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Fast fashion to be "rescued" by sustainability

The fast fashion industry could be “rescued” by sustainable supply chain practices according to a report by trend-forecasting service WGSN. 

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WGSN’s Vision 2030 report said the growing pressure to deliver new ranges faster and cheaper is unsustainable both creatively and commercially.

Adam Derry, creative director of sustainable brand founded by Will.i.am and the Coca-Cola Company, Ekocycle said: “How about the insanity of a business model that chooses to put out monthly collections and then monthly 70% off sales? What other industry is doing that?”

The fashion industry is the third largest consumer of water, following oil and corporate paper producers, and the report estimates that 17% to 20% of industrial water pollution comes from textile dyeing and treatment.

In the report WGSN said 3-D printing and materials such as Pinatex – which is made from pinaepple leaves – are “game-changers” and could “rescue the fashion supply chain”.

Lauretta Roberts, head of brand at WGSN, said: “Sustainability is fast becoming a commercial imperative in fashion, with increasingly rare natural resources driving the price of materials such as cotton and polyester. In addition, consumers are demanding sustainable supply chains, and turning away from brands that can’t deliver.”

She added: “While consumers are putting pressure on the industry to change, this can’t be the only driving force. Just like the role the industry played in creating fast fashion, we now need to take a stand for sustainability and close the loop – promoting the concept of higher-quality products kept for longer periods of time, as well as recycling and upcycling.”

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