The Round-Up is ZERRIN’s weekly sustainable fashion and beauty news digest, keeping you up to date with all the latest updates worldwide. From reporting on the green moves of retail industry giants to uncovering the latest updates from emerging brands, innovations and ideas, we’ll be sharing it all in this dedicated weekly update!
1. Factory fire consumes the lives of seven garment workers in Ahmedabad, India.
On the 8th of February, a fire broke out in Nandan Denim factory in Ahmedabad, India, with seven reported casualties. Moreover, this factory produces denim for high-street labels Zara, Target, and Ralph Lauren. The cause of the fire is unknown so far. Reports say that the factory was poorly ventilated, and the only exit was accessible by ladder. The owner and managing director of Chiripal Group, which owns the factory, are in custody for “culpable homicide and negligence”.
This instance reminds us of the unfortunate collapse of the Rana Plaza, after which agreements between workers and brands were established, as well as the Accord on Fire and Building Safety put in place. As these agreements see improved conditions within factories in Bangladesh, we hope India and Pakistan implement these practices to avoid such preventable accidents.
2. The coronavirus is heavily impacting China’s economy and fast fashion, but maybe not much of the luxury sector.
China is a fashion hub, as the largest global textile producer and exporter. Chinese factories produce garments, shoes, accessories and more for high-street and luxury brands all over the world. So it comes to no surprise that the deadly virus, COVID-19, killing over 1300 in the country at the time of writing, will cause major halts and delays in production, orders, and consumption. H&M and Uniqlo have indefinitely closed stores across the country to counter the spread of the virus and protect employees.
Even though luxury retail stores in Beijing and Hong Kong remain closed, brands are taking the strategic route to limit production to counteract the decrease in demand, and hope to make up in the second half of the year. Analysts believe the outbreak will ultimately have minimal effect on well-run businesses that can control cost, ensure high profits without the Chinese consumers.
3. Sustainability was trending on the Oscars red carpet, and it definitely did not disappoint, unlike the BAFTAs.
The Oscars attendees were sure to impress with their eco-friendly outfits, unlike the BAFTAs last week. While the BAFTAs did sport few following the sustainable memo, the Oscars’ red carpet was glittering in green. From re-wearing and recycling to stepping into sustainable, innovative and eco-friendly looks, the red carpet was therefore the perfect example to see celebrities conscious of fashion’s role in the climate crisis.
Little Women actress, Saoirse Ronan wore a Gucci gown that repurposed material from her BAFTAs gown. Louis Vuitton designed custom eco-friendly gowns for Kaitlyn Dever and Léa Seydoux, and the likes of Elizabeth Banks, Jane Fonda and Joaquin Phoenix (praise!) repeated their past gala outfits to emphasise the statement that “we don’t need more clothes”.
4. Nike’s ‘Move to Zero’ initiative tackles climate change to protect the future of sports, here’s how.
Nike strongly believes the future of sports is in danger if the climate crisis escalates. And they aren’t wrong. With rising temperatures and humidity, shorter practices, wearing less equipment and even cancelling games are in foresight. Snowsports literally face losing playing field, with the number of quality days for snowboarding significantly dropping.
‘Move to Zero’ is responding to these realities by eliminating single-use plastics, diverting plastic away from oceans and repurposing them, as well as promising to reduce global carbon emissions.
5. Vogue editor-in-chief, Anna Wintour, encourages mindful shopping and dissuades consumers from their buy-and-throw-away approach to fashion.
Clothes should be cherished, reworn and passed along instead of throwing them away – if Vogue’s editor-in-chief, Anna Wintour says it, then it must be true. This emergence of throwaway culture is perpetuated by consumers who buy fast-fashion because of its cheap price and accessibility, and throw them away after one wear – just like single-use plastics.
This statement fares even more prominent ever since Condé Nast’s sustainability pledge. As a part of their efforts to disseminate information about sustainable industry practices, the conglomerate wishes to inform the world about the need for wider and accelerated climate action.
6. Fashion’s waste problem is at the forefront of Gabriela Hearst’s collection.
Sustainable fashion designer, Gabriela Hearst launches new collection with ‘waste’ as the predominant theme. So instead of designing a collection and then placing fabric orders, the designer worked backwards. She then let the unused stock at her warehouses to decide how her collection would turn out. The ‘waste’ in her collection were excess cashmere and unused fabric stocks, and they got a second life as classic princess-line coats or patchwork multicoloured jackets strutting down this season’s show
7. Fashion embraces hackathons to find sustainable solutions for the current supply chain and overproduction problems.
Luxury group, Kering, invited 80 tech developers, students and industry experts to participate in its inaugural ‘hackathon’. The 48-hour event was centred around sustainable solutions to the rapidly increasing environmental impact on the fashion industry.
Competitors uploaded their prototypes to Kering’s existing app My EP&L. The app already collects data on the carbon emissions, water consumption, air and water pollution along the supply chain of the brands under Kering. There is still backlash as many prefer research backing these hackathons. There needs to progress from more than just ideas but as implementations and products.
8. Did you know you’re wearing plastic? A guide on fashion’s most produced fabric – polyester.
Sustainable fashion might praise natural fabrics over synthetic. But let’s not forget about the few categories that can’t afford to lose polyester from production – shoes, winter wear, and activewear. Now, before you think about how much pollution polyester production creates, we have to remember that polyester can be more sustainable from different angles – such as post-consumer care and recyclability.
Over 50 million tonnes of this fabric is produced annually, and yet we don’t know much about what it is or how it’s produced. So we created a guide that discusses all things polyester. In this fabric guide, learn about polyester’s history and how it dominated in fashion, as well as weigh the pros and cons of the industry’s “dirtiest” fabric.