Changing the Fashion Industry.
Sustainability is sexy! Though we are continuously being conditioned to think otherwise. We have become so used to fast fashion, that the outcry about the environmental consequences, the pollution-affected underpaid workers and the economical outreach as far as African textile industry is widely known but has lost the shock-value.
To produce fast fashion, costs are kept to a minimum, most commonly this is achieved by production in low-wage countries in Asia, Bangladesh, being one of the worse off in this scenario. The fabric is processed and dyed with highly toxic substances, that have their highest concentration right in the factory. The sewage is seldomly filtered sufficiently, due to insufficient regulations in the country and workers, as well as people living in the area of the factories are bluntly exposed to the highly cancerous toxins.
Not only are these toxins now out there but having access to more clothes quicker makes people sort out more, and also dispose of them more. If we are lucky, the created surge of clothing is recycled and not just dumped in the trash. However, in recycling facilities, most wearable clothing is sorted to be sent to African countries. From there the shirts and pants are sold so cheap that local fashion production can’t keep up: fashion business close down.
All other clothing adds to the pollution of our world. With many textiles not being processed correctly after their wearing life, we have tons of garments that are polluting the environment, with fibers not decomposing in nature, the non-degradable items junk up the oceans, landfills and nature.
Let me introduce you to “qmilkfiber”, a milk-based fiber. Though her idea to produce materials and clothing from milk wasn’t all that new, Anke found a way to develop this “qmilkfiber” in a more eco-friendly way than it was when its’ development was first approached in the 1930’s. Born out of the need for Hypoallergenic clothing, Qmilk only uses waste product that is unfit to be used for foods due to stringent German food safety regulations. No chemicals, only little water and lots of milk that would have otherwise been tossed down the drain are used for this special fabric. A shocking 1,9 tons of milk are disposed of each year in Germany, so the website claims: https://www.qmilkfiber.eu/?lang=en
With zero waste production and only 2 liters of water neccessary for the production per 1 kg fiber (compared to up to 11.000 liters used for 1kg cotton) and the short processing time of about 5 minutes, this “qmilkfibre” sounds like a great alternative and worth reading about more, at least
SALLY VREISEIS FOX
Sally Vreiseis Fox has been growing cotton since the early 80’s, that already blooms in color, therefore making chemical dye obsolete. In addition, the colors can even intensify over the course of washing. A very interesting approach to prevent using the highly toxic and dangerous dyes usually used in fabric production. Unfortunately, it’s all about the Benjamin’s and the highest margins are still reached by toxic fast fashion made in low cost third world countries. Find out more about this interesting topic on https://www.vreseis.com/
STELLA MCCARTNEY, the famous vegan designer has made it her prerogative to design vegan sportswear. Though not new in the fashion industry, Stella is well worth having in your portfolio of “fashionistas to know”. As a first-row animal activist she claims “sustainability can be sexy.” A mantra some people certainly need to learn!
While Stella McCartney does partner with big fashion chains, she is yet an important famous advocat to raise awareness and spread the word of activist fashion. Go Stella!
This article was originally, in an amended version, published in Currents Magazine Summer, 2019