The last few months I have spent countless hours searching online for dresses to wear to weddings and clothes to wear on holiday. To say this task has been arduous would be an understatement. I found myself sending multiple screen shots and outfit pictures to my girls Whatsapp chat, trying to gauge their thoughts and help me make decisions based on flat images when everything is a bit 'for now' and nothing stands out as a 'keeper'.
It is something I have been noticing for quite some time. This idea of "fast fashion", where brands chase the latest trends and churn out options, to keep up with the demand. Creativity is being suffocated by high demands for "fast fashion". It seems to be all about quantity – rather than quality. Everything begins to feel a bit samey. Nothing original. No one breaking the mould, nothing exciting and different to choose from. It's all about "trends". It is worth noting, there are brands out there that do break the mould, however they are usually at a much, much higher price point.
I myself, despise the word trend. It implies something fleeting and impulse and will soon be forgotten about. I prefer, investment, select pieces; items that have their place in my wardrobe for a number of outfit choices. A quality staple, a versatile gem. But never, trendy.
It poses the question, can we keep going on like this? Surely there is a negative impact on a much larger scale, fuelled by this mad rush of fast fashionistas with cheap clothing being churned out for the masses. With an audience that constantly demands more, are we turning a blind eye to the social and environmental factors that become affected in a bid to supply the demand?
It really got me thinking. As I was sitting in my lounge, on the floor with nothing but clothes of varying fabrics and brands surrounding me as I attempted to pack for my holiday. And the answer to the question is no, no we really cannot go on like this. And yes, yes we are turning a blind eye. Damn you cheap clothing bargains.
There have been too many horrifying stories over the years from appalling sweat shops to people dying from the poisonous chemicals used in clothing. Toxic chemicals used during the manufacturing processes are discharged into rivers, having devastating impacts on entire ecosystems, and polluting drinking water supplies. Scientists are only now beginning to understand the environmental impacts of plastic fibres from synthetic fabrics, such as polyester, which have been found in fish and shellfish. The list goes on.
The future of fashion design, I believe, starts with a shift towards more sustainable approaches to fashion production. Taking into account hazardous chemicals and anything that is harmful to the environment and those in contact.
We need to change and find an alteranative. The excuses being made for "it's too expensive" is not really good enough. We need to find a way to pave the way for this being the norm.
Change is subsequently imperative for the future of design. It's not just the future of fashion that needs to embrace more sustainable practices. From architectural design, to everyday design, we need to constantly be challenging the status quo and introducing sustainable alternatives.
Brands such as People Tree have been leading the way in sustainable fashion for a long time now. New brands are surfacing on the radar including Thought, Kitty Ferreira and many more. We are slowly seeing more and more brands make changes to their design processes to incorporate these sustainable values.
To really make a difference, we need more than just "token" "eco" ranges, we need companies to fully commit to more sustainable practices across their entire range. This is where the future of design can flourish. Reinventing old practices with modern sustainable materials. Creating new looks and new styles with environmentally and ethically friendly fashion. It is an exciting prospect.
But we also need to take an active role in this change. Something we are all guilty of; buying cheap clothes for the bargain but perhaps it's time we slowed down. Perhaps it is time to think about what we are buying and why. And how this transpires on our own sustainable footprint. Buy less, but buy well.
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This blog post is a part of Design Blogger Competition organized by CGTrader