Geraldine Wharry: Responsible by Design: Living in a Material World
today Dec 15, 2017
The topic of sustainability in fashion is of course a cosmos of its own; there are various systems at play, contributing to the bigger macrocosm. Discussed in this article is one of the hotter spots of activity; Textiles.
An often very overlooked and undermined point of subject in the industry; from the drawing rooms of fashion retail houses to the education of fashion students, there simply is not enough emphasis on the makeup of fabric. Arguably, this is where it matters the most.
It is the development of cloth; the intensity of the crop cultivation and treatment, the extraction and chemical processing of Polyester and MMCs (Man Made Cellulose) that are creating ecological and social consequences.
As an industry, we need to understand material. It’s more science than stitch. Look at the routine of other leading industries of the future- technology, automobile and building engineering, medicine; they make observations, conduct experiments and through research and analysis reach educated solutions to answer the struggles facing the current environment.
The determination to refashion is now more than ever since Global Populations continue to expand and the middle class is growing too. According to the UN, the population will be over nine billion by 2050, with the middle class increasing to five billion by 2030. Naturally this means rate of consumption is rising not only out of necessity but the increased trend to shop as a part of an affluent lifestyle will be growing especially in more developing countries.
Since a strong consumerist nature is on the agenda; it’s not like we can deny people of wanting things however we have the up most power to make those things as wholesome and good as possible. To set the trend and behaviour of consumption as a truly modern and conscientious one. Moreover, Generation Z with tech savvy, ever constant influx of information means bad habits cannot be hidden and transparency is well regarded. The objective of clothing is to be in vogue yes but to also keeping in style with values and demands of full accountability.
So how businesses respond now is not only to bring benefit for the practice of design and the betterment of worldly welfare, it is a matter of success and even survival in financial terms.
In the industry, having a deeper sense of materiality strengthens the zeal for conscience. To fully learn the individual components of materials thus their impact moves us to rethink sourcing, manufacturing and production.
This guide introduces you to the inner workings of fibres and its impact. It’s specifically for designers; to inform your meetings with your suppliers as you’re about to start sourcing for your next season with Premiere Vision [hyperlink to ] and other fabric tradeshows around the corner. If you don’t already, open the conversation with your fabrics mills, ask the question, go deeper to find out how your fabrics are made and this in turn will let your suppliers know about your concerns. This ensures a positive cycle of improving the supply and demand chain towards eco-consciousness.
What will we address?
/ The Big Three: Cotton, Polyester, MMCs
/ Philosophy of Circular Economy
/ The instigators of change
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Report by Angel Philip / EDITOR Geraldine Wharry
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