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This month's EcOh presentation focuses on the future of fast fashion, which falls under the Sustainable Development Goal #12. The apparel and textile industry produces’ 10% of the world’s global greenhouse emissions. With global consciousness on the rise, Millennial and Gen Z activists are changing the way clothing is being manufactured, marketed, and sold. Fast fashion corporations such as Forever 21 and H&M are losing business as trends move toward ethical, sustainable fashion – clothing that is made locally, out of natural fibers and dyes, and is timeless in its design. Low-cost, high-production fashion has peaked, and in its downturn are people willing to spend more on designs that will last. Retailers such as Everlane are growing in popularity as their ethical designs provide an alternative to mass-produced, foreign imports. Online sales are also on the rise as, brownstone shops are closing in lieu of digital marketplaces that are not only changing the way clothing is sold, but how it is consigned. Annually, 2.5 million tons of textiles are donated to traditional consignments such as Goodwill, yet only 10-20 percent end up on the racks of domestic thrift stores. The face of consignment has been transformed as traditional donation and resale is taking a backseat to digital trade-and-sell businesses such as ThreadUp and Poshmark. Could these new trends mean the end of clothing conglomerates and fast fashion?

References:

Advancing Sustainable Materials Management: Facts and Figures. (2019) https://www.epa.gov/facts-and-figures-about-materi...

Love Your Clothes. (2019) https://www.loveyourclothes.org.uk/

Millennials Expect More Than Good Products, Services to Win Their Loyalty. (2014) Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/larissafaw/2014/05/22...

The Impact of a Cotton T-Shirt. (2013) WWF. https://www.worldwildlife.org/stories/the-impact-o...

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Olafur Eliasson

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