Image and words by Lois Wandless

Like everything in our gloomy society, fashion receives a lot of negative press: from sustainability issues to ethical rights of employees but believe it or not fashion does have positive impacts for our society.

It is undeniable that the fashion industry as a whole is one of the most influential and popular of all industries in our world today; The British Fashion Council CEO, Caroline Rush, claims that the UK fashion market is worth £32 billion to our economy. Due to this popularity the industry is so influential to our society, by using creativity and trends to connect cultures,fashion is a universal language which everyone understands. It is this creativity which is so needed for our world and the craftspeople behind this industry cannot be praised enough for their constant work to create innovations and fresh designs for consumers to appreciate. Fashion is a platform for many creatives to express themselves and is an area which thrives in talent, this is craved in our fast- paced and diverse society. It is the innovation from these craftspeople and designers which raises the billions of pounds towards our economy, an economy which would struggle greatly without this money. This innovation also inspires others to contribute to this community with their own creative ideas, which is a form of self-expression for many people from up and coming designers to those wearing the garments. Fashion as an industry has grown to become something we could not live without.

Sadly, today it is the negative impacts of fashion which are constantly being recalled to us through the media, but this is not the way it needs to be. The fast-fashion industry has become that of a nuisance to our world ecologically and ethically. As discussed in previously (The Cost of Fashion),the fast-fashion industry is reported to generate more greenhouse gases than aviation and international shipping combined. Fashion as an industry is proving to be a real issue within the matter of sustainability, with MP’s now beginning to question the environmental footprint of the UK fashion industry. The British Fashion Council focuses on their Positive Fashion Initiative, which focuses on 3 aspects including: Sustainability, Equality and Diversity and thirdly Craftsmanship and Community. The initiative focuses on the positive attributes of fashion and promotes sustainable fashion manufacturing and ethical rights for employees within the industry, while also celebrating the craftspeople within the community.  It is this positive energy which is needed so fashion can progress from its negative impacts, and this is possible for the future with new innovations in making fashion more sustainable. To find out more about the BFC Initiative click here.

The future of fashion can be a green and sustainable one if brands and consumer simply make incremental changes to make the future landscapes of the industry brighter.