Designers must focus more on sustainability, eco-fashionistas say

17/mag/2017 09:16:40 AdoringDressesAU Contatta l'autore

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The Australian fashion industry still has "a long way to go" in the production of environmentally friendly textiles according to eco-fashionistas, who want brands to do more to incorporate sustainable practices.

Model walks down the runway at the Sydney Opera House

image: Formal Wear Melbourne

On average, for every metre of fabric used when making shoes or clothing, 20 per cent is discarded as waste.

Traditional dyes used to stain fabrics have damaging effects on the environment, while the widespread use of blended fabrics such as cotton and elastane make clothes impossible to recycle and be repurposed.

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Kelly Elkin from not-for-profit organisation Clean Cut Fashion said an upcoming panel discussion about future industry practices was the only event at this week's Australian Fashion Week in Sydney that was focused on sustainable principles.

 Protest drape dress by Kitx from July to September 2017 collection

PHOTO: KitX says it aims for designs with "high frequency wear". (Supplied: KitX)

"Fashion is the second largest polluter in the world after the oil industry, with 70 per cent of fashion's impact on the planet made at the material production and agricultural phase," Ms Willow said.

Ms Elkin said big international brands such as Nike, Adidas and Levi's have so far been the main advocates for sustainable practices, with the latter experimenting with ways to repurpose jeans into new denim and operating under the mantra "water less, waste less".

She said younger and smaller Australian brands were also starting to adopt more sustainable practices and had started seeing the value in promoting that ethos to consumers.

She cited processes such as minimising offcuts, using eco-friendly dyes and inks, and being "less trend driven, more style focused" when considering the longevity of a garment.

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