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Sustainable fashion: 10 recent milestones

By Simone Preuss


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Sustainability seems to be the redemption song nowadays that is turning from a mere buzzword into a flourishing movement. In view of the growing knowledge also among consumers that the fashion industry is most likely the second most polluting industry on the planet, any and every responsible step taken in the direction of reversing the environmentally harmful practices will lead to sustainable practices becoming the norm rather than the exception. This includes curtailing the enormous waste byproducts, sourcing locally, using organic or recyclable materials, utilising renewable energy and on the social front, addressing the exploitation of workers in sourcing countries and along the supply chain. Top luxury and high street brands and retailers alike, non-governmental organisations, other stakeholders and aware consumers are collectively shaping this movement. FashionUnited has put together some milestone developments and events of the last six months.

1. At Kingpins in Amsterdam, one of the largest denim trade fairs in the world, last year amid the sea of indigo blue denim and excited industry professionals, one word seemed to proudly dominate the display booth fronts: sustainability.
Kingpins 2018: 'Sustainability is more than just a buzzword'

2. Companies like Allbirds, H&M, Wrangler and Aquafil make the extra effort to contribute to the circular economy through sustainable fashion.
4 brands leading the sustainable fashion movement

3. Paris Good Fashion is a project that aims to build Paris as a sustainable fashion capital. It will focus on creating a circular economy, improving sourcing and traceability and making distribution, energy and communication more sustainable.
Paris mayor launches Paris Good Fashion campaign

4.Adidas sold one million of its Parley trainers last year, made from plastic fished from the ocean; Yolanda Zobel, the new designer at the futuristic French brand Courreges, declared that she was doing away with the space-age vinyl that has been the label's stock and trade since the 1960s, and Botter makes hats, scarves and jackets from recycled plastic bags and bottles often found in the sea.
The End of Plastic: Eco-fashion becomes catwalk reality

5. Over 290 companies representing 20 percent of all plastic packaging produced globally have signed a global commitment to end plastic waste and pollution at source. Led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in collaboration with UN Environment, fashion companies like H&M, Walmart, Burberry, Target and Marks & Spencer have also joined the list of signatories alongside governments, NGOs, retailers and recyclers.
Hundreds of companies sign global commitment to eliminate plastic pollution at source

6. Trend forecasting company WGSN has mapped the sustainable consumer trends most likely to gain traction in 2019 and published them in a report titled “Sustainability and the Consumer 2019”.
Key sustainability trends for 2019: what consumers expect from fashion brands

7. FashionUnited conducted research into some of the most innovative and accessible sustainable textile solutions and has put them together below for an easy overview.
10 Sustainable textile innovations everyone should know

8. Common Objective, a London-based network connecting fashion professionals to a global database of sustainable brands and suppliers, has unveiled the winners of its 2019 Leadership Awards, which aim to recognise fashion businesses that lead and disrupt the sustainable fashion space.
Sustainable innovators to watch: meet the winners of the 2019 CO Leadership Awards

9. The United Nations recently launched the Alliance for Sustainable Fashion at the UN Environment Assembly in Nairobi, Kenya. The Alliance seeks to halt the environmentally and socially destructive practices of fashion.
UN launches Alliance for Sustainable Fashion

10. With zero textile waste as an end goal, the Australasian Circular Textile Association (ACTA) adopts sustainability.
Launch of Australasian Circular Textiles Association (ACTA) means business for sustainable fashion

These ten developments in just the last six months show that the fashion industry is taking bigger steps forward when it comes to supporting sustainability. That too on a bigger scale: Rather than brands, retailers or manufacturers taking them individually, they are now pulling together as an industry.

Photos: Everlane Facebook, Pixabay
Sustainable Fashion
Sustainable Textile Innovations