The fashion industry is changing the way it produces some of the world’s famous designer pieces and adored catwalk garments in a bid to become more ethical.
Fashion Positive is a new initiative devised by Cradle to Cradle Products Innovative Institute, which hopes to revolutionise the industry and accelerate innovation in the production of high-quality materials, products and processes.
The purpose is to improve the production of clothes, making them more eco friendly, and inspire other leaders of the fashion world to reinvent the future of fashion.
British fashion designer Stella McCartney, joined the campaign and fashion event held at Gotham Hall in New York.
Stella McCartney is amongst other fellow designers, G-Star RAW, Loomstate, Bionic Yarn and manufacturer Saitex to have joined forces with Fashion Positive, to improve the way clothes are produced in the fashion world.
The fashion industry is the third most polluting industry on earth after oil and agriculture. Along with poor working conditions, minimal environmental regulations, and child and slave labour, unethical practices are commonplace in the $1tn garment industry.
Most clothes we wear contain toxic additives that are conventionally used to grow our cotton. Research has shown that non-organic cotton farming uses 25% of the insecticides applied worldwide; this means traditional cotton production is becoming a significant pollutant to the environment and eco system.
The Cradle to Cradle Products Innovative Institute works with fashion businesses that are thinking about turning a new leaf and going green, by dividing the program’s initiatives into five broad categories of sustainability consisting of material health, material reuse, renewable energy, water stewardship and social fairness. The aim is to get these businesses to start shifting their practices in each of these at risk areas.
Lewis Perkins, senior vice president of the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute, said: “Its really re-tooling what we’ve been doing for 150 years, since the industrial revolution. Now we realise that energy is not cheap and water is not indefinite, and we really have to look at different systems.”
The changes would mean more ethical materials being sourced from supported ethical suppliers, which in turn could attract other companies to bring in their trade, forming a greener industry.
Responding to the prospect of a greener industry, Perkins said: “There is a big shift that is occurring, the whole industry has awakened to the fact that its wasteful, there’s toxicity, low price points are driving human rights issues, wage issues…we have to do something, and the whole industry knows it.”