University of Cambridge MBA students Diane Albouy and Olabisi Adesida, in partnership with ethical e-commerce marketplace Mamoq, just released a 30-page report entitled “Sustainable Fashion Blueprint Report 2018“ (complete pdf here). It reviews the state of the industry, analysing the sustainability initiatives currently being implemented, and offers a framework that fashion businesses can follow in their efforts to reduce their negative environmental and social impacts.
Sustainable fashion is a still evolving concept: it broadly refers to the production, distribution, consumption and disposal of apparel in consideration with the health and longevity of the natural environment, animals and humans involved. It aims to limit the socio-environmental cost of fashion, while maximising its lifetime value and positive impact.
Details of Sustainable Fashion Blueprint Report 2018
The fashion industry is the world’s 7th largest economy, valued €1 trillion in 2016, employing over 300 million people across the value chain and being one of the most polluting industries in the world; that’s why sustainability is gaining traction. Consumers, particularly Millennials and Generation Zs, are becoming increasingly aware of the challenges of sustainability, leading to changes in shopping habits.
According to the “Global Environment Survey” by Cotton Council International and Cotton Incorporated, sustainability is a high priority for consumers in countries such as India (81%), Mexico (69 %), Italy (62%), and China (60%). However, sustainability is among the six top criteria used by consumers to purchase apparel after fit (84%), price (59%) and style (59%); 67% is the percentage of consumers unwilling to sacrifice any characteristic of apparel to buy a sustainable product.
Sustainable fashion initiatives can help consumers with lower disposable income to easily access ethically-made apparel from a transparent production line. These initiatives can also enlighten consumers on the importance of sustainability, and show that sustainable fashion can be of good quality, affordable and diverse.