Sustainability is fashionable

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Michelle Greer
The Broadside

Fashion is a billion-dollar industry. It’s fluid, expressive and accessible. The fashion industry breaks into five categories, divided by affordability:= haute couture, luxury, affordable luxury, mainstream, and discount. It’s an industry that survives on it’s ability to respond to the fluctuating desires of the consumer. For this reason, how sustainable the fashion industry becomes will be up to the consumers.

The fashion industry is making efforts toward a sustainable future. “Forum for the Future,” a sustainability action group, has teamed up with Levi Strauss & Co to create a presentation called the Fashion Forward Report. The report details four separate futures of what the fashion industry could look like in 2025. The plans are: Slow is Beautiful, Community Culture, Techno-Chic, and Patchwork Planet.

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Determining which plan will take affect in the future is based on whether the world becomes more connected or fragmented and whether world trade slows down to become more sustainable, or if it speeds up because of better technology.

Each plan depends on the drive toward sustainability. Consumer interest to buy brands that make efforts, at an added up-front cost, determines how many brands are interested.

Consumers can show that they want a more sustainable-minded fashion industry by purchasing more clothes made with all natural materials with cotton being the most accessible and durable. When the new summer line is in, instead of ditching your whole wardrobe, try adapting to the new look by using older clothes. If that doesn’t work for you, perhaps indulge in two or three outfits from the new line.

The consumer has the power to make demands of the fashion industry. They just have to know what to ask for.

You can contact Michelle Greer at magreer@cocc.edu.

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