Sustainability, which stands for eco-friendly and rational socio-economic development, has become critical, hence needs incorporating into everyday life.
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One of the essential measures to take is improving the ecological responsibility of the fashion industry, to which a substantial share of pollution belongs (Environmental Sustainability in the Fashion Industry, 2021). Such a transformation would primarily require better strategic planning from the majority of brands. According to Camillus (2008), the biggest planning challenge lies in considering the increasing complexity of the business environment, which hardly any company does on a regular basis. Therefore, developing a strategy that would allow for better sustainability means adopting modern green trends.
Nevertheless, planning alone is apparently not sufficient for any noticeable changes, as businesses have to align the vectors of their development with the customers’ views and needs. Meanwhile, clothing consumers are “too diverse in their ethical concerns” to set out a particular direction (Harris, Roby and Dibb, 2016, p. 309). Currently, eco-friendliness is important to 46-50% of those who purchase clothes worldwide (Gorman, 2020; Kleinhückelkotten and Neitzke, 2019). Although that is doubtlessly more than ever, it is still necessary to improve the environmental awareness of consumers, not purely manufacturers.
The point of the greatest importance is apparently reducing consumption, which is to do for both sides. Thus, such a brand as Patagonia uses sustainable materials as well as assists its customers in having their clothing repaired instead of replacing those (Morgan, 2020). In addition, it would be relevant to encourage the population to recycle. Producing new clothes involves using pesticides to grow the raw materials as well as using water and chemicals for processing them; furthermore, worn items normally go to landfills (Vets, Navolska and Pashkevich, 2017). Recycling would mitigate most of the environmental threats that accompany the fashion industry.
Clothes production needs improving sustainability as well since it does not seem possible to manufacture new items at all. A Japanese retailer Uniqlo is on the list of examples to follow. In June 2018, it announced an updated policy that involves waste and chemical management as well as energy efficiency (Kim and Oh, 2020). The next step lies in attracting customer attention to the new trend with the help of so-called green marketing, which has to be able to build a favorable image of a business (Blasi and Sedita, 2019). If more brands follow a similar strategy, several ecological problems will be possible to solve.
Blasi, S. and Sedita, S. R. (2019). ‘Eco-friendliness and fashion perceptual attributes of fashion brands: an analysis of consumers’ perceptions based on Twitter data mining,’ Journal of Cleaner Production, 244(3): 118701. Web.
Camillus, J. C. (2008) Strategy as a wicked problem. Web.
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Environmental sustainability in the fashion industry (2021). Web.
Gorman, D. (2020) Why consumers want sustainable fashion more than ever. Web.
Harris, F., Roby, H., and Dibb, S. (2016) ‘Sustainable clothing: challenges, barriers and interventions for encouraging more sustainable consumer behaviour,’ International Journal of Consumer Studies, 40(3), pp. 309-318. Web.
Kim, Y. and Oh, K. W. (2020) ‘Which consumer associations can build a sustainable fashion brand image? Evidence from fast fashion brands’, Sustainability, 12(5), pp. 1703-1719. Web.
Kleinhückelkotten, S. and Neitzke, P. (2019) ‘Increasing sustainability in clothing production and consumption ‐ opportunities and constraints,’ GAIA – Ecological Perspectives on Science and Society, 28(1), pp. 240-248. Web.
Morgan, B. (2020) 11 fashion companies leading the way in sustainability. Web.
Vets, T., Navolska, L., and Pashkevich, K. (2017) ‘Analysis of sustainability and environmental friendliness concepts in the modern fashion industry,’ Theory and Practice of Design. Technical Aesthetics, 11, pp. 18-31. UDC 687: 504.05.