Crafting a Sustainable Fashion Industry

Crafting a sustainable future: The path to a greener fashion industry


Eco-friendly practices are urgently required in fashion. While consumers are buying 60% more clothing and wearing them for half as long as they used to, it’s estimated that a truckload of abandoned clothing and textiles is either incinerated or dumped in landfills every second.

Whether you’re shopping around for sustainable brands or you’re studying fashion, it’s absolutely crucial to know about the impact of the industry and how the worst effects can be avoided or mitigated. 

What’s the environmental impact of fast fashion?


With record-fast production cycles, excessive waste, and immense disposable resource consumption, the demand for sustainable alternatives in fashion is higher than ever before. The allure of this harmful industry is maintained with low prices, with many consumers unaware of alternatives.

Textile production not only produces material and plastics waste, but the manufacturing processes produce alarmingly high emissions too. But with more sustainable materials now being produced and initiatives to tackle the issue at the source, change is on the horizon. 

Which are the most sustainable materials in fashion?


More sustainable materials are making their way onto the commercial market. These include:

  • Vegan leather

Unfortunately, the real leather impact has a great impact on local communities, environments, and natural water systems. As a by-product of the meat industry, it’s also directly linked to the slaughter of millions of cows across the world, each year. 

With vegan leather available on the markets, consumers can make a kinder and more environmentally friendly choice. Even with high street retailers, you can make vegan leather shoes more affordable by using a Schuh NHS discount next time you shop.

  • Organic cotton

Ethically sourced cotton is a necessity for any fashion business taking sustainability seriously. Organic cotton is grown without any synthetic pesticides.

It’s not only built with more attention by small-scale, independent growers, but the fabric itself is more durable than mass-produced cotton in clothing.

  • Recycled fibers

Even some of the biggest high street stores now include clothes made partly or entirely from recycled fabrics. In one way, this is an approach to reusing textiles and lengthening the lifespan of textiles that might otherwise end up in landfill.

Shopping at a charity shop is perhaps the best way to give clothes a second life, but there’s certainly a place for new clothes made from recycled fibers. 

How can end-of-life solutions be improved?


The concept of circular fashion is emerging, and this is one promising sign evident across the industry. More brands are designing products for longevity, repairability, with the potential to be recycled or upcycled into something entirely different. 

Initiatives including take-back programs and upcycling workshops help to show people how they can extend the lifespan of the garments they wear.  

How can customers be encouraged to make more sustainable choices?


To support eco-friendly fashion, consumers truly need to buy into the idea. Unfortunately, the statistics on consumer preferences are alarming. Recent fashion survey results published by Statista found that:

  • 23% would prefer to buy many cheap items rather than a few more expensive ones;
  • 17% own many fashion items that they never wear;
  • 21% buy fashion items spontaneously, and
  • 19% believe that companies label clothes as ‘sustainable’ even when they’re not.

With widespread attitudes reflecting indifference to sustainable fashion, it’s evident that fashion brands must make their own stance clear.

Promoting environmental responsibility is essential throughout the entire process, from the moment the fabric is sourced to an online order being delivered.


Big brands can make a difference in the way we see, keep, and think about our fashion items.

Through educating consumers about making eco-friendly choices, shopping mindfully, and supporting brands whose values align closely with genuine eco-consciousness, the fashion industry can still be transformed.