I recently came across Sympatex’s two-world campaign for sustainable fashion, showcasing the effects of industrial production practices in apparel and footwear industry. It hit a chord for many of us are guilty of mindless shopping sprees and turning the other way when questioned about ‘who made your clothes’.
Currently, 80 billion garments are bought annually, about twice as many as 15 years ago; 23 billion pairs of shoes produced every year. The textile industry is already generating more climate-damaging CO2 than the entire aviation and shipping traffic combined. By 2050, as a result of our decades of ignorance and inaction on an effective recycling process, more plastic could float in the oceans than fish.
The Sympatex campaign, which will be launched at the Outdoor Trade Fair in Friedrichshafen, depicts a non-livable world that awaits us if we do not steer towards sustainable fashion immediately. Piles of plastic and garbage, eroded landscapes, drought and species extinctions are the foreseeable consequences of massive pollution caused by man and his careless overexploitation of nature. In contrast, you can see a similar landscape that shows the ‘intact’ world that would only remain if we choose to consistently design clothing sustainably. The campaign uses a polaroid image of world as we see now, set against the foreseeable effects of irresponsible manufacturing and purchases.
It is alarming, right? It is about time that you and I make conscious choices with our purchases, and positively contribute to the course of the world. And every little effort counts. From brands that manufacture to individuals that make purchase decisions, every step counts.
As Dr. Rüdiger Fox, CEO of Sympatex Technologies GmbH said, “there are only two ways: back into the cave – or forward to a consistent system of material recycling.”
However, I know that the struggle is real. As a fashion enthusiast, I have scouted for a couple of seasons for sustainable clothing, which is both trendy and affordable. More often than not, I have gone round and round in circles, and found nothing that I would feel glamourous in, without breaking the bank. So there is a dilemma, and if manufacturers step up their game and work with companies like Sympatex to create apparel and footwear that is sustainable, affordable and fashion savvy, I can envision light at the end of the tunnel.
But why would fashion labels go that route when bottom line is the king? Sustainable fashion means higher production costs, which would have to be passed on to the customer. Customer, however, is not willing to pocket the difference and price hike. Lowering profit margins might push manufacturers out of business, so that might not be an option either.
Well, I can’t seem to come up with a solution that would be lucrative enough for both brands and individuals to commit to the cause of sustainable fashion. Do you have any suggestions maybe?
Also, do you know of any “conscious” fashion brands that make you and the world happy at the same time? I would love to discover more brands, so please drop in your suggestions.