Historically, the clothing industry has been a hotbed of change, from social, political to economic. However, the garment industry is about more than producing clothes; it is a platform that could bring much-needed change, not just at a personal level but also industrial. There are many ways the clothing sector can facilitate change in different areas; we hope that the insights provided below bring you a step closer to leaving a footprint in the world.
Ways clothing companies can facilitate change
1) Encourage circular economy
For decades, the clothing industry has been the third leading sector contributing to adverse environmental impacts globally. However, the climate crisis has been a wake-up call for many clothing companies that something has to change. With close to 100 million tons of textile waste produced annually, clothing companies can take the initiative of using sustainable materials. By switching out the cheap materials and manufacturing methods, a significant step is made to reduce pollution. Additionally, renewable sources that can be reused and recycled can help with reducing the enormous waste that goes to landfills.
2) Clothes for purpose
There is a lot of interesting meaning and conversation wrapped in clothes. Clothes are not frivolous but rather a part of society that could bring change. Clothes could be a massive part of the dynamics of the world, from ideas to beliefs, some of which are behind the greatest revolutions. It may be easy to dismiss satirical statements and slogans on clothes as words. But think about it! Wearing simple things like t-shirts, caps, and hand bands could impact what one believes. Some of these campaigns include advocating for equal pay, sexual harassment at the workplace, equality, police brutality, and awareness of various disorders. What role can companies play? By activating brands supporting these causes, companies like Wear It Brand give visibility to some of these causes. Through awareness, people could be more sensitive and, most importantly, support those affected.
3) Eliminate consumer throw away
We have probably heard that clothes nowadays hardly last as long as they used to ten to twenty years ago. Why is that? It comes down to materials. Many companies use cheap materials that can only be used for a short time before they become worn out. Add to this; these materials are primarily nonrenewable therefore cannot be reused to make new clothes. It mainly fosters a throwaway consumer mentality, encouraging people to discard clothes as soon as they wear out (within a short span); clothing companies should invest in quality materials that give clothes longevity, thus discouraging throwaways among consumers. Even when they tear or wear, consumers could take it to their local tailor and provide the clothes a new life instead of throwing them away.
4) Improving labor practices
There is a lot to be said about exploitative labor practices in the garment industry. For years many companies have been called out over the years for poor workmanship and labor practices. But isn’t it time things changed? Change ought to begin from the inside; instead of focusing on speed and cost efficiencies, they should improve the working conditions of their workers.
Clothes are everywhere; one may even argue everyone wears them even with the interplay of necessary and unnecessary. You may not think it, but there is a lot of change the clothing industry facilitates. The industry is vast, and above are just a peek of what clothing goes beyond. Thinking of starting your clothing company? Why not do it with purpose? These are some inspirational ideas you can use to do your part in the industry and influence change. It is a matter of deciding what difference you want to make and making it!