Sustainable Fashion – A Holistic Approach

woman wearing red sleeveless dress standing near fern leaves
Photo by Kourosh Qaffari on


Fashion sustainability should be addressed in a holistic way that maintains ecological boundaries whilst respecting and protecting human rights. I am going to discuss the holistic approach to make the fashion industry more sustainable.

Lets first summarized the impact of the fashion industry on the environment. The fashion industry contributes to 

  • GHG emissions that mean greenhouse gases emissions 
  • Climate breakdown
  • Water consumption
  • Microfibres
  • Chemical pollution 
  • Deforestation 
  • Biodiversity Loss and 
  • Impact post-purchase 

The fashion supply chain consists of growing fiber, harvesting fiber, ginning &spinning, knitting or weaving, wet processing, garmenting, trading, transportation and retailing  

To make the fashion supply chain sustainable we need to adopt a holistic approach that starts with fiber (agriculture or non-agriculture), yarn manufacturing, design of the garment, production, sale, consumption, and use of clothing.  

There are three basic questions that we need to answers and these question further extended to the more specific questions

-the first question is 

How our clothes are made?  

-the second question is 

How fashion supply chain work?

-the third and final question is 

What impact our clothes have on the environment and people working across the supply chain?

The more specific questions are 

  • The way clothes are designed keeping pre and post-consumer environmental impacts 
  • what materials are used and their impact on the environment 
  • How those materials are sourced
  • How clothing is manufactured and environmental impact during manufacturing 
  • who involved in the processes
  • what economic and working condition they are facing
  • How products are transported across the world 
  • How quickly we consume and discarding our clothes 
  • How we look after clothes
  • What happens when we dispose of them 

 The best approach for making the fashion industry sustainable are

  1. Circularity 
  2. Transparency  
  3. Traceability
  4. Monitoring and 
  5. Reporting  

The important points brand should mandatorily publish on hangtags
– Do you really need this piece of clothing
– The true cost of the garment (social & environmental cost) should be mentioned alongside with MRP
– QR code that gives supply chain details along with GHG emissions, the chemical hazardous
– Procedure for recycling or reuse (with incentives to buy fresh one)
– Care instruction to increase the life of the garment


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