Fashion is an industry fraught with environmental problems.
It is the second dirtiest industry after big oil. Cotton production consumes huge quantities of water and agriculture chemicals resulting in damage in soil ecology, water ecosytems and air pollution. The dyeing process results in chemicals being dumped into rivers and leather tanning is one of the most toxic process in the supply chain. And that is just the raw material. Shipping in containers across oceans with dirty fuel and the nature of fast fashion means that most garments items end up in landfill with less than half of textiles that is thrown away in the UK is recycled, all add to the problem. Not to mention, the unethical practices that the industry is faced with.
There are numerous effort to change the fashion industry but cleanweb innovation in fashion is slow to come, and only now starting to appear.
We now see online platforms that are being launched such as Mysource which will transform how collaboration is done in the fashion world to bring sustainability into action. Mysource is a product of Ethical Fashion Forum, they are the largest community of fashion makers who are working to fix the fashion supply chain. They have metrics to help measure sustainability of the supply chain and help independent designers generate more benchmarking on the production of their fashion items.
We know demand for transparency is a key driver of how society is changing and the fashion industry is no different. We now see curated directory of sustainable fashion labels by Lissome with a strict standard of a value checklist to help consumers identify fashion brands that are sustainable.
Brothers We Stand is one of the only places we have seen that caters to the sustainable men’s fashion. They are telling the story of the environmental impact of each item they sell on their site and areas of improvement.
Not My Style is also launching an app to help people understand the difference in brands through ratings of sustainability and ethical indicators. They just completed a successful crowdfunding campaign.
Rent, Reuse and Repurpose
Rentez-Vous is a fashion online marketplace for people to rent out clothes, jewels, bags and accessories, thus extending the use of fashion items. From the renter’s perspective these platforms reduce the need to buy more and renters get access to a wider range of items and yet spending less.
Swishing are clothes swapping parties where people bring items of clothing that are still wearable but not been used for a while and exchange for some other item that is given away by someone else. Without a place online to coordinate such events, these activities are slow to grow into movements. We see similar parties happening with different groups as awareness increases.
One of the best examples we have seen is Dutch company Mud Jeans which is doing jeans-as-a-service. They provide a leasing service for jeans and will recycle the jeans once you are ready for a change, thus closing the circular economy loop and as a the manufacturer they are incentivised to make durable jeans of high quality that lasts.
Another company is Van Hulley which is a providing a service for people to turns their old clothes into boxer shorts, repurposing garments in this way add more usage to what we already own.
So, what do you think of the digital innovation happening in fashion?
If you have missed the previous post in this series, head back to read here:
Day 1 of XMas — Food Waste Apps
Day 2 of XMas — Air Quality Apps
Day 3 of XMas — Transport Services
Day 4 of XMas — Electric Vehicles
Day 5 of XMas — Crowd Delivery
Day 6 of XMas — Local Food Systems
Day 7 of XMas — Reforestation, Tree Planting and Crowdfarming
Day 8 of XMas — Crowdfunding & Fintech for Good
For more about IYWTo head over to here or get in touch with Woon at email@example.com
This series is written in collaboration with the 6heads community. 6heads is dedicated to shared learning at the join of sustainability and innovation.