How fast fashion and low prices are causing waste and pollution
In the last 15 years, clothing production has approximately doubled, driven by a growing middle-class population across the globe and increased per capita sales in mature economies.
The latter rise is mainly due to the ‘fast fashion’ phenomenon, with a quicker turnaround of new styles, increased number of collections offered per year, and – often – lower prices.
This current situation has seen Nike, H&M, C&A all supporting a new report by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation about textile sustainability and the future of the apparel industry.
A worldwide problem
The current clothing system is extremely wasteful and polluting.
Worldwide, clothing utilisation – the average number of times a garment is worn before it ceases to be used – has decreased by 36% compared to 15 years ago. While many low-income countries have a relatively high rate of clothing utilisation, elsewhere rates are much lower.
In the United States, for example, clothes are only worn for around a quarter of the global average. The same pattern is emerging in China, where clothing utilisation has decreased by 70% over the last 15 years.
Changing people’s attitude to clothing
Moving forward, one of the many challenges facing the industry is to transform the way clothes are designed, sold, and used, to break free from their increasingly disposable nature.
There are a few niche areas where clothing is worn until the end of its useful life.
The ones that spring to mind are denim (where jeans often look better when old) and industrial workwear, where the clothing is designed and engineered to withstand up to hundreds of industrial washes, and yet still remain perfectly functional.
Changes in the garment industry
As the garment industry becomes globalised, and the insular domestic markets get swamped by overseas brands, it is imperative that all manufacturers remain vigilant and focused on individuality, to retain a key point of difference.
We all know that the shelf life for garments is around three months. So, if you don’t grab their attention with great design and innovation, you need to ensure that your branding and packaging are 100% on trend. We can help you with this, as we are locally based, internationally focused, and producing wherever you need us.
At Image Label Systems, we are acutely aware of the issues facing the textile sector, and we are constantly focussing on producing quality labels and tags, that will withstand the rigours of time, and yet remain as clear, concise and professional as the day they were made.
We do this by using environmentally friendly yarn and inks, and obtaining raw materials only from reputable and ethical companies.
We pride ourselves on always being at the forefront of the industry, and no matter what the future holds for the apparel business, we will be there.
Contact us today if you would like to know more about how we can help your business.
Whether you’re a fashion designer, garment manufacturer, or anything in between, we can help grow you business, cut costs, or reach a wider market.