Living a sustainable life is not only wise, but has become “hip”. Many of us have seen trendy shops going “green” either gradually or all of a sudden and, excited about getting the “green badge of honor”, we promised ourselves to try to live responsibly, creating less waste. Fashion brands did that too, mostly to appease their Millenial customers. Some have succeeded, causing in turn the emergence of Glami.eco, the Google for sustainable fashion but is that enough?
To be honest, only 1% of the new products introduced in the first half of 2019 were tagged sustainable, although between 2016-2019, online searches for “sustainable fashion” tripled.
There is demand, obviously, but does it convert to sales? And do those sales incentivize fashion brands to turn “green”? Not yet.
According to a 2018 report, people don’t follow through. They tend to prioritize ease of purchase and price of an item over sustainability. Meanwhile, more online retailers show up overnight, leading to a phenomenon called “ultra fast-fashion”.
People become trapped between a fashion storm of exciting new clothes, cheap and available online, and their own conscience. Making the right call isn’t easy.
In fact, the more styles, colors and sizes show up, the more customers expect and the more stores produce, with no regard to the resources available. And I’m not talking here just about human resources, underpaid labor and the works.
The fashion industry is one of the most detrimental fields to the Planet, with the production of polyester textiles alone emitting about 706 million tons of greenhouse gases a year. Let’s not even get into water consumption…
There is a bit of light at the end of the tunnel, though. The 2020 McKinsey report on the state of fashion predicts that sustainability will continue to be a hot topic and initiatives like Glami.eco seem to help the cause.
In case you’re wondering, Glami.eco is a Google for people looking for sustainable fashion products in one online place.
GLAMI’s goal is to gather and organize fashion in one place for everyone to discover. At the same time, we care about the future of our planet and the impact that the fashion industry has on it.
We’re talking about a platform pulling together items from more than 250 brands that abide by several rules.
Their products have to be made from organic, biodegradable or recycled materials, in a way that is not harmful to the environment. Plus, the stores need to ensure the team at Glami that they are offering fair and safe working conditions. And, of course, proper certifications are needed such as GOTS, Fair Trade, Blue Sign.
Once a store checks the boxes above, they are hosted on the platform.
At a quick look, you can see products categorized by genre and age, (adults/kids), as well as various filters (brands, style, season, pattern, material, certifications, etc.)
As far as prices go, there’s something for everyone. I’ve seen items from Stella McCartney to Patagonia to Selected.
There’s also a “material guide” section that’s a sort of dictionary for materials, answering to these types of questions: How are materials like wool or silk processed? Where and under what conditions is cotton grown? And, what impact can a single cotton t-shirt have on the environment? Quite a nice addition, I feel.
What do you think: can technology tools move the fashion industry in the green direction?
9/17: The article has been modified to reflect the difference between GLAMI and GLAMI.eco.