Sustainable Clothing is the key to our future, a Cleaner and Greener Future if we say. We all love to wear classy, vibrant, and cheeky outfits to get our-selves registered in eyes of masses but all these flashy and vibrant fashions do come on a cost we don’t really account ourselves for; The Greenhouse Gasses emissions. Our global fashion industry contributes to approx. 10% of global greenhouse gasses emission and it is second biggest source of water pollution. It is might be a horrible revelation to some of us that approx. 20,000 Liters of water is consumed in making a simple pair of a T-shirt and a Jeans. Frighteningly, 80 percent of our clothing ends-up in landfill sites where it takes approx. TWO HUNDERED YEARS to decompose; while decomposing they emit Methane which is a greenhouse gas much more harmful as compared to Carbon Mono Oxide.
It is need of hour to replace our typical linear production practices with circular ones wherein most ingredients are derived from recycling, refurbing, or repairing and these practices revolve around sustainable design development with zero waste and resource recovery as well as product life-cycle extension. Also focus is gradually shifting towards more ecofriendly fibers such as hemp, bamboo, and organic cotton. Another point of focus is to increase product life and quality so that consumption can be reduced as garment life span increases.
A more novel approach garment designers are focusing is usage of biodegradable materials like mycelium, fungi, bacteria and algae as these materials can be grown in molds thus designers could grow only the required amount of fabric required which considerably lessen waste; right from the beginning and by the end of their lifecycle they would breakdown into nontoxic substances AND above all, most of these materials can be grown locally right in homes which would be a new opportunity for people effected by recent pandemic which mainly comprises of very talented weavers, designers, and tailors as they could not only find a new way to experiment but also be able to support their economies at very basic level.
One of the hottest new innovation in sustainable clothing is Kombucha Leather which is a Scoby (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) product. These leathers are not only cheap and ecofriendly but they also have another advantage of no more animal hunting for leathers AND they are VERSATILE. Young-A Lee, an associate professor of apparel, merchandising, and design at Iowa State, says the properties of this SCOBY film are similar to leather once it’s harvested and dried, and can be used to make clothing, shoes, or handbags. Though there are some challenges hindering the way such as long production time, moisture absorption, and weather dependent behavior but still the future seems to be very bright and some day we would definitely wear these leathers as a mainstream clothing.
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