On the road to sustainability, between luxury and fast fashion
Credit: Vogue Italia
The world of fashion travels on a double track, but points toward the same destination: sustainability. On the one hand, the luxury manufacturing sector, which is increasingly focused not only on excellence but also on the need to certify processes and production; on the other hand, the universe of fast fashion which, for the past few years, has multiplied its efforts to reduce its impact on the environment, also in light of a target, the one represented by Millennials and Gen Z, which is increasingly informed, responsible and fascinated by vintage and second hand circuits.
Also pushing fast fashion giants, such as H&M, Inditex, Primark and Ovs in Italy, to work increasingly on transparency and traceability is a series of surveys that have drawn a less than rosy profile of the various processes. Documentaries such as "The True Cost," which in 2015 exposed the effects of pesticides used to grow GMO cotton in India, but also "Fashion Factories Undercover," which brought to light the inhumane working conditions of workers in Bangladesh. On water use in the fashion industry, on the other hand, "The River Blue" focused.
And then there are the positive insights, evidenced by the documentary "The Next Black," dedicated to the fashion of the future. Innovative companies presenting their projects, designed to design a more sustainable fashion industry and stop wasting resources. Ideas that rethink the relationship with clothing, new fabric dyeing technologies that do not use water and chemicals to hi-tech projects that aim to create clothes that can change shape, cut and color. All this is intended to give rise to a new, smarter and more conscious way of dressing.
Turning to the luxury supply chain, which has its beating heart right in Italy, there are increasingly "certified" producers to ensure that everything within the company is done under the banner of not only environmental but also social sustainability. As emerged also from the study conducted by Leather and Luxury among participants in the latest trade fairs, what the big brands are increasingly demanding from their producers (particularly in the tanning sector) are certifications. Thus, on the one hand, in fast fashion, investments to ensure the well-being and safety of workers, and on the other, in luxury, processes tracked with increasing attention to detail, along with the use of more environmentally friendly materials and processing.