The Consumer Shift in Sustainable Fashion

Ally Feiam By Ally Feiam | 05 Jun 2019

In celebration of World Environment Day, more brands are taking steps into creating a sustainable and eco-friendly future. Check out some ways brands are taking action against the plastics and fast-fashion crises. 


Aussie e-commerce platform, THE ICONIC, has partnered with PETA to create a PETA-certified range of vegan footwear, named Atmos&Here. “The demand for ethical and sustainable fashion continues to grow year-on-year and we are incredibly excited to welcome THE ICONIC in joining more than 1,000 companies globally using the PETA-Approved Vegan logo,” said PETA spokesperson, Emily Rice.

The new collection will feature on the ICONIC’s Considered filter, which offers customers a streamlined search to find sustainable and ethical fashion on the website. Not only does the collection support the stance for ethical and sustainable fashion, but it also provides the consumer with the opportunity to shop exclusively with said options.

THE ICONIC has also recently launched a designer brand that is not only a favourite amongst the likes of Meghan Markle and Kendall Jenner, but is also conscious of its materials – Maggie Marilyn. The New Zealand designer focuses on how to create beautiful pieces of clothing without harming the environment. “Eliminating the smoke and mirrors to have full transparency on our supply chain has been key to our success,” says founding designer, Maggie Hewitt. “We’re incredibly excited to bring our consciously-created designs to THE ICONIC customer and further support the progress the leading e-tailer has driven in overhauling the way ANZ customers can shop considered style,” explained Mareile Osthus, Chief Category Management Officer at THE ICONIC.

As sustainability becomes one of the hottest topics in the fashion industry, more brands are taking the initiative that Nimble Activewear has taken. Tech giants like Google are using its analytics and machine learning to give brands a more comprehensive view of its supply chain. Some of the brands include Stella McCartney, a designer that prides itself on its efforts into sustainability. Google’s technology will translate data into insights about its raw materials for the brand to analyse and take action.

“At Stella McCartney, we have been continuously focusing on looking at responsible and sustainable ways to conduct ourselves in fashion, it is at the heart of what we do,” McCartney explained. According to Rachel Lincoln Sarnoff, by 2030 70 per cent of all fabric fibres will come from plastics. The tech behind the Stella McCartney venture aims to remove this opportunity.

Nimble Activewear has saved more than 550,000 plastic bottles from ending up in a landfill and oceans across the world. In the past 12 months, Nimble Activewear has created a pair of compression workout leggings that are made of recycled plastics but is still worthy of showing off.

The Compresslite range of workout gear is made if melted down the dangerous plastic bottles, which are then turned them into chips. From the chips, the plastic is spun into yarn and then knitted up with spandex to create the leggings’ fabric.

Every pair of Compresslite leggings contains six recycled plastic bottles, and in every sports bra are two recycled bottles. The process itself emits over 50 per cent less carbon dioxide than using virgin materials does. “We’re really committed to finding ways to lessen our environmental impact and as such, we’ve also turned our focus to our packaging and are rolling out compostable bags with our online orders as of July to further reduce our eco-footprint,” said Co-Founder, Katia Santilli.

It’s not just the fashion industry that’s taking a dive into the sustainability pool – it’s beauty, too. The cosmetics and skincare industry has played a huge role in the pollution of oceans and distribution of harmful plastics. Haircare brand, Kevin Murphy, has taken strides to remove this issue by creating packaging out of 100 per cent ocean waste plastics and is recyclable. “Making the switch to Ocean Waste Plastic (OWP) packaging is one of the most important initiatives we have implemented as a brand, and sharing our passion around this change is something we are deeply committed to,” said Murphy. “We believe that every great movement starts with one small step. If every beauty brand took some kind of initiative to be more sustainable, it would make an enormous impact.”

Two tonnes of clothes are purchased every minute in the UK. To create this amount of clothing, it takes nearly five million litres of water and 59 tonnes of carbon dioxide. That’s the UK alone.

With the launch of THE ICONIC’s sustainably-sourced brands and filtering process, more retailers are understanding the consumer’s interest in eco-friendly fashion. “At THE ICONIC, we know our customers are increasingly looking for ways to easily shop by the values most important to them,” explained Osthus.

It’s becoming clear that brands aren’t just taking a stance for sustainable clothing so they can stay on trend, it’s something that consumers are actively seeking. As the months pass by, more brands are leading the way to a sustainable future.

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