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Paris to Become the First Sustainable Fashion Capital of the World in 5 Years: What Does Sustainable Fashion Look Like?

Paris Good Fashion: The five-year plan to become the sustainable fashion capital of the world was announced early in January. The Parisian Mayor Anne Hidalgo is supporting a new project to support eco-friendly fashion initiatives. Paris Good Fashion will focus on sourcing, traceability, making energy and communication more sustainable. This plan is set to take place over a course of five years.

Via Fashion United

But what does sustainable fashion look like? According to Green Strategy, “More sustainable fashion can be defined as clothing, shoes and accessories that are manufactured, marketed and used in the most sustainable manner possible, taking into account both environmental and socio-economic aspects. In practice, this implies continuous work to improve all stages of the product’s life cycle, from design, raw material production, manufacturing, transport, storage, marketing and final sale, to use, reuse, repair, remake and recycling of the product and its components.”

Sustainable fashion is a way to ensure that your clothes are not harming the plant or contributing to climate change or waste. Textile and clothing waste is an issue in the fashion industry. It is the second largest polluter right behind the oil industry. This issue has come up more recently in the news because of the awareness of climate change and ethics behind the industry. Child labor and exploiting the workers with low wages and terrible working conditions are still happening to this day. ASOS recently had an issue with how their clothes are manufactured in Turkey. BBC did an investigation where they found out children about ages 7-8 were manufacturing clothes. They released this statement. The luxury fashion company, Burberry was also found guilty of fashion waste. They burned over 28.6 million pounds of clothes which is about $37 million worth of clothing to “keep brand value.” Multiple brands have been accused of burning product to avoid having it sold at retail price and lower the brand value.

Via the New York Times

However, the demand for luxury brand new clothes and fast fashion is slowly decreasing. More and more millennials are moving towards thrift stores and second-hand stores like Plato’s Closet. Some fashion companies are slowly taking into account that this something they should care about. Patagonia has been known to be sustainable in their practice. “An apparel industry that produces no unnecessary environmental harm and has a positive impact on the people and communities associated with its activities.”

So how can business become more sustainable? In an episode of the Business of Fashion podcast founded by Imran Amed talked about using AI to make less product so waste is less. Arti Zeighami, a senior account executive at H&M and Christopher Wylie, an activist, talked about how AI is being used to create predictive merchandising. “Every piece of unsold clothing is just a failure to match supply and demand.” Chris said, “Or you haven’t distributed the product properly.”

Via The Wall Street Journal

Well, how do we fix that? Arti mentioned big data and how it can be used to optimize the whole value chain. The supply and value chain not only ends with consumers but starts with them as well. “Anything from forecasting trends, to how many pieces you’re going to by and how to distribute those garments to the right country to the right store to the right place to the right time.” All of this can be done with AI to create more sustainable fashion and less waste product.

Dress for less (waste).

Salma Hamze

George Mason University '20

Salma is a senior at George Mason currently studying Communication with a double concentration in Public Relations and Media Criticism and Production with a minor in Journalism. Family, friends and food are some of her top priorities; along with music, film and books. Reading sparked an interest in not only writing fiction but real world topics as well. She hopes to work in Public Relations and be able to travel the world one day. She is also a sister of Alpha Xi Delta here on campus.
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