Sustainable Style: The way forward

As the glamour and excitement of London Fashion Week comes to a close, high street designers across the globe begin to create their spring and summer collections, replicating the runway trends. As consumers, we race to the shops to fill our wardrobes with the latest trends, rarely considering the environmental effects of what is now described as “fast-fashion”. The majority of consumers (including myself) were, until recently, unaware that excluding the oil sector, textiles is now the greatest cause of pollution.

The fashion industry encourages consumers to constantly purchase products of a progressively lower quality, masking the astonishingly detrimental social and environmental effects of such high speed consumption, rates of which have increased by 400 per cent since 1995. Additionally, as the industry becomes increasingly competitive, prices are forced down resulting in exploitation of workers.

The relentless pressure to keep up with the latest trends has created major issues with waste production, with a massive 2 million tonnes of clothing and textiles in the UK being thrown away each year.

One clothing line, which has been created with the primary aim being of combatting these issues is called ZADY. Emma Watson has recently collaborated with the brand, which aims to produce timeless pieces by working directly with the farmers, spinners and washers as well as informing its customers of the product’s origin and the raw materials used. In September 2016, Emma delivered her speech at the United Nations, dressed fully in sustainable garments from the eco conscious brand.  On top of becoming the UN Goodwill ambassador and achieving a successful career in acting, Emma Watson continues to inspire with this collaboration. The “capsule collection”, directed towards the “modern woman” can be found on the ZADY website.

As students, ZADY’s prices may not be an attractive alternative to the likes of Primark or Topshop however brands such as H&M and M&S have also made an effort to change the damaging relationship between fashion and the environment. Emma Watson made a statement about the necessity for change in the world of fashion through her clothing as she gave her speech at the United Nations. As students we can follow her influence in taking responsibility for the environment, by donating our unwanted clothes to charity shops, by venturing into the various vintage shops that Edinburgh has to offer and educating ourselves on which brands promote sustainability. Fashion is an immediate avenue of self-expression, so I would urge you to ask yourself, what does your choice of brand say about you?

[image: Jason Hargrove via Flickr]

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