Fashion industry is one of the largest polluters in the world. Since the emergence of Fast-Fashion rapid changes in the environment could be felt. This led to the evolution of “Sustainable Fashion” – a trend that is ceaselessly catching on with more and more consumers around the globe. However, this sustainable or anti-fast-fashion movement had happened in the past many times. Let’s have a look at the history and see where it’s leading on to.
In the past, Fashion trends were started by the wealthiest, and then trickled down to the masses. All clothes were tailors made, and indicated the social status of the wearer. Until Industrial Revolution era (18th-19th century), the advancement in technology led to the development of spinning and sewing machines resulting in construction of textile mills and factories, which provided jobs and increased productivity. The mass manufacturing appeared at the beginning of 20thcentury, and the consumer society emerged, which increased consumption rate.
The sustainable fashion started to have a movement in late 1960s with Hippy revolution that focused on natural fabrics and was anti-fashion. Then followed Punk and Goth movements in 70s and 80s, that focused on second-hand vintage styles of mix and match. In late 1980s, sustainable and ethical fashion started with anti-fur movements.
In late 1990s to early 2000s, Fast-Fashion started booming. Mass production with much cheaper costs resulted in significantly high supply of garments and declined quality. New collections offered by brands significantly increased from 2 per year to 5 or 24 maximum per year. Fashion production makes up for 10% of humanity’s carbon emissions, dries up water sources, and pollutes rivers and streams. And washing some types of clothes sends thousands of bits of non-degradable micro-fibres into the ocean.