The function of sustainability in the world of fashion is one of the things that we must echo and apply more. No one was isolated from the fashion industry, all involved and took part. Even if we are not a designer or fashion fan, we all play a role in how clothing is produced and purchased based on what we choose to wear (or not to use). There is constantly giving and receiving between how the fashion market produces and how consumers buy fashion.


This situation brings us to the latest buzz word in the fashion industry: sustainability. What is as important as quality or design is how clothing is produced and purchased. At both ends of the sustainability movement, there are large individual and organizational consumers such as Global Labor Justice, Greenpeace Detox Catwalk, and Green America. They are asking fast fashion designers and companies like H & M, Forever21, Gap and Zara to take greater responsibility for their environmental impact and the care of their employees.

All of that is for good reasons.


The function of sustainability is increasingly Needed to Apply

The fashion industry is one of the biggest contributors to environmental pollution and has a history of exploiting labor. According to the World Resources Institute, in 2015 textile polyester production released 706 billion kg of greenhouse gas, equivalent to 185 annual emissions of coal-fired power plants. In most countries where the garment is produced, toxic waste from factories flows directly into the river.


The women who make up the majority of garment makers in fashion supplier factories are too often paid low. The 2011 study conducted by War on Want revealed the wages of garment factory workers began with only around $ 28 a month. This amount is far below the standard wage of life. Female workers are usually under the management of superiors who are mostly men, leading to a hierarchical structure. This makes it difficult for female workers to voice complaints or report abuse.


The Sustainability Function Needs To Be Recognized by Buyers

Eva Stevens, coordinator of Fashion Studies at COD, is a former designer with various experiences in the fashion industry. Stevens said she saw major changes in the fashion industry. It used to be very expensive to add decorations and embroidery to a sweater. Then the trade rules change and everything is decorated. Even Walmart suddenly has sweaters with embroidery and fringes because of cheap trade.


In the 1980s and 1990s, trade agreements changed and globalization radicalized the fashion industry’s paradigm. When the United States loosened trade regulations, the clothing market was suddenly filled with clothing from around the world. Open trade means that China can sell the same clothes made in America with more variety at lower prices. Buyer responds and that brings us to the fast fashion model that dominates retail today.


It must be reduced, of course, with the awareness of the entire community, not only the designers and company owners, as well as buyers.


“The good thing about fast fashion is bringing sustainability issues to the forefront,” Stevens said. “But fast fashion is the problem. When our trade transactions slacken, people think, “Yeah, that’s great, why aren’t there clothes from all over the world sold here? Save people money and help other countries if they sell here. ‘


But the negative effects of fast fashion go further than we realize. At the most basic level, clothing that is disposed of quickly adds to our collective waste. We can buy new clothes quickly, therefore, we can also dispose of clothes quickly. If we decide to donate our old clothes instead, it can still cause problems.


“Donations sent to other countries are sorted in Texas,” Stevens said. “So, the best-used clothes go to Mexico. What’s left is going to South America. The worst of the worst happened in Africa. ”  To sum up, buyers should want to take the time to sort out everything for the sake of the function of sustainability in the fashion world.


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