As the world consumes its way to an environmental apocalypse, it has become obvious that humankind will have to reassess the way it uses its resources. One way we have come to cope with this challenge is through innovations and sustainable design.
The intention of sustainable design is to “eliminate negative environmental impact completely through skillful, sensitive design”.
Manifestations of sustainable design require renewable resources, impact the environment minimally, and connect people with the natural environment.
Over the coming months we will be examining some of these design developments aimed at building a sustainable future. Some of these are already in the market; others are still no more than ideas and prototypes. Whatever stage they are in, what they offer is hope.
Future Design: Fashion Edition
According to the United Nations, the fashion industry is responsible for 10% of global greenhouse emissions. That is twice more than the aviation industry. Every second, the equivalent of one garbage truck of textiles is landfilled or burned. Even without the aid of these statistics, it’s easy for us to see just how unsustainable fashion currently is.
Fashion’s unsustainability runs from end-to-end. For instance, It takes roughly 20,000 litres of water to produce just one kilogram of cotton, equivalent to one t-shirt and a pair of jeans. So that by the time the end-consumer buys it, enormous amounts of water and power have already been used and wasted, and in the case of synthetic fabrics, microplastics are released into the ocean.
A viable solution here is design. Fueled by a vision of a sustainable future and advancements in technology, fashion houses and startups have taken up the challenge of designing a more sustainable future for the fashion industry. In my estimation, this involves the fundamental overhauling of fashion and its supply chain. It also means redefining our traditional values as they relate to clothes because what we believe our clothes should be made of and who we imagine ought to make them all depends on our perception.
In this first edition of #FUTUREDESIGN, we look at the design breakthroughs that hold the key to fashion’s sustainable future.