Until recently fashion industry was one of the least sustainable and eco-friendly industries in the world. According to some statistics, the industry is responsible for around 10% of global carbon emissions. Additionally, the resources used to produce synthetic fabrics are non-renewable and there’s also the case of the waste the fashion industry creates. But things are changing.
Now that consumers have more voice thanks to social media channels, they are demanding a more sustainable and ethical fashion. And the fashion industry is listening to them. With the help of technology, fashion is slowly becoming more eco-friendly.
Here are some ideas on how you can give your fashion business an eco-friendly makeover.
1. Create a lasting design
If your goal is to truly become an eco-friendly brand, start by designing lasting pieces instead of short-lived ones. There are so many designs that last for one season and then stop being popular. Those kinds of designs are precisely the ones that end up in landfills polluting our planet.
Since coming up with a design is the best part of owning a fashion business, you can take time to do some research and work on designing timeless, well-crafted apparel that will last for a long time.
2. Use sustainable materials
To be able to make your design come to life, you need to find the appropriate types of fabrics and materials – preferably sustainable ones. Now, finding a supplier of eco-friendly materials may not be as easy as finding suppliers that don’t have sustainability as a priority.
Suppliers that produce polyester materials are cheaper and readily available but try to steer clear of those suppliers. Instead find people who sell biodegradable fabrics such as linen, hemp, recycled cotton, or sustainably grown cotton and similar types of fabrics.
Yes, biodegradable fabrics will be pricer compared to non-biodegradable ones, but the consequences of not using them such as waste and pollution can put things in perspective.
3. Ethical manufacturing
Just like choosing an ethical material supplier, it’s also important to choose a manufacturer to whom sustainability is a priority. Try to find local manufacturers who care about their workers, who are energy and water efficient, and who don’t use toxic chemicals in the production process.
Additionally, you should look into Unmade software – a software that will allow you to streamline your processes and connect your design and production to deliver better products faster. With this software, you can become a made-to-order brand that works towards preventing garment waste.
4. Sustainable packaging
Once the clothing is made, it’s time to sell it and send it to customers. Packaging plays a big role in building a relationship between a customer and a brand. Through packaging, you can also express your brand’s identity.
Since you aim to become a more eco-friendly brand, you can also show this with your packaging. As you know, your products are sustainable so it only makes sense that you choose sustainable packaging for them as well.
Choose packaging that can be either reused or recycled. Today, we also have the option of compostable packaging. For example, corrugated cardboard is considered to be one of the most environmentally friendly and sustainable paper-based packagings.
5. Green logistics
Believe it or not, eco-friendly shipping is possible. Green logistics refers to shipping processes that focus on reducing the carbon footprint.
You can work on reducing your brand’s footprint by implementing this type of green logistics approach. What this implies is finding ways to get closer to customers with pop-up warehouses. This strategy can cut down the costs of shipping by renting a small warehouse near your customer base. You’ll be using less fuel and thus you won’t be polluting the environment as much.
Other examples of green logistics include using alternative vehicles and fuel technologies. This means using biofuel instead of diesel or other fossil fuels. Additionally, new eco-friendly sea and train shipping options and hybrid and electric delivery vehicles are at your disposal.
6. Post-purchase product care solutions
The life of your product doesn’t end once you sell it to your customers. Quite the contrary, that’s when its life truly begins. And to make sure that your product lasts for a long time, you should educate your customers on how to take care of your products so that they can last a long time.
If you can, you should offer a repair service or offer the customers to return the used garments once they no longer need them. This way you’ll be ensuring that your products either get recycled or upcycled.
If you think about it, giving your business an eco-friendly makeover is not a cheap process. It takes a lot of changes to turn your business truly sustainable. However, you shouldn’t give up.
Start small, only implement one or two eco-friendly practices and then work on expanding them to all segments of your business. It won’t be easy, but it will be well worth it.