As life in many countries is going under lockdown, the future looks uncertain.Covid-19 is taking over the world in a blink of an eye, severely impacting global industries and creating a deep global recession. The fashion sector is proving to be one of the hardest hits as a result of the covid-19 pandemic, with people likely to lose their jobs and as well as runways going virtual.
On the bright side, greenhouse gas emissions are down and air quality has gone up. Some of the most visible effects of reduced air pollution and smog, perhaps, surfaced in Jalandhar, Punjab where people woke up to a magnificent view- the snow-capped Himalayan range, visible to the naked eye.
The question that arises is that, will the fashion industry being the second largest water pollutant in the world be more conscious of their choices and carry forward with their idea of sustainable fashion? Will covid-19 reshape the fashion industry? This is an opportunity to redefine business models and build a more sustainable, progressive future. It’s time to rewire the fashion system. As of right now, brands have shifted their focus from future plans to emergency needs for front liners. Both Zara and H&M Group have pledged to shift their supply chains to fulfil the fast-rising needs for surgical masks, and protective equipment hospitals and healthcare workers have during the Coronavirus pandemic.
But all, in their own ways, are committed to stopping the spread of the disease, providing assistance to those who need it during this difficult time, or a combination of both. See below the brands that are playing their parts. The Italian label, Gucci is providing 1,100,000 surgical masks. Ralph Lauren, an American brand has pledged $10 million to coronavirus relief efforts. In the homeland, India’s largest fashion body, the Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI), cancelled its bi-annual fashion week, Lotus Makeup India Fashion Week just days before its opening show. Despite this unfortunate cancellation, FDCI contributed to the PM Cares Fund.
This might be the right time for you to switch to sustainable fashion. You can buy and wear clothes that warm the environment less, and without hurting your wallet. We’ve assembled a few tips:
1. Switch to natural fabrics- Synthetic fabric fibres shed tens and thousands of plastic microfibers in the process of laundry and it doesn’t degrade when thrown away. That’s why, it's best to pick natural fibres like cotton, hemp fibre etc.
2. Prefer hand-made clothes over machine-made-
The number one reason to switch to handmade clothing is that it reduces global warming, and does not waste and pollute precious natural resources like water. Since fast fashion is mass-produced in factories, it wastes enormous amounts of energy and emits large amounts of greenhouse gas and other toxic wastes. However, when clothes are handmade, this whole process is omitted.
Image courtesy of Aamvi Clothing
3. Invest in timeless pieces-
Instead of getting hooked on seasonal trends, buy timeless pieces. Sustainable pieces are made in less quantity and are meant to be worn for a long period of time, instead of prompting consumers to buy more often.
4. Donate and buy second-hand-
Don’t throw your old clothes in the bin, if they’re still in wearable condition, donate them. And while purchasing new items, buy second- hand from thrift stores. You’ll be awestruck by some of the vintage pieces you will find.
5. Lastly, change your attitude towards shopping-
Emma Watson previously said. "Vintage clothing has a huge role to play in making fashion more sustainable and reducing a global footprint that includes the 132m metric tons of coal used yearly through the production of new fibres, dyeing and bleaching of garments and the 6-9 trillion litres of water used by the industry." If you think the way she does, then you’re ready for the switch.
We should do our part by making smart consumer choices, because there is a supply of fast fashion because there is a demand of fast fashion. After years of polluting our environment, we realise with factories being shut down, we see sights of mountains, clean air to breath and crystal clear water.