Community Talks! Vol. 1, ep. 12.
The future of fashion is already here. And there is no better place to see this for yourself than Amsterdam's Fashion For Good Museum, the world's first interactive tech museum for sustainable fashion.
I’ve visited this amazing museum a couple of weeks ago, and what an immersing experience it was! It walks you through the history of fashion, the latest industry technology, innovation, and the stories behind day-to-day clothing.
The ground floor currently consists of an exhibition full of quotes and slogans about the industry as it operates today, with an array of breakthroughs in sustainable fashion design presented in collaboration with a few well-known brands. The first floor is dedicated to describing the lifecycle of a basic t-shirt, with the tons of chemicals and the resource consumption involved in its production. The colorful and interactive exhibition may make you think twice about your own consumer behavior, highlighting for example, that garments travel an average of 14,000km and are handled by 100 people before you buy them.
‘MORE THAN 80 BILLION PIECES OF CLOTHING ARE PRODUCED WORLDWIDE EACH YEAR. OF THESE PIECES, 75% WILL END UP IN LANDFILLS.’ – GREENPEACE, 2016
Let’s take a moment and reflect. When the problem is take-make-waste how do you and I become a part of the solution?
The answer lies in understanding that fashion is designed for us. It’s designed for our buying habits, our style preferences, and our need to buy more as cheap as possible. Yes, marketing and advertisements have a lot to do with our perceptions. But what happens when our perceptions change? When we educate ourselves and say ‘no’ to production practices that don’t align with our values? Brands change. They look for innovative solutions to recycle water waste. They say ‘no’ to toxic dyes. They design with deadstock materials. And, when we as consumers do the same—use less water, say ‘no’ to toxic dyes and re-wear clothing that we already have—the planet we love so much will change and heal. We are all part of the problem, and we are all part of the solution. And together we can make the world well again. That’s what Fashion For Good is trying to show us.
If we take a look at glitter for example, it’s an ingredient that seems to remain prevalent in the beauty industry, despite it being one of the most environmentally damaging of all.
One of the innovations that caught my attention was created by an American brand and it transforms the classic and highly pollutant glitter into a completely biodegradable material. BioGlitz is made by transforming the cellulose of eucalyptus trees into rolls of plant-based plastic, which are then coated in 0.1 % aluminum and cosmetic pigments. The past couple of years have seen some pretty major innovations in the green beauty space. Not only do we have access to a multitude of options for clean and non-toxic skin care, hair care, and cosmetics, but we’ve also seen brands shift their focus to creating products and packaging that are truly sustainable, whether they’re recyclable, refillable, or biodegradable.
I would love to end this article with the five key Fashion for Good initiatives that I think we should all aspire to:
Good Materials — safe, healthy, and designed for reuse and recycling.
Good Economy — growing, circular, shared and benefiting everyone.
Good Energy — renewable and clean.
Good Water — clean and available to all.
Good Lives — living and working conditions that are just, safe and dignified.
What a wonderful article Gabriela Dobrescu! Very informative and a good reminder that we should be more conscious of where and why we buy our clothes. I do not often buy new clothes (I am more of the school that I wear it until it is just in tatters) but when I do, I tend to go to vintage stores or second hand--because re-use is better than fast fashion. Thanks for this!0
I love this Gabriela Dobrescu!
Thanks for sharing this insightful information. We definitely should be more conscious of how fashion impacts our environment. In the end, is the consumer's decision that keeps some brands ongoing, but I'm sure that also those who work in the fashion industry should demand more sustainable products and strategies to take care of our environment and stop "greenwashing".0
Wonderful article Gabriela! I am sure that those who can make the change in fashion are the consumers. Overbuying cheap fashionable clothes instead of classics and focusing too much on the price and not longevity of the product, will in the end make more money fly from the pockets. Hope fashion goes more into experimenting and finding better solutions.0
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