The Urgent Need for Sustainable Materials in Fashion 2023

Posted by Cristina Abballe on

The crisis in fashion: can sustainable materials in fashion make an impact?

The fast fashion industry has fuelled an environmental and human rights crisis. According to the UN Environment Programme (2017), fashion generates 10% of global carbon emissions and dumps over 92 million tons of textile waste annually. The industry is also the second largest consumer of water worldwide, behind only agriculture.

Behind the scenes, fast fashion hides egregious human rights abuses. An Oxfam study found garment workers in some developing countries earn just 2-4% of the final product value, making as little as 12 cents per hour in unsafe conditions.

Person overlooking industrial stacks emitting GHGs

Overhauling the materials supply chain

Transforming this broken system starts with overhauling the fibre and materials supply chain. Synthetic fibres like polyester, which comprises 60% of all clothing, shed environmentally harmful microplastics at every stage. Shifting to sustainable material sources is critical for change.

In its original definition, the non-profit Textile Exchange explains that preferred materials offer "improved environmental and/or social sustainability outcomes and impacts compared to conventional production.” In their 2022 report, Textile Exchange has gone a step further and updated the definition as “A raw material that delivers beneficial outcomes for climate, nature, and people through a holistic approach.”

Weaving of textile fibres

Sustainable materials in fashion: eco-labels to ecosystem changes

Preferred materials take a holistic approach to transforming production. Sustainable fibers are certified by organisations like OEKO-TEX and the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). These eco-labels ensure materials are produced using methods that minimise pollution, emissions, water use, and labor abuses.

With consumers and brands making a collective shift, the entire fashion ecosystem can transform. But it will take bold action from industry leaders, governments, consumers and all stakeholders to build the future on more ethical grounds.

How can Satori help?

This is where pioneering marketplaces like Satori come in. Satori provides brands an easy, streamlined way to access preferred materials from certified sustainable suppliers around the world. The wide catalogue and material samples enable businesses to quickly switch to ethical sourcing.

By supporting suppliers and brands, Satori hopes it can help lead the change in providing sustainable materials in fashion and toward a more just and sustainable fashion future.

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