As one of the biggest contributors to plastic waste, the fashion industry (and all of us that wear it, market it, shoot it and post it) need to take immediate steps to address the issue.
One of the worst but smallest offenders is microplastics. A recent study by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature reported that over a third of all microplastics released into the oceans are from synthetic textiles used in the fashion industry. Each time an item of clothing is washed, up to 700,000 microscopic fibres make their way into the oceans where they can be swallowed by sea life, becoming part of the food chain.
“Ditch the plastic where we can and renew what's already here.”
Michael Preysman, Everlane CEO
Start-up fashion brand Everlane made waves recently by not only removing virgin plastic from their supply chain, but melting down plastic bottles and turning them into a new collection called ReNew. The brand has made a healthy habit of resetting industry norms with a number of initiatives over the years including the introduction of chemical-free dyes, total manufacturing transparency, and on-going environmental education in-store and online.
For those of us inside and around the industry, we can take inspiration from brands like Everlane and create change now. Sustainability should not be a selling point, it should just be.