Strategies to bridge the gap between fast fashion and sustainable fashion | Fashion Trends - Hindustan Times

Strategies to bridge the gap between fast fashion and sustainable fashion

ByZarafshan Shiraz, New Delhi
Jul 18, 2023 01:15 PM IST

Looking for steps towards a balanced fashion industry? Check out these strategies to bridge the gap between fast fashion and sustainable fashion

Slow fashion represents a conscious and intelligent approach to fashion, seeking sustainable ways to protect our planet. It is important to recognise that slow and fast fashion can coexist harmoniously without shaming one another.

Strategies to bridge the gap between fast fashion and sustainable fashion (Photo by Alexi Romano on Unsplash)
Strategies to bridge the gap between fast fashion and sustainable fashion (Photo by Alexi Romano on Unsplash)

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Sukanya Bhataacharya, Founder of Prathaa, suggested that brands can take incremental steps towards slow fashion by implementing the following strategies:

  • In the journey towards a balanced fashion industry, brands can take incremental steps towards slow fashion, paving the way for a more sustainable future. By upcycling pre-retail scraps, creatively transforming them into new garments and accessories, brands minimize waste while adding a touch of uniqueness and value to their offerings.
  • Thoughtful design planning plays a pivotal role in waste reduction. Brands can embrace efficient pattern cutting, modular designs and a focus on garment longevity, ensuring materials are utilized optimally, minimising waste in the production process.
  • Transitioning to a circular model becomes a crucial consideration. By designing products with recyclability and durability in mind, brands can incorporate recyclable or biodegradable materials, implement take-back programs, and promote repair and resale initiatives, fostering a circular fashion ecosystem.
  • Embracing new-age design formats is another key strategy. Leveraging digital design tools, 3D prototyping, and virtual sampling reduces the reliance on physical samples and multiple iterations. This streamlined approach not only minimizes waste but also accelerates production cycles.
  • Conscious selection of raw materials holds immense power. Brands can make a significant impact by opting for organic, sustainably sourced, and biodegradable materials, thereby reducing environmental harm and supporting a more sustainable supply chain.

These gradual steps allow brands to transition towards slow fashion, showcasing their commitment to sustainability while recognising the practicality and accessibility of fast fashion. By embracing these strategies, brands contribute to a balanced fashion industry that harmonises style and conscience, nurturing a healthier planet for future generations.

Bringing her expertise to the same, Designer Surabhi Chopra echoed that for the future of the planet, the fashion industry needs to bridge the gap between sustainable fashion and fast fashion. She recommended:

1. Sustainable production - made to order is the future. Following this custom-made to order module will help in reducing garment waste that usually ends up in land fills.

2. Made in India - Supporting local artisans and sourcing ethically can offset the carbon footprint of the fashion industry. This is also ensure preservation of our timeless crafts and a good livelihood for our artisans. For instance. Hand- embroidered garments are the embodiment of slow fashion.

3. Quality over quantity- To feed the buying cycle, fast fashion favours quantity over quality. This results in discarded garments and end of the line fabric wastage. Keeping a quality over quantity approach can help reverse this damaging cycle.

4. Ethical practises - Fast Fashion is often the breeding ground for unfair labour practises. Someone somewhere pays the cost of cheap, fast fashion. Practising fair trade and labour practises would ensure quality fashion that will be vied by buyers.

5. Reduce, recycle, repurpose - Many brands are working on innovative technique to use recycled or repurposed raw material. Besides this, following sustainment production practises can help deal with the wastage issue at origin and make fashion more sustainable.

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