The real Top 3 question right now for me are – what does it truly mean to be sustainable, why is it important and how do we know we are standing up and doing the right things for the entire value chain, bigger perspective and future?
We have seen the rush for Mars by some of the biggest Billionnaires ( in fact all are on to something ) but why Mars? Whats is happening on earth?
Sustainability is an important ability to main the earths environment, economy and society well being as the world expands. a few decades ago we spoke of 7 billion people on earth and now its almost 8 and it wont be surprising if this growth continues – with the expansion we have already experienced some effects when it comes to climate and not to mention the political instabilities which are directly linked to poverty and wealth inquality widening – with all this being sustainable is more and more important to not only sustain the growing population BUT to also correct the errors of the past that have caused dents on our planets eco-system. I truly believe our future depends on it. Ok – so all of us being sustainable (more so biggest brands with bigger footprints ) has benefits for all of us – it still doesn’t answer what sustainable actually means. So what does it mean? To be sustainable?
As you may be aware, the world of fashion meanwhile has a long history of provoking and boycotting of brands and, dare we say it, trolling… “…and the internet gets very upset and worked up about brands that are not sustainable or pretend to be!” to be fair the Internet is constantly very upset about various things. Some of those things provoke quite understandable if not righteous upper. Other times though, the internet just seems bored and looking for something to kick around the ol’ Twitter echo chamber. The world of fashion meanwhile struck me as a place to use as research ground on sustainability, I wanted to find parallels with the Food, Machine Making and perhaps even the Energy Industry which are my fortes at the moment – the worlds that my career has revolved. All in all its Industry so lets dive in to see what the outcome was…
Three things are clear – If you are a brand – are you taking care of the environment parts of the planet for the next generation? Are you participating fairly in the economic activities ? Are you doing the deeds to maintain the well being of the people in society?
So explored various brands that are truly best kept secrets – if you ask me. Luxury fashion brands that are not your typical Louis Vuitton attempting to integrate a CSR quickie scheme. After digging in to various angles, the truth really is one definition of being sustainable is difficult to agree on and continues to vary with regulation boards created as the topic becomes “hotter…” However the planet ( Environment ) , people ( Social ) and profit ( Economy) pillars of what it means to be sustainable were constant. Here is what they had to say about what it meant to be sustainable …
Allëdjo, If you are a guy who loves culture, pattern and print – this one is a win my man. These guys take you on a journey around the world – whilst being sustainable. “…support local tailoring skills while celebrating the diversity of the world. The brand embodies the people on the move, with a deep concern for ethics and the preservation of cultures.”
« People come, live and go ». And we are here to celebrate the diversity of the world.
.Lafalaisedionn, May the crowies protect you … This one needs context- you see the crowry shells are a symbol of african culture ( particularly in West Africa) I still have one from my times in Ivory Coast. This precious resource is not widely used for many things – it hs been used for head dresses and necklaces and now Lafa laise dionn is repurposing this jewel to make sustainably farmed shells powerful and mystical fashion.
Buki Akomolafe, Really though was swooned by the Berlin based clothing line – which aligns itself with quality and certified organic cotton and hemp silk… ” it is not just a label” they say.
Reform Studio, “supporting weavers and households is what they call sustainability.” where they are reviving the Egypt weaving industry before it goes extinct to keep the craftsmanship in the industry whilst supporting women in business. What is amazing about their product is that they upcycle plastic as well and have invented plastex to combat the problems with waste in the region. They seem to have been successful with the revival.
Whilst boycotting sends a strong message – in order to revive and become sustainable it will certainly take more than that – supporting the in-dusty fully to solve the issues and close the gaps vs. abandoning ships .
I hope this blog inspires you to dive more into the arena of sustainable fashion even though this focused on the sustainable luxury -everyday fashion needs us if we are to sustain 8-9 Billion people in the future decades and do so without harming the planet, whilst being good to the people who make fashion possible from ever value chain and ensuring the economic activity build up the future .