Why Is Sustainability On The Rise In Fashion?

Fashion isn’t just flirting with sustainability anymore – it’s a full-blown relationship. Continents on both sides of the pond are working to change the fashion industry for the future of the environment as people start to realise how much the industry has contributed to excessive waste, consumption, and emissions.  The combined annual emissions of the economies of France, Germany, and the UK are roughly equal to those of the fashion industry. In order to stay within the 1.5-degree pathway to mitigate climate change, outlined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and endorsed in the 2015 Paris agreement, the fashion industry will need to cut its emissions by roughly half by 2030.

Young, urban fashion consumers actively seek out sustainable options, but the majority of shoppers are unconvinced. Indeed, with a long, complex list of potential factors to consider, many people struggle to determine what exactly constitutes "sustainability." Despite growing awareness of the importance of sustainability, the fashion industry's environmental footprint remains substantial. Companies produce far more products than they can sell, and polyester accounts for more than half of all global fibre production, a material that requires a lot of energy to extract and process and that lingers in the environment for a long time.
This may change as millennials and Gen Zers reach the age and income levels where they can apply their eco-conscious values and beliefs to their wardrobes. As a result of this demand, brands may adopt clearer messaging and more sustainable practices.
As the importance of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) transparency grows, fashion companies will likely feel pressure to do more. For example, the UK government will require listed companies to publish net-zero transition plans and set company targets to mitigate climate risk beginning next year. Certain publicly traded companies will also be required to disclose climate-related financial information in accordance with the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) standards.
We expect consumer demand for sustainable fashion to grow as the fashion and textile industries strive to reduce their environmental footprint and consumers become more aware of our changing climate. Brands that help people understand and mitigate the impact of their fashion choices take the lead on this important issue and are better positioned to drive long-term growth.