Why Fashion Brands Are Switching To Responsible Manufacturing

Why Fashion Brands Are Switching To Responsible Manufacturing
Why Fashion Brands Are Switching To Responsible Manufacturing

Video: Why Fashion Brands Are Switching To Responsible Manufacturing

Video: The true cost of fast fashion | The Economist 2022, December
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At last March's Paris Fashion Week, Englishwoman Stella McCartney painted the catwalk with short dedications: “To my older brother Doug”, “For my beautiful girls”, “Dakota” … All this is not just a set of touching postcards, but part of the #ThereSheGrows initiative. It is aimed at saving the tropical forests of Sumatra, and more specifically the Leser ecosystem located in the north of the island, which, like the Amazon rainforests, is called the "lungs of the planet": why not - millions of acres of vegetation! Here, in the Gunung Leser National Park, rhinos, tigers, deer and elephants live. And also - the rarest Sumatran orangutan, whose number has decreased by about four times over the past 75 years. The fault is not the most careful handling of the area:The producers of palm oil, already not enjoying the best reputation, regularly cut down trees with the permission of the government in order to set up their own plantations in the "liberated" territories. Another scourge of the ecosystem is fire: the locals do not shy away from the methods of primitive slash-and-burn farming and easily burn acres of forest for their own needs.

Active destruction of vegetation leads to the extinction of the inhabitants of "Gunung Leser", and in the future - to an even more global eco-crisis. McCartney is trying to stop him: everyone could use the hashtag #ThereSheGrows to dedicate a tree to a loved one or even to himself, and the designer made donations on behalf of this person to the Canopy Foundation, which is engaged in forest conservation.

Stella McCartney Fall / Winter 2019/20 Show
Stella McCartney Fall / Winter 2019/20 Show

Stella McCartney Fall / Winter 2019/20 Show © Pascal Le Segretain / Getty Images

Most likely, the Stella McCartney Foundation would have transferred the amount anyway, but it was the format of the online challenge, in which Stella's celebrity friends like Gwyneth Paltrow, Justin Timberlake and Karlie Kloss took part, and the show of the fall-winter collection that became the cherry on the cake (she By the way, it came out to match: a knitted dress, the yarn for which was old T-shirts, a coat made from pieces of fabric left after working on previous collections - a kind of hymn to recycling) helped to attract more attention to the problem and increase the Leser ecosystem's chances of salvation.

In general, McCartney has always been at the forefront of green friendliness. Her name brand offered vegan alternatives to leather even when promises to give up fur, to make sure that seamstresses get decent pay, or to rethink attitudes towards energy consumption were not mainstream among fashion brands. But today there are enough comrades-in-arms - at least nominally. Whether the reason for this is sincere insight - the understanding that you can't just take without giving anything in return - or just statistics proving that millennials are more willing to spend on products of "conscious" brands, but we are experiencing a real boom of initiatives. And we can even talk about greenwashing - a situation in which a brand uses the enticing prefix “eco” as a marketing gimmick. Surely everyone understands that,releasing one or two capsule collections a year from recycled plastic bottles against the background of almost never-ending production of clothes made from not so “correct” materials, it is difficult to save the planet, but the intentions themselves, as a rule, have a positive effect on the image. Be that as it may, the fashion industry today is louder than ever about responsible manufacturing (or at least compensation for “irresponsible”) and is trying to take the right direction.compensation for "irresponsible") and tries to take the right vector.compensation for "irresponsible") and tries to take the right vector.

Resource renewal

The rejection of fur, which, it seems, all self-respecting brands have gone through over the past couple of years, including Burberry and Versace, is, of course, good. But the priority task for the fashion industry (of course, provided that the industry plans to still exist) is the transition from a linear economy to a so-called circular economy, where the amount of waste is minimized, because these very waste become an excellent "raw material" for production. In short, recycling.

Vagabond advertising campaign for the shoe recycling program
Vagabond advertising campaign for the shoe recycling program

Vagabond advertising campaign dedicated to the shoe recycling program © press service

Today, you can hand over old or simply boring things at least at Uniqlo, at least at H&M: those that are in the required condition will be redistributed among those in need, the rest will be sent for recycling. By the way, worn-out shoes can now also be attached: they are accepted at Vagabond.

Of course, recycling is not only the lot of democratic brands: a second life is now being given to things in the luxury segment as well. Just remember what wonders the winner of the LVMH Prize 2017 Marina Serre works: old silk scarves, worn shirts, even diving suits - and now amazingly beautiful "Frankenstein" are born, which will easily give odds to outfits created from scratch. Even by definition more conservative than Marine Serre, Ermenegildo Zegna showed a "sequel": a quarter of the fall-winter collection is made from remnants of cashmere, wool and nylon found in the brand's factories. Yes, as an experiment, but it fully justified itself.

Backstage of Ermenegildo Zegna Fall-Winter 2019/20 show
Backstage of Ermenegildo Zegna Fall-Winter 2019/20 show

Backstage of the Ermenegildo Zegna show fall-winter - 2019/20 © press service

Another way to control resource conservation is simply not to overproduce. Then you certainly won't have to throw away the unsold in the trash (it's enough that hundreds of millions of dollars worth of things end up in landfills every year, often worn just a couple of times) or, even worse, burn them, as Burberry did until recently. Fast-fashion, that is, the mass-market with its insane volumes and speeds, is now opposed to slow-fashion. Want a dumpling-like Gabriela Hearst bag, Brother Vellies boots, or a Lingua Franca sweater with a political slogan? Get ready to wait: they will start working on the item after you place your order.

Photo: press service
Photo: press service

1 of 3 Sweatshirts Lingua Franca © press service © press service © press service

Caring for people

The Outland Denim brand, which gained popularity with the light hand of Megan Markle (the Duchess of Sussex appeared in the jeans of the Australian manufacturer during the royal tour of Oceania), by its own example proves that good is not only the lot of the largest market players. Actually, the brand is an initiative in itself: its founder, James Bartle, was so impressed by the action movie "Hostage", where the plot revolved partially around human trafficking, that three years later he organized a small production in Cambodia. Sewing machines are those who have been subjected to forced sexual exploitation or are at risk of falling victim to it. All Outland Denim employees undergo special training and receive shameful wages not lower than the subsistence level. Of course, there can be no talk of processing:the goal of Bartle's venture is to create the most comfortable working environment for girls with a difficult life. So far everything is working out; suffice it to say that eight years ago there were only five seamstresses, and today there are more than 60.

Decent salary, three weeks of vacation, insurance, sick leave, paid maternity leave, consultations - Kate Spade New York makes sure that two hundred employees of the Rwandan Abahizi factory, which is exactly supervised by the American giant, get all the "bonuses" they deserve (yes, the obligatory set for some countries is a real luxury for others). It also more than provides the local craftswomen with orders: on the Kate Spade website, in the On Purpose section, you can see what comes out of all this.

Manufactured by Kate Spade New York
Manufactured by Kate Spade New York

Production Kate Spade New York © press service

Social justice

“We do our little bit to make big dreams come true,” Coach is of course modest: over the past ten years, the brand has donated more than $ 45 million to charities that support youth. For example, in 2017, the American brand that made its name on accessories wrote a generous check to the Step Up charity, which advocates the right of teenage girls from disadvantaged areas to study. Today, the brand joins forces with The Future Project, an organization that helps schoolchildren realize their “dream project” under the guidance of well-trained mentors.

Coach's European colleagues do not stand aside either. Louis Vuitton formed an alliance with UNICEF three years ago to protect the youngest victims of natural disasters and military conflicts. At the same time, in 2016, the brand made a small silver lock a symbol of the initiative: $ 200 from the sale of each bracelet or necklace with such a pendant goes to supply Syrian children with clean drinking water, medicines, clothes and hygiene products. Last summer, actress Sophie Turner "upgraded" the decoration: she hung the lock on a red and white cord and added a tiny "charm" with a rabbit - probably for good luck.

Gucci, meanwhile, is raising gender issues. The initiative is long-lasting, the strikes are delivered pointwise. For example, on International Women's Day, the brand made a donation to the Italian charity WeWorld, known for its reverent attitude towards women and children, on behalf of all employees. And then there will still be!>

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