Sustainable Fashion: the 3 “R” approach

Fabrics created from citrus production waste, bacteria to recycle polyester and a virtual platform for the recovery of textile production waste.

Fabrics created from citrus production waste, bacteria to recycle polyester and a virtual platform for the recovery of textile production waste.

These are just some of the innovative ideas that received a million euros from the first Global Change Award, which collected more than 2,700 ideas from 112 countries launched in 2015 by the H&M Foundation.

Focus on developing and supporting new technologies to recycle marine plastic debris: this is the project developed by Adidas and Parley for the Oceans, to transform the plastic of the oceans in technical yarns that can be used for high-performance products such as a shoe or a T-shirt.

Or even: LVMH, a multinational company that embraces 70 of the most prestigious and exclusive brands including Louis Vuitton, Dior, Givenchy, Fendi, Céline, Kenzo, Marc Jacobs, has created a fund of more than 5 million euros which will be used to finance projects to reduce energy consumption and to produce renewable energy at an international level.

Also for Kering Group (Gucci, Saint Laurent, Balenciaga, Stella Mc Cartney, Bottega Veneta, McQueen…) sustainability has a strong weight within the structure, bringing the French group to quantify the environmental impact of its activities and integrate environmental sustainability into its strategic objectives and the supply chain process. For the second year, it ranks first in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices in the fashion sector.

Just as the list of fashion brands that have adopted a green approach with the Greenpeace Detox protocol is getting longer: the latest new entries are 5 Italian textile companies that join the 34 international brands and the 20 companies of the textile district of Prato.

The Manifesto of sustainability for Italian fashion promoted by the Camera Nazionale Della Moda Italiana, to which are added the Detox Commitment of Greenpeace and on the subject of CSR, Fashion4Development initiative of the ONU, the Deeper Luxury report of the WWF and Ethical Fashion Initiative of the International Trade Center, are some of the institutional initiatives underway.

For some time now, many brands have included key figures on the board that deal with sustainability or CSR – Corporate Social Responsibility .

These are some examples of the initiatives and projects that are accelerating the transition of the fashion industry towards a circular, renewable and sustainable economy. To promote the formation of supply chains designed to increase the rate of recycling, reuse and regeneration of raw materials. With growth based on efficiency and savings. It is a change in mentality that leads to think about sustainability as an extension of the concept of product quality, an element of evaluation in the context of a conscious purchase choice.

Approaches based on the three Rs: reduce, reuse and recycle. Which lead to rethinking the resources used in a product in order to minimize the scarce and toxic ones, to review the packaging, to design the products to last longer or to reinterpret those that have reached the end of their life. As well as approaches based on innovation, technology and experimentation: which lead to the creation of new fibers, new recycling techniques, new uses of resources.

Innovate, stimulate and reinvent the fashion industry in the name of sustainability. Also in the educational field, where it is necessary to learn to place great importance on choices aimed at respecting the environment and people. And where a new generation of stylists can develop creativity and innovation based on sustainability and social responsibility.

Article by Alessandra Carta, creative and stylistic consultant for luxury companies and multinationals, such as Max Mara group, Fuzzi, L’Oréal and Bulgari. Founder and creative director of Carta e Costura. Creative Director of Istituto Modartech. It carries out trend analyst activities and researches innovative and sustainable strategies and materials.