My “ahh-ha!” moment about sustainability came from the very first article we read. “Sustainable By Design: Explorations in Theory and Practice” by Stuart Walker, explained how fashion and sustainability are hard to bring together. In this article, “fashion” is perceived as a, “passing trend or fad”. Fashion is constantly changing, and without that constant change, the world of fashion becomes stagnant. On the other hand, you have sustainability which pushes for longevity in the products in which we consume. So how can we bring these two opposite worlds together.
When thinking about these two concepts, I came up with my epiphany for the week. By using sustainable practice within their business, apparel companies don’t have to sacrifice trend for sustainability. By cutting down on waste on the production end, the company can reduce their carbon footprint tremendously. Over the summer when I interned for BCBGMaxAzria, I saw that the company produced a serious amount of waste at their corporate headquarters alone. They printed off all forms instead of submitting them electronically. This caused a huge amount of paper waste. Not only did they waste paper, but also fabrics. Everyday we would do “mockups” to take into the meeting with the CCO. These mockups were draped in fashion fabric, that would then get thrown away after the meeting. Yards and yards of fabric was wasted, and I began to recycle the fabrics that I was using to help reduce the amount of waste produced (albeit, in a very small way, but once implemented company-wide it would have a larger affect).
Apparel companies can reduce their carbon footprints while still pushing trends forward rapidly. By simply cutting down on the amount of waste their companies go through on a day-to-day basis.