Clothing and accessories regularly top our Christmas wish lists, and it can be hard to resist these gifts under the tree. However, the fashion industry alone is responsible for 10% of global carbon emissions, and every year 70% of fast fashion is dumped into landfill after just a few weeks - equating to £140m of scrapped products. Fortunately, fashion brands of Christmases Past, Present and Yet To Come can help us make more sustainable choices.
Harris Tweed is synonymous with classical sartorial elegance. For decades they have flown the flag for sustainable products and processes, which have since been enshrined in law. Authentic tweed garments are made from pure virgin wool and handwoven by islanders in their homes in the Outer Hebrides. Only items made to these strict sustainability standards may be sold under the Harris Tweed brand.
More recently, environmental issues have forced clothing companies such as Patagonia, Inc to directly address the gradual decline of our planet with eco-friendly action. Their company motto is "We're in business to save our home planet", and this season 87% of their clothing will be made from recycled materials. Since 2017 Patagonia has also been at the forefront of encouraging repairing and recycling - it is estimated that repairing clothes or buying them second-hand can extend a garment's life by two years. This can reduce a product's carbon, waste and water footprint by ~73%.
And what sustainable fashion creations might the future hold? We may not have to wait long to find out - the innovative biomaterials company MycoWorks have recently collaborated with luxury fashion retailer Hermès to create a Fine MyceliumT or "mushroom leather" handbag. The patented material is grown from the humble fungi and so is a natural, sustainable, and vegan alternative to animal leathers.
Businesses should consider how their trade marks and other IP rights can be used to safeguard the green credentials they establish for their brands. Equally however, all of us as consumers have a part to play by making more sustainable fashion choices - we want future generations to enjoy many more merry Christmases Yet To Come!
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