There is always a lot of discussion surrounding the controversial topic of sustainable fashion, and for good reason. Next month will mark four years since the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory in Bangladesh, who made a number of items for fast fashion companies such as Primark. This really turned the heat up on why we have to discuss not just the welfare of the industry workers, but the sustainability of the as well.
Since that disastrous day in 2013, there have been some improvements made by a number of large fashion giants such as Nike, Inditex group and H&M who have all signed on to various welfare groups. These changes will have certainly improved the welfare of their factory workers, which is an important and positive change for the industry. However, there is still room for more to be done, especially when we look at the materials that are being used to make many of the collections we still see from top designers.
Stella McCartney debuted her new collection at fashion week and proved that luxury collections can still be made whilst maintaining an ethical background. Finally, the designer says, she has managed to find a way to make leather that contains no leather. The truth is, it really is hard to tell the difference from the real thing at her most recent show during Paris Fashion Week.
Although McCartney has long been hailed the champion of creating collections that still excite the fashion world without harming any animals in the process, there is definitely room for more experimentation and scope for designers to show they are driving change. Once again, AW17 has shown a huge collection of fur during show season, with many of the top names in the industry using exotic skins or fox and mink fur for their key pieces.
Faux materials have dramatically improved over the past few years, with some acrylic furs being good enough to trick even the most sceptical fur lover, however there appears to be little change in the demand for real fur products. Real fur is still a prominent source in the industry and unless consumers begin to shout about the use of real fur, it is likely that will not change any time soon. Fendi’s latest collection, shown in Milan displayed a collection that was particularly fur heavy.
The fashion industry remains the world’s second largest polluter after oil, according to the Business of Fashion. In an industry that has such a direct impact the environment, animals and the lives of millions of people, change has to be started from within. With the fashion-conscious crowd growing, it is important for the up and coming designers and emerging talents to take the opportunity to become drivers for change in the industry, and seek more development in ways to create luxury fashion that is sustainable for the future.