As mentioned previously, the future of fashion has to be based on sustainability or it isn’t relevant. The same applies to any industry. So what options are available for sustainable fashion? The materials are the main concern, followed by ethical production.
Sustainable materials include natural such as organic cotton, hemp, bamboo, silk, linen, wool, etc; recycled plastic based fabrics; reconstituted fabrics from broken down natural and synthetic materials and reconstructed; whole clothing or factory off cuts or seconds that are surplus or returned; used fabric or clothing that is wearable; used clothing that is falling apart or unwearable due to broken zips, holes, stains, etc.
Ethical production follows the trail from fabric production to the finished item of clothing, and can account for every step of the way. This depends on transparency. Some of the good fabric suppliers such as Pickering International or Elsegood Fabrics, are happy to assist with information.
Cut and construction can be difficult to follow with contracting and subcontracting if the process isn’t documented. Choices for local production in Australia are limited, so can be competitive to book in, and also require scrutiny for award wages and working conditions at all levels of production.
Ideally learning how to do everything is the easiest path to ethical production, or team up with people who have complimentary skills. Digital design through Spoonflower; learning skills in painting, dyeing and printing fabric via Kraftkolour or Dharma Trading; using hand or machine fabric manipulation techniques to customise or create fabric. Few of my favourite designers trained in fashion design, so lack of orthodox skills leads to new ways of creating, proving great fashion is about art and imagination.