We’re here to remind you that, when you break it down…sustainable fashion is a little bit more achievable than you might think.
“Buy Less, Choose Well, Make it Last.”Vivienne Westwood.
Almost every client we work with aspires to develop a sustainable brand. Equally, it’s a priority for us to support and enable that aspiration. Sustainability is a big topic…and realistically it’s a topic that can sometimes feel a little baffling, especially if you’re a start-up!
We’ve witnessed clients shying away from their most ambitious sustainable aspirations because it feels too mammoth to master or achieve. Sometimes this is due to budget, logistics or accessibility to the necessary resources.
The responsibility doesn’t fall solely onto the shoulders of the production & manufacturing side of the industry. The truth is that we can all make responsible choices from the very start of our process. We’ve realised that sometimes it’s easy to overlook these really simple sustainability solutions while developing your brand.
Here are five things to consider to inject a little bit more sustainability into your brand development…
Plan your Range
Do you really need to proceed with every item you’re considering developing? Be honest and try to make logical decisions based on the results of your market research.
More items in the range = more time, more fabric, more money, more energy & more wastage. Wasting any of these resources isn’t sustainable, so range planning is vital in paving the way for a smooth and sustainable process.
Collaborate with your suppliers
Your suppliers and factories will most likely have some tips for a more sustainable development & manufacturing process. Not only will you be building more sustainable practice together. You’ll also be forging strong collaborative relationships with the people you’re investing in.
If you’re lucky the factory may also have a roll of fabric hiding in their warehouse which is perfect for you. That means that roll of fabric won’t go to landfill…so it’s a big win-win!
Reduce the number of components
More components per item means the product will take longer to make, use more raw materials and result in a higher cost price. Not only that, but the more separate components you have, the harder it will be to source sustainable options.
Maybe you could also share a fabric across several items? This could reduce your fabric costs too, so why not!?
Design with multi-seasonality in mind
If you’re strategic, you can plan and design your range so that a customer can buy it across several or all 4 seasons. For example, maybe your winter jacket has a removal lining so it can be worn in slightly warmer weather? Or, maybe you offer an essential sweatshirt in both bright Spring/Summer colours and darker Autumn/Winter colours?
If you’re clever with your decisions you can avoid being too seasonal and/or trend driven. Then, maybe you can re-retail this season’s stock next season too? This would reduce the number of new developments you’ve got coming up! You can then reduce fabric usage on sampling as well as saving time & money.
Compromise can sometimes be a tricky thing to exercise. Sometimes (for example) we need to accept that the ‘perfect’ colour can’t be achieved using an environmentally friendly dye-stuff. Maybe a similar colour could be, though! Or, it could be that your favourite fabric isn’t available in recycled fibres, but a slightly different fabric is recycled.
In these instances, try to be logical rather than emotional. Make decisions based upon your brand’s sustainable fashion values and end goal.
Try to be positive about the compromises that you need to make too, because sometimes they can be a blessing in disguise! Quite often the changes we make along the way simplify future tasks. In the end we are thankful for being pushed to make those decisions.
If we all design, develop and produce with simple sustainability steps in mind we will inevitably move towards a more sustainable future.
The Fashion Consultants can support you throughout your brand development journey, so let’s take on sustainability step by step and I’m pretty sure we will soon discover that we’ve made some pretty big leaps!
If you’re feeling inspired and want to learn more about the world of sustainable fashion, check out Fashion For Good. They’re a platform for sustainable innovation in the fashion industry and you’ll love what they have to say.
Get in touch to discuss how we can work with you to build your sustainable fashion brand!