Consumers are learning to look beyond generic greenwashing and the future of fashion is bound to be sustainable. With leading clothing brands turning to eco-friendly practices with unforeseen vigor, there’s no looking back for the industry - sustainability is a trend that is here to stay. Any brand that wishes to be on the right side of history needs to start integrating sustainability into their practices already, and here’s how one can go about it!
1. Set the sustainability standard for your brand
Whether you’re an existing brand or one that’s about to be launched, if you’re going to participate in the sustainability dialogue, you must first define what your consumers can expect from your brand. Here, it is important to understand the difference between an ethical business and a sustainable business.
An ethical clothing brand ensures no person or animal is harmed in the production and sourcing of the apparels, while sustainability takes into consideration the overall business practices of the brand which includes not just production but also energy consumption, carbon emissions, waste management, and such factors. No brand in the clothing industry can claim 100% sustainability yet, and hence you must clearly outline the practices your brand will undertake to shift towards sustainability.
2. Secure a sustainable supply chain
Clothing brands trying to add a sustainability label to their products often cannot execute the project smoothly because apparel sourcing can be incredibly complicated. With products changing multiple hands at different stages of production, it becomes rather difficult to trace how the final product has been manufactured and what sustainability protocols have been followed. One way to resolve this problem is to introduce transparency within the supply chain where activities at every single stage of production can be traced and recorded.
Production platforms such as Fashinza are beginning to incorporate such visibility into the production process, where brands can trace all the practices their products have been subjected to, they can verify the sustainability certificates held by the manufacturers (like Fairtrade certification, GOTs, and others), and can opt for specifically sustainable production practices like closed-loop dying. You cannot guarantee that your products are sustainable unless you secure a sustainable supply chain.
3. Invest in sustainable business practices
Your sustainable approach as a brand will not merely be limited to your products but your overall business practices also need to be a part of it. A sustainable business organization should pay due attention to energy conservation, carbon footprints, waste generation, and similar factors. For instance, if you claim to be a sustainable brand and use a lot of plastic for packaging your products, it would definitely reflect badly upon the brand image, making the consumers question your authenticity.
For instance, at Fashinza we claim to care about sustainability, which is why we strictly work with manufacturers who follow eco-friendly practices and have the certificates to guarantee the same. We don’t onboard just about anyone.
4. Use recycled fabrics
Your eco-consciousness as a brand becomes visible through the active decisions you make for your brand, like the fabrics you choose to work with. The fashion industry has made considerable progress in introducing relatively sustainable fabrics as viable options for clothing brands.
When you exclusively work with organic cotton, EcoVera, recycled nylon, recycled polyester, and other biodegradable/ recyclable fabrics, you are not only reducing your own impact on the environment but you’re also helping to recycle the products which would otherwise have ended up as garbage on the planet. Fashinza encourages brands to work with eco-friendly fabrics like organic cotton, making the same easily accessible to them.
5. Guide the aftercare of the products
A brand that truly cares about sustainability does not stop caring once the product is sold but they are concerned with the entire life-cycle of the product. Any sustainable brand should strive to ensure that their products are long-lasting and to help them last long, one can provide the buyers with an instructional label stating how to best care for the product to enhance its longevity.
Creating such care labels is a rather easy task and any brand that works with Fashinza can easily have a care label added to their products on demand. For more information about sustainability, you can read our blog on 10 Sustainable Fabrics for Most Eco-Friendly Fashion.