Fashion Go Green

Environmental awareness has increased in recent years. The younger generation is concerned about the sustainability of the fashion industry. Let’s be beautiful and protect the earth!

text: Michelle Siu


近年來各奢華品牌高舉“ 可持續時裝”旗幟,推出各式各樣的環保計劃。最早的代表就是Stella McCartney,提出不使用皮革和皮草,而採用仿真牛皮 (alter-nappa)。漸漸地,普拉達、博柏利和范思哲等品牌停用動物皮草,古馳、香奈兒也宣布全面棄用稀有皮革。博柏利承諾將於2025年之前放棄所有不必要的塑料包裝,古馳也將可持續發展置於其業務核心。今年普拉達推出Re-Nylon手袋系列,由海洋及衣物廢料淨化再造而成的再生尼龍物料ECONYL製作,更可通過纖維分解無限回收而無損品質。


要達致時尚業界的可持續發展,筆者認為關鍵還是取決於大眾的心態和消費模式。最近因日本收納達人近藤麻理惠獨特的整理方法,令“ 斷捨離”成為最流行風潮。要整理衣櫃堆積如山的衣服,往往都很苦惱。過程中會發現很多衣物原來都是因為大減價或者款式流行等理由而購買,結果只穿幾次就扔掉,十分可惜。因此除了在整理物質上“ 斷捨離”,更重要的是改變自己的心態,從思想上“ 斷捨離”:在買衣服前多考慮服裝的實用性,是否高品質、耐穿,款式又能否經得起時間考驗?比起購買一堆便宜的快時尚服裝,如果能力許可,還倒不如只買一兩件高品質名牌服装,像是經典的香奈兒小黑裙、愛馬仕包包、博柏利風衣等永不過時,甚至還會隨時間升值!此外, 近年如Rent The Runway、LendingLuxury 等專門提供時裝租借服務的企業大行其道,讓你嘗盡各式華麗衣裳而不構成浪費。與此同時,選擇二手產品也應受到鼓勵,你可到國外的跳蚤市場淘寶,或是到轉賣網站買舊衣和進行舊衣交換,一來推動環保,二來有機會找到更多專賣店沒有的復古老件。

The fast-paced society results in the rise of fast fashion. Fast fashion can be produced quickly with different styles, and most importantly, it is affordable, therefore people cannot help but keep buying. In fact, the fashion industry is the second largest source of environmental pollution in the world. Nowadays the industry has gradually paid attention to environmental issues and been thinking about the entire industry’s production system, paving the way for an enormous change.

In recent years, luxury brands have been enforcing sustainable business practices. Stella
McCartney is the pioneer, who used alter-nappa to fully replace leather and fur. Gradually, brands like Prada, Burberry and Versace have banned the use of fur. Gucci and Chanel have also stopped using rare animal skins. Burberry has announced plans to get rid of unnecessary plastic packaging by 2025, and Gucci has pledged to put sustainability at the heart of its business. Prada has launched a new project dubbed Re-Nylon, using ECONYL nylon which is obtained through the recycling and purification process of waste collected from oceans and textile fibre waste to make the bags. This new material can be recycled indefinitely, with no loss of quality.

Sustainable fashion brands are also growing steadily. Their clothes are made of natural, organic or recycled materials, the production process is eco-friendly and does not harmecology. The American brand Patagonia uses organic cotton, 100% recycled down, wool and polyester, and uses as little dye as possible. The French footwear brand Veja has its own factory in Brazil, using the local organic cotton and wild rubber to support fair trade, which is one of the style choices of Meghan, Duchess of Sussex.

Indeed, the key of achieving sustainable development in the fashion industry depends on the public’s mentality and consumption patterns. These days “Danshari” (refusal, disposal and separation) is a huge hit because of the Japanese organizing consultant Marie Kondo’s decluttering method. It is often annoying to organize the clothes piled up in the closet, many of them were bought due to irrational consumption, and they were eventually thrown away after wearing just several times. Hence it is crucial to practice the “Danshari” method both physically and mentally. Before buying clothes, consider the practicality of clothing, whether it is of high-quality, durable, and its style can stand the test of time. Instead of buying fast fashion items, you can just buy one to two high-quality brand-name products, such as the classic Chanel little black dress, Hermès bags, Burberry trench coats, etc. They will even appreciate with time! In addition, clothing rental services are popular these days, such as Rent The Runway and Lending Luxury. Moreover, using second-hand products should be encouraged. You can go to foreign flea markets or use the resale websites to buy or exchange old clothes, which can promote environmental protection and have the opportunity to find vintage items that are no longer available in specialty stores.