), starting off the list says:

“ Enhanced transparency within the supply chain — both social and environmental — will be at the foundation of this movement and linking sustainability and the stories behind clothing will continue to grow in importance to consumers.”

This idea was repeated over and over by responders on all sides of the fashion industry. While it may seem obvious that this is an area of major concern, it is difficult for the average consumer to learn anything about the supply chain of most major textile manufacturers. Tragically, it seems that recent disasters such as those at the Bangladesh garment factory in 2013 are bringing the most awareness to the realities of how our clothing is made.

Many experts also observed increase in consumer demand for products with a traceable, sustainable, and ethical creation. Whether it be recycled materials, organic fabrics or more access to second hand clothing, many consumers want to know where their clothing comes from. Beyond that, they don’t want to sacrifice their style to get it. Christina Dean (Redress) I think puts this movement best when she says:

“So 2017 will be a heavy wake-up call that the powers that be won’t solve the problems.
I think the harsh reality of the failing times we live in means more people will realize it’s time to take personal action.”

As many have already noted: we live in an increasingly globalized world. Online shopping has changed the landscape of “fast fashion” but “slow fashion” is catching up. The online market is making it much easier to be conscious of our consuming and opens doors to merchants from around the world who are taking innovative approaches to improving supply chains or using recycled materials. Larhea Pepper of Textile Exchange notes another exciting facet to the online and globalized textile community:

“2017 will be a year of seeing the amazing collaborations and partnerships that have been in motion to reach critical mass with the core leaders for a reimagined and transformed global textile industry.”

Take a few minutes and read some more of the predictions for this year. If nothing else, I am excited by all the new brands to discover and publications to follow after reading this! Most importantly, however, it’s nice to be reminded once in a while where things are looking up!

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