More than ever … the future is in the hands of those fashion labels that are aware of their ecological and social responsibility and care about sustainability.

The trend is moving away from Fast Fashion – bought and discarded quickly – and towards Slow Fashion. A growing environmental awareness leads to an increased demand for sustainable, durable, high-quality clothing. Not just in order to soothe the shopper’s own conscience but also in order to contribute to the improvement of the ecological footprint.

Which are the most important factors to consider?

Renewable resources reduce balance of pollutant emissions
Not only ecological responsibility but also raw materials scarcity and price increases in the energy sector induce fashion labels to consider alternatives. Apart from organic cotton which has a much lower energy and water consumption, there are various other eco-friendly, renewable materials such as cellulose fibres made from eucalyptus or European beech.

Quality, recycling and upcyling
Consumers who look out for quality fashion and spend more money on durable, high-class clothing, shop sensibly. Discarded clothing is less likely to end up in containers but finds new owners via second-hand online stores or donations to charity shops. The trend to use recycling materials in fashion collections offers new ways for designers and at the same time saves resources. These days it is simply out of the question for manufacturers to dispose of surplus production. Upcycling allows new, high-quality creations.

Social responsibility
High quality means higher prices which, however, enable fair working conditions in the manufacturing countries. Many fashion labels attach great importance to selecting suppliers who take social commitment seriously. Social responsibility also includes the well-being of animals, e.g. abandoning mulesing in the wool industry. Vegan leather alternatives are also becoming more and more important.

Transparent supply chain
Transparency creates trust. More and more fashion producers for whom sustainable production and logistics is part of their corporate philosophy reveal their supply chain. Regular visits to suppliers are not limited to the showrooms but include a close look behind the scenes. Likewise, invitations from fashion manufacturers to their suppliers have become more common. In order to get an eco-certification, fashion labels have to verify their compliance with the strict social and ecological criteria.

Fashion manufacturers who put emphasis on green manufacturing and sustainability of their supply chain and are able to prove this with transparency and certified eco labels (e.g. GOTS, “Grüner Knopf”, Cradle to Cradle, OEKO-TEX), will be in ever greater demand.

Learn more about the hot trends and topics at our top event on 1 and 2 October in Donaueschingen:



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