The younger generation has a lot of opinions on sustainable fashion.
The younger generation or more definitely, the millennials and the GenZ’s have a lot of contrasting actions when it comes to fashion. This age group stepped into the world at the same time when corporations like ZARA dwelled in the concept of timeless novelty fashion. The 2000’s decade saw a rise in western fashion retailers like ZARA, H&M, Forever 21, Gap, etc. Then, globalization was blooming and outsourcing services became cheaper.
Retailers went in all guns blazing, giving accessibility to cheap and trendy runway trends. The generation that is constantly in touch with the real-time trends around the world cannot help themselves. The millennials and the GenZ’s have fallen deep into this pitfall. They have even been embraced by the ‘wear it for-the-gram’ culture, constant peer pressure and influences of so-called fashion influencers.’
An average teenager now buys twice the clothes as compared to the early 2000s and spends more than $2000 on fashion alone, annually. To meet the increasing demand led to an increase in production. The production doubled to almost 100 billion a year in 2014.
Fast fashion problems:
But buying cheap and large quantities of clothes isn’t the only problem of fast fashion. They use poor-quality materials to pull down prices. Mainly, the means of production are unethical. The condition of garment workers in third-world countries is way below humane. It is proven that the fast fashion industry is one of the biggest contributors to climate change. It also harms oceans and lands with its high dumping value and use of microfibers.
As the effects of such industries are seen more and more in real life, it is making these buyers more conscious. The reports by major climate control panels or physical effects such as floods are paving discussions. A discussion about how these practices are destroying something that is going to be their future home.
Younger generation on sustainable fashion vs. fast fashion:
With young leaders like Greta Thunberg, who is raising her voice on a global level, to rising discussions on social media platforms or among friend groups. All these are creating spaces to hold discussions about how as individuals one can overturn these blunders.
All these have given rise to adapting to a more eco-friendly way of fashion. A way that is less burdening environmentally, economically and socially.
As pioneers of this social change, this ‘woke’ generation has been able to make a lot of positive decisions.
Efforts made by the younger generation for sustainable fashion:
1. The Three Rs:
The three Rs of sustainability; reducing, reusing and recycling are important elements for any kind of sustainable development. It might be psychologically difficult for this generation to reduce their purchases. However, they have given ultimate focus and attention to the other two, to reuse and to recycle. With the advent of modern technologies and the abundance of creativity, it has been fairly easy to practice this. Many designers have switched from fresh fabrics to make sure that they use upcycled materials in their designs. They also focus on procuring natural fabrics and implement a zero-waste policy for their brands. Through this, it has become easier to be sustainable as there are more options with unique pieces.
2. Making brands take authority:
The younger generation isn’t the one to sit down quietly and watch the show. With various weapons like social media at their disposal, they surely know how to hold responsible. Social media is one powerful tool that has been instrumental in making or breaking many brand images. And hence, to keep their brand image strong, many brands are being forced not only to amend their ways but also take responsibility.
With the world at their fingertips and the strong power of opinions, some of these younger generations have compelled even governments to formulate policies. The media is the fastest way to make people aware of the atrocities of fast fashion and help the younger generation switch on their sustainable fashion. The number of fashion influencers who follow sustainable fashion are increasing in the media space. They can be really helpful to people and help them find better ideas. Apart from that, marketplace searches of vintage clothes, thrift stores, style inspo all are possible.
The views of the younger generation on sustainable fashion are more strongly expressed by their actions. They are also promoting the idea of sustainable fashion widely. They are all united to bring about a social change for the better of the planet. This is done by changing their own methods while also influencing many others to do so. Overall, through their advocacy, they want to better changes with respect to people, nature and the planet.