EDITIONS

Sustainability in fashion and textiles

The word sustainability has various meanings. One of the meaning is the ‘ability to be maintained at a certain rate or level’ and the other meaning states ‘the pursuit of global environment sustainability’. While talking about the fashion and textile industry both interpretations are valid and extremely important. 

Suraj Punjabi
10th Feb 2018
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Sustaining the business

The textile industry is one of the oldest established industry. It has evolved and adapted to the changing times. The fashion and textile industry has faced quite a growth, particularly in the recent years. Today consumers are experimenting with fashion, which has led to an increase in the production of the goods.

In the current times, the textile industry is said to be one of the largest industry in India. 

It accounts for nearly 14 percent of the entire industrial production. When it comes to exporting, this industry’s contribution is around 30 percent. Along with the textile industry, the fashion and apparel industry has also faced substantial growth. One of the major reason for this is the entry of international brands into our market. Also, today we have fashion-conscious consumers who keep changing their taste constantly. Both these factors have brought in new opportunities for retailers and others in the industry. With the growth rate reaching nearly 10 percent, the Indian fashion industry is gaining prominence. This growth has also given us an edge over prominent international markets.

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These statistics are encouraging and has created a positive effect on both small and large businesses. But starting and establishing the business is only the first step. The real test is to sustain the business in the long run. The sustainability of the business depends on a number of factors. There are various internal factors that would help you sustain a business better.

• Executing the right kind of marketing and advertising strategies

• Keep up with consumer’s changing sensibilities

• Understanding your competition

Along with internal factors, external factors also affect your business and some of the factors that have worked in the favour of the industry are-

• A higher focus from the government on the textile industry

• Strong growth in domestic textile and clothing consumption driven by multiple factors

But there are factors that have created a hindrance to the growth of the industry as well-

• Infrastructural issues that lead to an inefficient supply chain

• Lack of skilled workforce available.

These are just a few points; the industry is huge and depending on the business, these factors vary. But there is no doubt that the fashion and textile industry is growing and expanding every second.

Environmental Sustainability

We have discussed the business side of the industry, but the textile industry influences the environment as well. Sustainability has also become an important word in the fashion industry. It means to create economically and environmentally correct textiles and fashion. One of the biggest examples of this is the recent fashion weeks which boosted sustainable fabrics and textile.

Every year, tons of clothes find their way into the waste and this creates environmental issues. 

There is a pressing need to produce sustainable material. One of the reasons business do not create organic materials is because synthetic materials are more cost-effective. But they are not biodegradable, unlike organic materials.

The fashion and textile industry is responsible for creating a lot of pollution. Each stage of production is a threat to the environment. For instances, it takes around 20,000 liters of water to produce nearly 1 kg of cotton. Fortunately, there are a number of brands and business that are creating sustainable fashion.

Sustainability in fashion and textiles can have different interpretations but abiding by both is extremely important. The business side leads to the growth of the industry and the environmental side is important for our overall survival.  

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