This post includes all original content created by Aquila Farrell.
In our lives we use circles to create more. Take a look at the examples below. They can be cut in two equal halves, attach the straight sides to the two tops of a square and you have a heart. Take a circle, cut it towards its center and turn it into a cone. You now have a party hat for your next birthday event. You can cut four circles out of fabric, and cut each towards the center and stitch each circle together at one open edge. Now you have a frill that can be added to the hem of a skirt or the front of a blouse. Make a circle out of flour, throw some pizza sauce on it and cheese you have a pizza. Yum!
The World is Green
The world is also trending towards a sustainability model to ensure we are doing everything we can to keep our earth safe. Going green has been a whisper in the fashion design world for decades. Now it is at the forefront of fashion design as consumers seek to spend their money with more green conscious brands.
The color green means GO and fashion designers have embraced the green light to avoid processes of manufacturing which may lead to hurting the earth and our bodies. Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) is one of the most toxic materials for our bodies and the environment. No other plastic contains as much harmful chemicals as PVC. O Ecotextiles reports that there is no safe way to manufacture or dispose of PVC due to the chemicals that go into it and those that are released. What does PVC look like in the fashion industry? Any handbag that contains vinyl or plastic is probably made of PVC.
Reflect on your own collection of handbags and I am sure you will discover some PVC lurking around. Despite the presence of PVC in many fashion collections, Gucci is just one designer with a focus on transitioning to more green materials. According to the The Washington Post, Gucci has traded PVC for polyurethane in their newest handbag design, the Dionysus. Even with the new eco-friendly material, the Dionysus has faired well in the marketplace.
H&M just released its Conscious Exclusive Collection with pieces made from recyclable materials. The most notable piece is an evening gown made out of a fabric called Bionic. V Magazine reported that the clothing and accessories in this collection by H&M are all made of Bionic, a fluid fabric comprised of recycled shoreline plastics. H&M is a leader of the green movement in fashion with 20% of its products being made from sustainable fabrics organic cotton and now, Bionic.
The future of fashion design is full of green life and environmental focus. With pillar fashion designers like Gucci, Stella McCartney and H&M leading the way, many will likely conform.
Circles Make the World Go "Round
The current cyclic fashion design process will have to be adjusted to consider the long term. With the presence of fast fashion, indie designers and smaller labels, there are more options to meet the demands of environmentally conscious consumer. If fashion designers do not consider the environmentally conscious consumer, they may lose them. Consumers have become more aware, therefore applying pressure on fashion designers to consider the implications of their manufacturing and sourcing on the environment.
Fashion Will Be Consumed
Just like the ever edible donut, fashion is consumed. Daily, more fashion design innovation is being developed leading to an increase in the speed of fashion design. Clothing is now being produced and released at a faster rate with the end user in mind. Fashion designers once produced just a few collections a year, are now doubling their output to meet the demand of consumers. Chanel is great example of a fashion house producing double the amount of shows and designs to meet the needs of the market while high street stores like Zara work around the clock to adapt the trends to match the pockets of fashion lovers in the real world. It is all about quickly the designs can meet the taste of the high-end consumer and hunger of the everyday fashion lover.
Closed-loop sourcing is the solution. This maybe the next step. Reuse materials to create new fibres as suggested by Mare-Claire Daveu as quoted by The Washington Post . “The holy grail for sustainability in fashion is closed-loop sourcing,” Marie-Claire Daveu of the global luxury holding company Kering (Kering owns companies like Gucci, Alexander McQueen, Saint Laurent and Stella McCartney, among many others.) “Reuse old materials. Make new materials out of old materials. Recapture the fibers.”
Steps are being taken by the fashion design industry to make the process more green but who will be the boss?
Something is Missing
Yes, there will need to be regulation of green fashion design, but we would still want to encourage creativity. Will regulation limit the creativity of brands and designers or will it force them to think outside of the foundations of fashion design?
Adding regulation to the fashion design circle can lead to a change in the industry processes. Without dedicated resources to manage and provide valid certification of claims to green fashion, the circle may become distorted and could become a triangle with regulation at the top and fashion designers at the bottom.
- Aquila Farrell