The Copenhagen Fashion Report Recommends These Ways For Brands To Be More Sustainable

by: Rosie Dalton | 2 months ago | News

Image: Daria Werbowy by Ryan McGinley. Image source

Unfortunately the fashion industry doesn’t score too well when it comes to sustainability overall. In fact, according to the Pulse of the Fashion Industry report — presented at the Copenhagen Fashion Summit — fashion receives a pulse score of just 32 out of 100. This wasn’t consistent right across the industry, but certain companies were definitely found to be dragging the rest down. “Companies in the top revenue quartile have an average Pulse Score of 63, while bottom-quartile contenders are at 11,” explains the report.

What was discovered, then, is that “the largest enterprises and a few sustainability-focused niche players are most advanced, while small and midsize companies, which together account for more than half of the industry, rate lowest.” This doesn’t have to be the case though and hopefully, with better education and access to resources, can also come improved sustainability across the board. Which is why the report makes certain recommendations for how brands can become more sustainable.

1) Replacing conventional fibres with sustainable ones
Introducing a sustainable material mix — whereby conventional cotton is replaced with 100% sustainable fibres — can be a great way to boost a company’s sustainability overall. And with so many more responsible fibres now on the market, this really shouldn’t be too difficult for most brands to do.  

2) Finding ways to reduce your energy footprint
Production, transportation and other aspects of the fashion industry supply chain tend to make these businesses very energy thirsty, which is why the Copenhagen Fashion Report recommends that companies reduce their energy footprint through minimised consumption and 100% carbon neutrality.

3) Explore closed loop production
Introducing closed loop recycling into your production methods means ensuring there is no value leakage. In other words, one garment is recycled for every one new garment that’s produced. 

4) Follow demand rather than trying to create it
Rather than trying to spark demand through excess production, brands could steer clear of over production and instead gear their businesses towards production that actually reflects demand — aka that which is desired by their customers IRL.

5) Reduce your chemicals by opting for safer dyes
Finally, introducing chemical and water optimisation is a way for brands to address their water pollution by moving away from the use of hazardous chemicals in the dyeing process and right throughout a garment’s lifecycle.

Of course, true sustainability is far more comprehensive than just the types of fibres used and the energy expended. In the true, holistic sense of the world, this also means approaching the human side of your supply chain in responsible ways as well. So with this in mind then, the report's recommendations are designed to work in tandem with improved labour conditions such as rebalancing industry economics, focusing on absolute health and safety, and committing to transparency and traceability.

Via The Copenhagen Fashion Report

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