Starting A Fashion Business? Here’s Why Sustainability Must Be A Top Priority
Today’s climate changes, heavy pollution, and poor air quality made us all agree that our modern society needs to make a dramatic shift towards sustainability. We can no longer take our Mother Earth’s resources for granted. Do you ever think about what chemicals might exist in the fabric when you pull on a new t-shirt? Or do you ever think about where all your old clothes end up after you throw them away? While the fashion business and apparel industries play a major role in the global economy, their success comes at a high environmental cost that affects all of us. The fashion industry is one of the biggest polluters which has tremendous environmental impacts.
As a result, more and more fashion companies have started to embrace sustainable business practices changing the loop of the entire product lifecycle using recycling and regeneration. Here’s why sustainability should be your top priority when starting a new fashion business.
Fast fashion has a huge environmental cost
The fashion industry has a terrible reputation when it comes to the environmental consequences of its practices. With fashion consumers asking for new trends and styles every season, the fast fashion companies had to find a way to fulfill their demand. However, without understanding how big the negative impact this industry is on the environment, the practices of fast fashion result in water pollution, increasing levels of textile waste, and the use of toxic chemicals. Here are only a few of the negative impacts of the fast fashion industry on our environment.
- Textile waste in landfills– The consumers of fast fashion are also responsible for the environmental impact of this industry. Consumers throw away their old clothes instead of recycling them which leads to a huge amount of textile waste in landfills.
- Gas emissions– According to the United Nations Climate Change news, the fashion industry has a contribution of 10% in the global greenhouse gas emissions.
- Water waste- Shocking as it may be, for the production of a single t-shirt and a pair of jeans, the fashion industry uses 20.000 liters of water.
Eco-friendly consumer mindset
Apart from the obvious environmental benefits of starting a green business, your fashion brand will benefit a lot when it comes to winning customers. Today’s consumers have become more aware of the environmental issues which result from bad business practices. They are no longer willing to pay huge amounts of money to businesses that destroy our planet for profit. Moreover, a recent survey has shown that today’s young customers are willing to pay more for products or services that come from eco-friendly businesses.
Today’s eco-friendly consumer mindset has made sustainable branding become mainstream in the business landscape. Considering the recent environmental concerns which have become more evident to all of us, it comes as no surprise that consumer behavior and purchasing decisions have changed. Buying sustainable from eco-friendly companies makes consumers feel good.
Save money by going green
Most entrepreneurs fail to understand that doing sustainable business will lead to the reduction of their overall costs. They believe that changing their business practices with green ones will involve huge capital investments. However, relying on sustainable and green practices can have a huge impact on reducing their costs.
Starting a sustainable fashion business is a great way to save money. Reusing existing materials or relying on renewable energy sources will cut your costs considerably by reducing your electricity bills and eliminating the necessity of purchasing new products. Also, starting a green business will offer you a competitive advantage in the fashion industry and help you succeed in winning customers and increasing your profit.
How to start a green fashion business
With today’s eco-friendly consumers and sustainability being mainstream in the business landscape, starting an ethical fashion business will help you enter the market with the right foot. However, sustainability is a fast and rapidly evolving field which can be a little intimidating when you are a new entrepreneur.
If you want your company to be different than the other ones from the fashion industry and leave an as little environmental impact as possible, here are a few tips on how to start a green fashion brand to help you get started:
- Rely on renewable energy – Relying on renewable energy is a great way to have reduced costs for your business. Luckily, today you have many sustainable solutions such as using solar power or wind turbines. Although it may seem like an expensive initial cost, your investment will definitely pay off in time.
- Recycle your business waste– The fashion industry is a huge contributor to waste pollution and overfilled landfills. Corporate waste in the fashion industry, such as textiles and packaging, is produced in huge amounts and it is rarely properly recycled or reused. If you want to start a sustainable business, you need to make sure that you start with a great waste management strategy. You can partner with waste management experts who are helping new businesses with their waste strategy. Consider purchasing waste balers or compactors to help you manage your corporate waste more efficiently and easily.
- Create an eco-friendly company culture– Engaging your employees to rely on green practices is also an important part of starting a sustainable business. Create an eco-friendly company culture and only hire the employees who want to be part of your initiative. Your employees need to understand that your company aims to be different than all the other ones and to leave as little carbon footprint on our environment as possible. For example, you can invest in reusable kitchen tools to reduce your business’s waste or encourage your employees to commute in healthy ways such as biking.
Finding sustainable alternatives to reduce the damaging environmental effects of the fashion industry on our planet is already happening for some time now. Any effort you make towards a sustainable change in the way the fashion industry is doing business can make a huge difference. Starting a green business will have a huge impact on your business success and the environmental impact of your company.
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