“Apparently, there’s no industry that not feeling the effects of the ongoing green revolution. Everywhere you look, businesses are asking themselves how they can avoid waste and foster sustainable practices.
The apparel industry is no exception. Apparel trade magazines are recording instances where sustainability has emerged as a key topic of discussion. But this is more than a talking point. Rather, this sustainability movement represents a complete change in thinking for the industry. Apparel trade magazines can help keep on top of the trends, but concerned business owners must decide for themselves whether the technology is the right fit for them.
Bye-bye, cheap materials
Manufacturers used to be able to acquire cheap raw materials with startling ease. But urban growth and poor agriculture have depleted many farms’ ability to grow product. Apparel trade magazines have been urging sustainable practices not just for their efficiency, but for their potential to save the whole system from disaster.
At the same time, the economies of China and India have seen tremendous growth in recent years. The problem is that their extremely high population density leaves relatively little room for farming the raw materials. It’s a potential boost to the raw materials industry, but can that industry meet the demand? Not unless it changes its practices.
Cheaper costs can be had through more responsible methods of production. Furthermore, consumers could actually save money in the long run by having to buy clothes of a higher quality. Apparel trade magazines have done studies comparing different kinds of clothing, and found evidence of the cost savings.
This also means that man-made synthetic fibers need to be designed with the environment in mind. Research is underway on biodegradable synthetics that be safely disposed of or recycled.
Fuel costs on the rise
At the same time, the world fuel markets have seen wild fluctuations. Shipping cheap materials from region to region was quite easy to do when fuel costs were low. Apparel trade magazines long pointed out that the economies of scale made the fuel costs almost negligible; consumers were still saving money.
Sustainable agriculture saves money for the manufacturers, not only in the transportation but in the production as well. A tremendous amount of energy is consumer daily disposing of garbage and other waste products. Sustainable methods put the waste products to good use, and sometimes make a profit for the manufacturers.
Let’s say that the factory has a large stack of waste cotton. The factory could either dispose of it entirely, or continue manufacturing it to create clothes that don’t demand high-grade cotton. The possibilities are endless, and many of the methods have yet to be discovered.”