Fashion brands are embracing unique ways to create more sustainable products.
Premium and value fashion brands are developing new ways to create clothing out of recycled products in an effort to reduce waste. While buying vintage or used clothing has been on the rise, designers are working to develop practices that create less or no waste using materials from fresh ingredients or recycled goods. For example, Vin + Omi, a British design team that’s dressed former first lady Michelle Obama, has been harvesting its own crops for clothing from horseradish plants and chestnuts. The brands’ latest clothing collection includes items made from recycled paint containers—all in an effort to make products more sustainable. Other designers have begun using items such as old refrigerators and waste from the sea, with the hope that in the near future the fashion industry will be able to use fiber-to-fiber recycling—where a piece of clothing is unraveled and turned into a new piece of clothing.
It is not only luxury fashion brands that are making public efforts to end fashion waste. The notably Earth-conscious brand Patagonia created a 100% recycled polyester fleece sweater. The fibers in the sweater are made from recycled soda bottles, waste, and other former clothing fibers. Synthetic polyester is one of the most harmful materials for the environment, though it is also the most widely used synthetic fiber. The fleece sweater retails for $119, an average price for a Patagonia sweater—demonstrating that sustainable products can be created at no extra cost to the consumer. Patagonia’s sustainable clothing is in addition to the brands upcycling resale marketplace, Worn Wear, that lets customers trade in worn brand clothing for store credit according to a Gartner report.
Sustainable fashion has a long way to go, but the industry is beginning to make strides as more brands and customers embrace environmentally friendly products and shopping habits. Brands hoping to create recycled goods can look to companies like Vin + Omi or Patagonia for ideas on going green in fashion.