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In the nearest 10 years, the fashion will become an environmental concept focused on disclosing similarities between the nature and humans. Moreover, the fashion will be sustainable, since it will have a balanced commercial-environmental and social impact. Products will be organic and non-toxic, manufactured from renewable materials with the reduced consumption of energy and water and in fair labor conditions. Manufactures, designers, consumers and professional of the fashion industry will be the main advocates for the eco-fashion in the future.
In the future, the fashion will be exclusively environmentally sound and the traditional glamorous-black, bloody red and shining silver colors will be completely substituted by “eco” colors, such as green, yellow, emerald, blue and white in the whole range of their spectrum and combinations. Consequently, “fatal luxury”, “vamp”, and “high-tech” styles will become out of fashion, whereas, the concept of the healthy eco-system of the planet and the idea that a human is an intelligent part of the nature capable to enjoy it and maintain the eco-balance of the planet will be the only reasonable and allowed style.
As a variant, the concept of the future fashion may be called the “Eco-Intelligent Planet”. According to it, the Earth Planet is a global home for people, who are a part of the nature, and their mission is to use intelligence to live in harmony with the nature, enjoy all its aspects and protect the planet from eco-catastrophes caused by humans’ activities.
The main message of the future fashion is that living in harmony with the nature is fashionable, and the future fashion collections will reveal the essence of the nature in humans with the help of the “eco” colors. For example, bright green may be associated with the birth, happiness and new beginnings. A child is born to the world to be happy and enjoy new impressions and experiences. A happy child will become an intelligent and caring adult, like a sprout that will grow into a wide-branching tree.
Yellow is the color of solar energy, driven from the Sun to make the life bright and warm. It is mainly associated with dynamic people capable to be a driving force in the world development due to their “intrinsic drive” and high intelligence. “Yellow” people “radiate” bright ideas and inspire other people for actions. Their solar energy generates only positive emotions and have a healing effect.
Emerald color is associated with the deep waters of the seas and oceans, still waters of the lakes and running waters of the rivers and waterfalls. Water washes the planet accumulating the information stored for centuries. Thus, it may symbolize sensitive people, who are wise to remain optimistic and calm in any situations and capable to transfer their “feeling of serenity” to other people.
Blue and white colors are associated with the endless sky and pure snows. They give a sense of feeling of freedom, fresh breeze, innocence and breath-taking beauty.
Moreover, the future fashion will be sustainable that means a beneficial co-existence of commerce, ecology and social community. Thus, manufactures and retailers will have a reasonable profit, and the products will be socially valuable and non-hazardous for the ecology.
In order to make the fashion sustainable, it is necessary to increase its cycle (for example, one collection every three years), reduce prices for fashion garments (to make high-quality eco-trend clothes available to the public) and reduce the number of garments (in order to minimize the consumption of natural recourses and air/water/ground contamination) and avoid using child labor and sweatshops. Nowadays fashion retailers have an aggressive strategy to attract customers and make the shopping habit much stronger. Buying a brand piece of clothes, people think about the concept of the brand and the possibility to join the fashion elite. A desire to buy new clothes is not a necessity, thus, it can be restrained. However, the demand for eco-clothing is a healthy tendency in the world community. K. Hamnets considers that consumers have the greatest power to make the fashion industry sustainable and eco-friendly (“Katherine Hamnett: felt shame towards the Rio+20 Summit”, 2012). When customers start actively express aversion to clothes associated with sweated and/or children labor, ecology hazardous manufacture, businesspersons will have to take into consideration their need in eco-products to preserve their businesses.
Nowadays, cotton is considered one of the popular natural fabrics, however, conventional cotton is a “dirty” crop, since more than 10% of the world’s pesticides and approximately 25% of the world’ insecticides are used to grow it (“Problems with conventional cotton production”, 2013). Polyester, that is also very popular for the cheap clothing, is modem fabric derived from a fossil fuel, that is a non-renewable recourse, and it is biodegradable and difficult to recycle. Moreover, polyester emissions of heavy metals and other hazardous substances contaminate the air and water. In addition, the majority of polyester productions use considerable amount of water for cooling needs and add antimony as a catalyst that is very toxic to people and cause green house gas. Thus, the future eco-friendly organic clothing will be made from existing non-synthetic and non-toxic materials found in nature and easily renewable, such as organic wool, cotton, abaca (made from banana plant), inego (corn or sugar cane), tencel/lyocell (cellulose fiber made from bleached wood pulp), bamboo, hemp and modal.
Since 2005, the movement of “eco-fashion” expresses the growing concern of environmental conditions. Launched in 2006, Sustainable Brands has become a community of over 50,000 sustainable businesses all over the world. Its mission is to direct more brands on the way of making a better world through innovations for sustainability.
One of the contemporary leading examples of eco-fashion is Eco Chic brand, which eco-friendly organic clothes are manufactured without toxic fumes and depleting valuable recourses and with the use of energy-and water reduction and in fair labor conditions (Eco Friendly Clothes Shopping – Verdessence, 2013).
H&M, the top world user of organic cotton in 2011 and 2012 years, started to use it in 2004 for children garments. In 2011 the use of organic cotton was increased by 100 % with 7.6 % representation in the total cotton use. H&M’s goal is to use all of its cotton only from sustainable sources by 2020. (Cheeseman, 2012).
In 2007, Marks & Spencer launched a recycled polyester collection collaborating with Greenpac Company that specializes in reusing waste materials. Much less crude oil is used for the production of recycled polyester in comparison to the traditional method. Thus, it saves oil deposits. In 2007, M&S, in partnership with the University of Leeds, founded the RITE Group, a non-governmental organization, which mission is to reduce the impact of textiles on the environment (The RITE Group, 2013).
According to Fashion Designer Katherine E. Hamnett, clothing is the third or fourth largest production in the world that employs a sixth part of the world population. (Hamnett, 2005) American Apparel is a sweatshop-free enterprise based in Los Angeles that offers its employees high salaries (over 12 dollars per hour) and benefits (paid time-off, medical treatment, bus transfers, free English lessons, free bicycles, and on-site massage therapy), despite the fact that they could outsource the labor force to reduce the salary costs. For example, in China, garment workers earn only 40 cents per hour.
Ethical Fashion is mainly not available on the high street; since it is considered non-fashionable, associated with happiness and unflattering style, and it is more expensive due to its high production costs. Thus, consumers need more transparent information, stylish models at reasonable prices and a sense of proud to be a part of eco-community. Peter Ingwersen, Danish eco-designer, said “…fundamentally you can’t persuade people to join in the ethical challenge unless you give them really sexy, stylish clothes. You have to make social and corporate responsibility darn sexy to get people to play the game” (Jones, 2006). In other words, the future fashion will be sexy, stylish and reasonably priced.
Green Fashion Journalism, represented by such mass-media as “Vanity Fair”, “Elle”, “Harper’s Bazaar”, and “Tatler”, starting from 2006, actively advocates for eco-principles at selling points. Their readers are the fashion industry makers, model agencies, “fashion followers” and buyers of fashion brands, who proclaim tendencies and create the “strong public opinion”. In addition, elite eco- fashion events (Amsterdam /Milan/London and Sao Paulo Fashion Week) act as a platform for fashion professionals and consumers to promote sustaining of the planet’s biodiversity (About Amsterdam Fashion Week, 2013) . Julie Gilhart, Senior Vice President of Barneys New York, considers that eco-trade movement is not a trend but a considerable shift in consciousness in the fashion industry (Times a changing, 2013). For example, the first “fashion parades” were held in 1800s in Paris couture salons to expose high tastes of their owners and their concept of beauty to attract customers from the “high society”. The models worn long dresses and large hats made from luxury fabrics to show their effeminacy, romantic nature and high status in society.
In America, fashion shows were initially held in 1903 in NewYork City store by retailers Enrlich Brothers in the form of a staged performance for the middle class, mainly to promote sales of the “couture gowns”.
1960’s evidenced the intervention of hippie fashion that was a kind of a rebellion to conformist and repressive society advocating the concept of freedom and getting back to nature. The style was fussy since the clothing was loose, made of cotton and hemp with mainly floral and tie-dye and hand-made accessories, which design was influenced by nature.
In Ethics in the Fashion Industry Paulins and Hillery teach professionals in the fashion industry to behave ethically and to be aware of the potential consequences and benefits of their decisions on controversial issues in the fashion industry.
To sum up, the future fashion might be called the eco/green/ethic fashion of the intelligent planet, whose inhabitant are be wise to enjoy it and maintain the ecological balance. In 10 years, the fashion will bring reasonable profits, whereas it will have a positive environmental and social impact. People will be wise to realize that they can use only organic, non-toxic fabrics manufactured from the renewable recourse materials with the reduction of water and energy consumption and in fair employment conditions. Consumers, designers, manufacturers and professional of the fashion industry will be the driving force in the “eco-fashion” transformation.