How Fashion Brands Can Take Action on Social Sustainability

How Fashion Brands Can Take Action on Social Sustainability

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Summary: Fashion buffs are now slowly looking for more sustainable options. Although slow fashion is more expensive, the industry is inclining towards the idea of reducing landfill waste and fully using key resources like power and water. Sustainability in the fashion industry can instigate a much-needed shift in mindset to create timeless apparel and fashion labels.

Identify the Switch in Ideology

As the demand curve shifts in favor of gen Z from millennials, this youthful audience is looking for more than just a sustainable wardrobe. Apart from fashion styles and clothes that will last longer, they are also looking at their favorite brands to be socially conscious and to promote responsible beliefs and values. Environmental sustainability without social change is not enough, which has even been identified in the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Understand How the UN SDGs Apply to Fashion Brands

Environment, social, and governance (ESG) are three pillars of sustainability that cannot survive in isolation. Brands need to mix and match to achieve the objective they need to reach. Merely using clean energy sources, reducing consumption of resources such as water, or opting for sustainable raw material sourcing is not enough. Brands need to be transparent in their operations and understand that the people who breathe life into their garments are equally important, just like customers who buy from them.

Make Fashion Inclusive

While social media influencers promote brands to the target audience, it is about time fashion brands include a wider pool in that market to promote body positivity and avoid cultural notions and beliefs. When brands respect all buyers in a target pool, without mentioning size, race, or cultural background, they can achieve true social sustainability from their buyers.

Going Circular

By adopting a circular economy, fashion brands can recycle, reuse, and upcycle their fashion statement. While there are challenges, the benefits in the long run far outweigh these pitfalls. Circularity in fashion also introduces newer avenues of business, which translates to more employment and giving back to society in monetary terms. Rethinking and reusing materials and fashion involves an innovative designing approach and better technical prowess. Creating refined and timeless pieces with scraps or even existing pieces is a true challenge for designers.

Be Transparent About Your Sourcing

There is enough conversation around ethical sourcing, which eventually led to the rise of faux leather and faux fur making an entry into the world of fashion. However, it is now time to rethink how brands source, where they source from, and how sustainable these choices are. Sustainable sourcing is not just about the quality of the raw materials, but businesses also need to ensure that they are cruelty-free, in terms of testing, working conditions, and fairness of pay. Vetting vendors and buying from the right people are equally important.

Know Where to Cut Costs

Brands manage profitability in two ways: maximizing revenue and minimizing costs. As a conscious business, determine the impact created by the supplier to accommodate lower costs. It has serious repercussions on the working conditions that are practiced across their supply chain. Negotiations to lower costs from an already price-sensitive and low-cost market can have far-reaching efforts on the people and the quality of working on this supply chain. Businesses need to be aware of how their demands promote poor working conditions, unpaid overtime, and even unethical practices.

Preserve Artisanal Crafts

Several indigenous tribes across the globe have depended on arts and crafts for their livelihood for generations and centuries. After agricultural activities, artisanal work is the second largest employment sector in developing economies. But as the world embraces globalization at a rapid pace, this heritage is slipping into oblivion. As the youth from these tribes look for greener pastures, these arts and artisans are rapidly fading away. You, as a fashion brand, need to look at this highly unregulated market to support artisans and encourage youngsters to keep the flame burning.

Although this is a fine line to tread, it is equally essential for brands to give the credit to the respective artisans, and not indulge in modifying too much of the original, where there is a risk of disrespecting a culture, instead of valuing its heritage.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Fashion brands should also focus more on social sustainability, besides economic and environmental sustainability.
  2. When you create sustainable cloth, it is important for you, as a fashion brand, to confirm whether all aspects of the creation were sustainable and cruelty-free.
  3. Encouraging inclusion is a vital part of marketing a product.

At Fashinza, we believe sustainability is essential for the success of any brand. With us, brands can be a winner, thanks to our expert consultancy services. We’ll stick with you the whole nine yards, from concept creation to sustainable fashion production!

Give us a call at Fashinza for more information.


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