The greatest expression of fashion is novelty. Seasonally and continuously, fashion has been creating and offering new pieces that influence the thoughts, desires and wardrobes of consumers in an industry that, globally, generates revenues of over 3 trillion dollars a year.
Fashion has always inspired renewal. So much so that fashion itself can be perceived as a means of transformation. The industry provides its customers with the possibility of constant transformation but, truth be told, it also recognizes and accepts the possibility of being transformed by them. With the same driving force that fashion offers novelties, it embraces the new. That’s how fashion intrinsically encourages constant updating and improvement.
This transforming essence of fashion has long been represented and strengthened by its artistic aspect, by new shapes, volumes and colors created by designers and reproduced by fashion publications. This amplification of design ended up making aesthetics – the appearance of the pieces and collections launched – more relevant than their function, performance and even the reflection of raw material used in them.
But fashion, as its core enforces, is being transformed. New relationships, new lifestyles and society’s new demands lead us to a moment in which content is as valued as form. A moment in which the function and the production impact of a garment become as, or even more, important than its appearance.
With climate crisis and environmental challenges increasingly evident and significant to the general public, the final fashion consumer is becoming a more conscious and engaged agent. And, as the fashion product demand shifts its basis, all the participating links in the industry’s production chain also feel compelled to be transformed by this new reality.
If before, the innovations in the production process of the industry walked hand in hand with the objective of maintaining, facilitating and accelerating the consumption of its items. Nowadays, the fashion industry, has sought to use technological advances to transform its system and production chain to be aligned with current values of sustainability. Key market players and up-to-date designers are using creativity to go beyond the design and functionality of garments and seek innovation opportunities starting from the first step of the production chain; the textile fiber.
The environmental footprint of a garment takes into consideration all aspects of production’s impacts. The water footprint, for example, is related to the amount of water needed to produce a certain item through all its stages; from the production of the textile fiber, fabric dyeing and softeners finishing. But it also includes the use, maintenance and disposal of the item by the final consumer.
The UN estimates that globally, from 80 to 90% of wastewater is returned to the environment untreated. That makes the choice of a non-polluting textile fiber one of the most effective ways to reduce negative environmental impact along the whole fashion production chain.
Sensil® has chosen water preservation as one of the main pillars of the company’s comprehensive commitment to sustainability. This commitment undertakes not only producing more sustainable products with more environmentally responsible methods, but also enabling initiatives that guarantee a healthier, and more sustainable, production chain. Sensil® believes that it is through collaboration and alignment in the value chain that a new textile economy can be established with respect for people and planet.
Thus, aware of its potential to improve the direction of this water impact statistic, Sensil® took the first step.
But what would be the solution for such an impact? Would treating wastewater before returning it to rivers and oceans be enough?
Sensil® has chosen to go the extra mile. It launched a solution that eliminates the water used in the dyeing process of its Nylon 6.6. Sensil® WaterCare offers to fabric companies, brands and designers a family of ready-to-use, uniformly and non-fading colored premium polyamide fibers that significantly reduces the use of water, energy and chemicals that are traditionally used for fabric dyeing and color fixation.
Compared to the previous production model, this responsible product preserves water, our most precious natural resource, saving at least 24,000 liters of water per ton of fabric. In other words, garments produced with Sensil® WaterCare avoid polluting enough water to guarantee daily clean water for 480 people. According to the UN, the minimum consumption of water per person for subsistence is 50 liters.
That’s how fashion has been optimizing its production processes and offering a whole other kind of “new”. Reclassifying cost into investment, with the clarity that the benefit goes beyond just profit. Because investing in new non-polluting fibers strengthens market positioning and aligns brand values with those of the final consumer, a consumer who considers now not only his well-being, but also the well-being of the planet.
A recent McKinsey survey reported that 66% of U.S. consumers now take sustainability into account when making a luxury purchase, with younger generations increasingly willing to pay more for products that have a proven minimized environmental impact.
To consume is to support. And that’s how the fashion industry is restructuring and strengthening itself from the first link of the chain. Choosing suppliers and making partnerships with the aim of supporting innovations and initiatives that will help to reverse the notoriety of “one of the industries that most pollutes the earth”.
Because inspiring a brighter and positive future is definitely “in”.
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