• Idle Hands Collective

Covid19 + Sustainability in High Fashion

As non-essential businesses closed in early 2020, the fashion industry was forced to slow down. Reconsidering practises, changing schedules and allowing time for even more scrutiny over sustainable practises- has the global pandemic meant real change in the upper echelons of the fashion industry? Here’s some facts for you:

  • Despite the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode stating it will continue to present Paris Fashion Week many houses are rumoured to not show. All ready confirmed to shun the status quo include Saint Laurent, Jaquemus and Dries Van Noten.

  • A recent study from Zero to Market quantified the impact of travel, concluding that 241,000 tons of CO2 was produced during the 2018 shows – equivalent to the annual emissions of a small country.

  • The impact of stores closing has a humanitarian ripple effect all the way down the chain to those that pick the cotton from fields.

  • With items being less available and many having less income during the lockdown period, it has given consumers time to contemplate how essential purchases are- this could have a huge impact on consumer behaviour.

  • There has been an increase in outdoor pursuits such as trail running and mountain biking, according to the Outdoor Industries Association which is expected to result in consumers caring more about the natural environment.

  • The uptake of craft has been significant which again can suggest a shift in appreciation from consumers.

We know there is a trickle down effect from high to fast fashion so with the changing perspectives of the industry and the consumers, there is chance that the industry could begin to change for the better even more so. It seems to me that wasteful and harmful practises (both environmental and societal) are so much more apparent after the slowing down. As many openly admit the issues and have committed to using their creativity to create something that is not only good but actively making a change. However it seems those that sit in the seats of power may need more convincing as money does talk.