Can Technology Clean Up the Fashion Industry?

It comes as jarring news that the Fashion Industry is now the second most polluting industry in the world, after the oil business.

Styles, it seems, are changing faster than ever. We’re not in the fashion world, so we were unaware that “many companies now adhere to an unsustainable ‘fast fashion’ business model, where consumers can expect to find new clothes rolled out on the racks nearly every week instead of once a season,” as writes.

Apparently new technology allows companies to produce more garments more quickly and at less cost, but that single garment creates a large carbon footprint during production, including: farming, harvesting, manufacturing, processing and shipping. Then, after use, refuse.

The sheer amount of clothes sent to landfill and trash is considered by clothing designers as one of the major ecological black eyes for the industry, and designers are attempting to reshape industry practices by using organic textiles and reducing water and carbon waste.

Levis is involved in projects to address the company’s impact on the planet. Levis now dissolves old clothes to make a new fiber that the company uses in its jeans – an alternative to water-intensive cotton production.

It’s an admirable idea, but the reality is more like an even faster turnover of clothing styles and fashions through tech integration, as “smart fabrics” and wearable technology revolutionize clothing and fashion,.which will interact with the wearer.

Plus, let’s face it, the faster fashions change and new eements are integrated, the more money is made.  Annual global fashion industry revenue is an eye-popping US$1.2 trillion. The U.S. apparel market the largest in the world, about 28% of the global total, a market value of about $331 billion. Nobody wants to strangle that golden goose.

It’s a complex equation, and the Observer article goes into reasonable depth about it. We enjoyed the article, wanted to bring it to wider play.