(Photo Source: fashnerd.com)

Sustainable style is the next frontier of the fashion industry

Sustainability is only growing in the fashion industry as this industry is the second biggest polluting industry in the world, with big oil being the biggest. The fashion industry is working toward more sustainable solutions in the hopes of preventing further waste in the future.

Sustainability was talked about in the 2010s but for the 2020s it will be one of the biggest goals for everyone in the fashion industry. With the next decade approaching the industry is looking into the style solution of using old clothes to produce new clothes.

One of the biggest problems in the waste of the fashion industry is how we value certain items. For example, we’ll wear a simple T-shirt a couple of times and discard it without thinking twice once it looks a bit worn or less than new since you know you can replace it easily.

These ideals result in over 50 million tons of clothing that end up in landfills every year simply because it’s too dirty to donate or re-sell. The worst part is that most of the material in these tossed items are synthetic materials that are not biodegradable and often produce more pollution when incinerated, also resulting in releasing carcinogenic chemicals into the air.

The cycle of waste also starts before production with many materials coming from crops that require a lot of natural resources to produce. For example, the cotton needed for one simple T-shirt could use as much as 700 gallons of water to simply grow the cotton and there is only more waste going down the line of production.

The industry is exploring various options for what to do with clothing considered waste including using old material as insulation for houses and even using the resources to create new clothes altogether. Most of the technology needed to make this happen is still in development or testing phases but is bound to be more common throughout the next decade.

Many companies are working on creating a process to break down the recycled material to regenerated fibers, creating a clean medium for clothing lines to come. One of the biggest goals for this new technology is to commercialize it and give more accessibility for more brands to utilize, making this technology more common as time goes on. Only time will tell how long it will take for this new method to become mainstream in the fashion industry, but the next decade is looking bright to make sustainability the next industry standard.