Updated: Jan 26, 2021
Since I committed my life and work to sustainability by 2015, I have seen many changes in the world of fashion that are preparing us for a greener and more responsible future.
Even though the commitment from companies regarding sustainability has increased a lot, I’m hoping and waiting to see sustainability integrated into the world by 2025. Not just in the fashion industry, but transversally in all the different industries that can apply sustainability in their operations, processes, and methods in order to be more respectful with the planet, environment, and society.
I expect to see people and companies being more conscious about what is important and reusing waste in order to create new things: plastics, fabrics, glass… Many companies that are doing these steps already exist and we should praise them for being leaders in such inspiration and commitment.
On the one hand, it is pretty clear that circularity is the way to go, and it is already a reality in the fashion industry -even though it should be more mainstream and many more brands should embrace it. Also, using new elements that are in line with the evolution of society: being able to finish, for example, with the use of animal leather with innovative materials such as Mylo is a step towards the future we want.
On the other hand, and taking into consideration that I’m promoting sustainable menswear, I haven’t seen -unfortunately- enough commitment from men regarding the embrace of sustainable or upcycled fashion. While there has been a lot of commitment by women and we can see many of them promoting sustainability in fashion through their social media platforms, we men are still under the expected caring line for that minimal commitment that I actually expect.
Perhaps we might think that this is happening because there is more sustainable clothing and fashion for women than for men, but I would say that the male sector is becoming increasingly popular and starts to occupy a prominent place in the sustainable fashion world.
The key to growing sustainable fashion, whether for women or men, is to educate the demand, the consumer. We think that this type of clothing is not available to everyone, but we must be aware that current production has nothing to do with traditional sustainable fashion that was less accessible.
Also, many people still think that sustainable fashion is not actually fashionable: plain knitwear, pale tones, baggy clothes… and it is not true. People tend to have in their minds how sustainable fashion brands branded themselves some years ago. But since then, things have changed a lot: nowadays we can find absolutely amazing designers that are able to create incredible pieces.
We also have to try to show that the way the products are created sustainably does not exploit the labor force and takes into consideration the protection of the planet.
Designers must also have into consideration respect for the world in general when creating their collections. Not just to create awareness through a message that could be seen through there are the signs, but also taken into consideration these new materials in new techniques, and surrounding or inspiring their collections around the topic of upcycling and sustainability. Designers should base the decision of their designs according to the materials that they are going to use and not the other way around.
I don’t consider myself an assigner, but I think I have creativity. When I do my upcycling from the pieces in my wardrobe that I don’t use anymore, I take Inkman into consideration the fabrics that I have, the materials that I can use. Those materials I am talking about don’t even have to come from pieces I have in my wardrobe. For example, I have created a shirt using old fishing nets, tulle, pieces of shirts, and rhinestones. The possibilities are endless if you apply a little bit of creativity and you get inspiration from the things that you love or you like the most.
Nevertheless, it’s in the hands of the people that actually are committed to sustainability and that know all the things, to share the message with the family, friends, colleagues… Everyone.
We have to educate society in terms of dressing more sustainability. We need to let them know what does it mean -to society and the environment- to keep buying fast fashion brands.
It would be important to make people see that much of the clothing that is manufactured in fast fashion brands have a short life, especially if it is made en masse. How much of that clothing is made in an unethical and unsustainable way and how much it actually damages the environment. We need to let people know that planned obsolescence -check the Fashion Revolution IG to read more about it- also exists in the world of fashion and that we have become accustomed to consuming and throwing away. This has to change.