Natural cotton cones

6 Ways to Build a More Sustainable Fashion Business


At The Folklore Connect, our wholesale marketplace hosts many brands from around the world who are making an effort to be as environmentally friendly as possible. Similarly, consumers are increasingly making sustainability a focus of their shopping decisions, which is a key trend that is here to stay.

Creating a sustainable fashion brand may seem like a daunting task and factors such as rising costs, sourcing fabrics and hiring workers can deter designers, but there are viable steps that can be taken. In honor of Earth Day on April 22, we are sharing a few pointers on running an eco-friendly business, creating environmentally friendly products and implementing sustainable business practices.

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Use sustainable materials

One of the most significant ways to practice sustainability in a fashion business is to use sustainable materials. This means using materials that are environmentally friendly, such as organic cotton, hemp, bamboo, and recycled fabrics. South African maker Mia Mélange weaves its storage baskets with yarns spun from cotton grown by local farmers. As a natural resource, cotton is sustainable, biodegradable and renewable, which makes it a great choice for environmentally friendly fashion and conscious consumption.

Reduce waste

Another way to practice sustainability is to reduce waste. This can be achieved by reducing the amount of fabric waste produced during the production process, minimizing packaging materials, and recycling as much as possible. Kenyan brand LilaBare creates elegant, functional clothing using recycled fabrics and textiles sourced from manufacturing excess, to ensure that no resources end up wasted. 

Adopt sustainable production practices

It’s essential to adopt sustainable production practices to ensure that the production process is as environmentally friendly as possible. This can include using renewable energy sources, reducing water usage, and minimizing the use of harmful chemicals.

Basket of wool yarns

Embrace ethical and fair-trade practices

It’s important to ensure that everyone involved in the production process is treated fairly and paid a fair wage. By embracing ethical and fair trade practices, a fashion business can help to support the communities and people involved in producing the garments.

Extend the life of garments

A fashion business can also practice sustainability by extending the life of its garments. This can be achieved by producing high-quality, long-lasting pieces that are designed to be worn for years, as well as offering repair and alteration services to help customers keep their clothes in good condition.

Educate customers

Finally, a fashion business can practice sustainability by educating its customers about the importance of sustainability and how they can play a role in promoting sustainable fashion. This can include providing information on sustainable materials, production processes, and ways to extend the life of garments.

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