Are you aware of the kind of fabric used for the garments you are wearing? While staying up to date in terms of fashion, do you think you too have contributed to environmental pollution?
Statistics say that only a handful of companies are themselves aware of the final fabric composition used in their garments. They don’t know because the raw materials are processed far away from the place of final stitching and buying and the chain system is too complex and long to keep a track of the ingredients used.
Worse is that almost 8000 chemicals are used to process the raw materials that go into the making of the final clothes we wear and 20,000 liters of water is poured in to manufacture 1 kg of cotton. This amount probably yields us just one T-shirt and one trouser.
Today the fashion industry is regarded as the second most polluting industry in the world contributing alone to almost 10% of global carbon emissions and toxic wastes. We need to change and make sustainable fashion a way of life.
Problems in the Fashion Industry
- To reduce the costs of the final product, the developed nations moved their garment factories to the developing nations with the promise that it will deliver the jobless with jobs. However, studies say that instead of empowering the laborers, it has exploited them. The wages are too meager. It ensures that the end product is cheap for the customers but the labor rights are violated. Labor exploitation in the garment industry is a major issue and needs to be addressed with urgency.
- In 2015, Andrew Morgan created a documentary film on fashion titled as ‘The True Cost’. He traveled across 13 countries and documented the extent of river pollution, soil pollution, air pollution, deaths and diseases that are caused due to the uncontrolled and unsustainable practices of the garment industry.
- Circular fashion or recycling the already used fabric to make a new one is a great solution. But not even 1% of the old fabric is recycled into a new one in today’s world. There’s no awareness about recycling fabric among people and this results further into huge textile wastes.
The fashion industry in light of these extremities has to make a shift to sustainable and ethical fashion. The future designers should be enlightened about the need of the hour to promote and inculcate fashion that doesn’t violate labor rights or pollute the environment we live in. Fashion also needs to go green.
ESEDS iLEAD keeping the need in mind has come up with a fashion designing course that integrates ethics and sustainability within their design curriculum.
Speaking about one of the most unique fashion designing courses in Kolkata, Aloke Singh, Co-Founder and Creative Director of ESEDS School of Design said, “If we made a separate subject of sustainable fashion in the course, it wouldn’t have served the purpose. Students have a tendency to learn and forget. If sustainable fashion was just a part of the whole course, there are high chances that they will learn about it and forget it. But if the whole course is based on sustainability, they will learn about it in conscious mind and remember to apply it. Young graduates who understand sustainability are the need of the hour. Sustainable fashion will be much in demand five years from now on and that’s what we keep in mind while preparing the students. ”
If you are a fashion enthusiast or an aspiring designer, make sure your kind of fashion takes the green and ethical route because as we move into the future, we too need to take up the responsibility and burden of sustainable progress.