The fashion industry emits more carbon emissions than the international flights and maritime shipping combined. This is just one of the many reasons why we decided that our theme this year would centre around sustainability.
As our panel talk concerning the phrase ‘The Future is Sustainable’ has been cancelled, we took the liberty to ask our panellists what sustainability in the future of fashion really means and compiled their answers in our upcoming article. We will address how exactly is this movement affecting both new and existing brands, what are the implications for us as consumers and how policy should play a role in achieving this goal.
We have handpicked speakers from Depop, Business of Fashion, PETA, Mayamiko and ByRotation to hopefully offer a comprehensive discussion on this subject. Get to know them and their views on sustainability in this article!
Introducing our panellists :
Paola is an Impact entrepreneur with over ten years experience working in developing countries on a variety of sustainable development, education and poverty reduction initiatives. In 2013, Paola established Mayamiko The Label ,an ethical fashion brand, producing sustainably and ethically in Malawi. She has been developing the brand ever since, continuously finding innovative ways to make it more sustainable , for example through clever design concepts that minimise waste.
“I believe in Regenerative fashion – actively thinking about how to
have a positive impact instead of just mitigating the negative impact on the environment. However, this depends on the size of your brand and how long you have been thinking about sustainability.”
“Rotate your wardrobe: do good for the planet, your wardrobe and wallet at the same time. ” Eshita was planning her honeymoon to her motherland Rajasthan, India and turned to Instagram for inspiration – cities to go to, hotels to stay at and… what to wear! That’s when Eshita started thinking about fashion rental and the lack of options in the UK. “a very first-world problem, and how pragmatic it would be to just borrow from someone else” she thought. Upset by the level of textile waste she saw, she decided to launch By Rotation, the UK’s first (peer-to-peer) fashion rental app.
“Our (sustainable business) priorities are to remain digital and not to purchase inventory for the business We remain strictly peer-to-peer to avoid adding any new items into circulation and eventually landfill”
Sascha Camilli is the media and special project coordinator at PETA and works on press projects in the UK and Europe as well as fashion campaigns. She also gives guest lectures about the use of animals in fashion and innovative vegan materials at universities across the UK. Sascha is also the founder of the World’s first digital vegan fashion magazine, Vilda (www.vildamagazine.com), and the author of the World’s first vegan fashion book, Vegan Style.
“If it’s not vegan, all it sustains is cruelty to animals and environmental destruction. Animal-derived materials are the worst offenders – The “Pulse of the Fashion Industry” report found that leather is the material with the highest cradle-to-gate environmental impact, with silk and wool close behind”
Steve Dool is a former journalist, editor, and brand consultant with over 10 years of experience in the fashion and luxury sectors in New York and Europe. Since graduating from LSE, he has taken a post here in London at the global HQ of the VC-backed social fashion marketplace Depop, as head of brand partnerships.
“There isn’t a single, industry-wide consensus…Fashion brands should not refer to themselves or their practices as “fully sustainable,” since that doesn’t truly exist. The most sustainable garment is one that’s already been made and can be reworn.” But, the best (brands) are those that are taking a holistic look at their entire business – What happens to the product they create when it leaves their shops?Are workers operating under ethical standards?
Queennie Yang is a founding member and China’s Editorial Director of Business of Fashion. BoF is a global organisation with members in more than 125 countries with the purpose of building fashion’s global membership community to open, inform and connect the industry. Queenie’s 10 year experience in the industry also includes being an Asian Editor of Vogue as well as the Asia Correspondent for Vogue Business.
“ I believe the future of fashion is sustainable.The fashion industry should change their business model into a circular model, by setting tangible but ambitious sustainable strategies.”