Much has been published in the sustainability of fashion in recent years. More and more companies have joined the sustainable fashion movement. Leading companies, ranging from Patagonia and H&M to Kering Group and ASOS, have already launched pioneering initiatives on the entire production lifecycle from recycling to regeneration. It has been reported1 that 64 international fashion companies, representing a total of 142 brands, signed the 2020 Circular Fashion System Commitment and set 143 targets for sustainability at 2017 Copenhagen Fashion Summit – one of the world’s most important events on sustainable fashion.
The primary motivation behind this growing trend of sustainability is the awareness of changing consumer minds and behaviors, especially the Millennials and Generation Z. It is also reported2 that 66% of the global millennials are willing to pay more on those brands with high sustainable credibility. Regarding sustainability involvement, some industry forerunners’ successful experience is creating an area of differentiation. These brands address their value through identifying sustainable ways and working with their customers across the whole product lifecycle, which accelerates their transition to a circular system and in return earn them loyal customer base and esteemed reputation.
The discussion about the environmental impacts of the fashion industry has existed for decades, much earlier than the sustainable actions taken by major industrial participants. In the following section, the questions listed below will be the focus for discussion:
- what kind of environmental problems the fashion industry have today?
- what the major fashion brands have done?
- what do they expect to achieve for sustainability?
- what kind of sustainable business initiatives the industry could have?