With sustainability being the hottest topic at this season’s fashion weeks all over the world, all eyes are on designers paving the way towards a brighter, cleaner and more ethical industry, from the newly-appointed LVMH Sustainability Advisor, Stella McCartney, to the Swiss rising star of sustainable fashion design, Kévin Germanier. However, the very nature of fashion trends is wreaking havoc on our planet, creating an estimated 92 million tonnes of textile waste annually from the industry, and this rate is growing rapidly, when, in fact, about 95 per cent of the textiles that are sent to landfills each year could be reused or recycled. It all seems very grim, and it is. We have left our future generations with the job to solve this problem and it is not an easy task.
On the positive side, we are seeing an increasing amount of fashion brands switching up their practices to become more sustainable, and incorporating circular initiatives within their companies to make a positive impact, including established brands such as Gucci, Prada, and Levi’s, implementing great measures in their pursuit for a sustainable title. In my opinion, big players in the industry need to be setting the right examples. Educating emerging fashion designers on circular fashion design methods and techniques, including up-cycling, zero-waste and reconstruction, is the key towards a more sustainable fashion industry.
Having the opportunity to host the award-winning fashion documentary Frontline Fashion gave me the opportunity to get to know talented emerging designers who are on a mission to reduce the textile waste in the fashion industry. They truly are a breath of fresh air for the industry, working together to solve one of the biggest environmental disasters impacting our planet today, and setting a new benchmark for the future.
I feel privileged to be able to learn so much from the true pioneers of the sustainable fashion industry on my journey as an ambassador of Redress, a Hong Kong-based environmental charity, whose mission is to reduce textile waste in the fashion industry. When I first came on board, I was so ignorant in this field and I still have so much to learn, but I can say I have walked away from the experience feeling both devastated and hopeful. Ignorance is bliss, they say, and in this topic the phrase resonates with me. Now that I know a little about what is going on out there, it is my responsibility as a consumer to make better decisions, right?