Global fashion entities drill down on sustainability

Those in the apparel industry are looking in the mirror; but this time, not at their clothes. The fashion industry is facing a reckoning when it comes to sustainability, as it has a long way to go to mitigate its contributions—ranging from carbon emissions to clothing and packaging waste—in this crisis. But recently, the following entities are introducing new initiatives around sustainability that don't sacrifice creativity or style.


Following its hefty, resource-heavy September issue, Vogue Italia concocted a creative and sustainable solution for its January 2020 issue. In order to minimize the pollution, travel, and transport inherent to a typical photoshoot, the magazine enlisted emerging artists and icons to illustrate a series of fashion stories. The issue's various sketches, comics, and paintings brought top models and designers to life, showcasing the latest in fashion while protecting the planet. Better yet, Vogue Italia also announced that future print editions will be wrapped in 100% compostable plastic.


Copenhagen Fashion Week is using its platform to make a serious statement about sustainability in the fashion industry. Event planners recently broadcast a three-year action plan to reduce CFW’s carbon footprint by 50%, with an additional zero-waste goal planned for farther out in the future. Brands hoping to showcase their collections at CFW will be required to earn a certain score in order to be included on the schedule. What's more, brands should consider using organic, upcycled, or recycled textiles, using sustainable packaging, and ceasing to destroy unsold clothes, along with building zero-waste set designs. CFW’s innovative sustainability concept will hopefully engender change at both the local and global industry level.


London Fashion Week is putting a new lens on luxury: just last month, the event hosted its very first clothing exchange. The swap shop event included donations from industry icons and featured pieces from brands like Burberry and Puma. The demand for on-trend, high fashion has given rise to the clothing rental industry, and it follows that this type of trading event could certainly gain traction on a larger scale. As modern consumers begin to prioritize strategic purchases over mindless consumption, such swaps offer a savvy and sustainable solution for those seeking a style refresh.