Every morning when we get dressed, we take for granted the clothes we put on. As we smooth out our wrinkles, tighten our belts, or button our shirts, no one thinks about the origins of their clothing. Whether you throw on whatever outfit you see first in your closet or spend time carefully planning your look for the day, clothing is an ordinary part of our daily routines.
But each article of clothing is a story in and of itself – from the creation of the raw materials to the process of turning them into fabrics to the sewing of seams and embellishments. Because of its inherent banality, the effect that garment manufacturing has on the environment and the global community has been virtually imperceptible for many years.
However, because of social media and the rise of the internet in general, the world has become more connected and visible than ever before. As a result, both consumers and fashion professionals have become acutely aware of the myriad of ways in which garment manufacturing has a strong impact across a multitude of environmental and social issues.
In this series, we chronicled the story of our clothing as a way to illuminate these issues. From pollution to animal welfare to unsafe worker conditions, the fashion industry’s light touches upon a vast horizon.
Part 1, Dressed To Kill: How Fashion Is Harmful to the Environment, took a closer look at the fashion industry’s extensive carbon footprint.
Part 2, Wool Over Our Eyes: How a Fragmented Fashion Supply Chain Hides Global Social Issues, uncovered how poor supply chain practices have led to a number of human rights issues.
Part 3, Recycling À La Mode: Creating a Circular Fashion System, investigated the issue of garment recycling.
In all three parts of this series, we also explored the ways in which fashion leaders are answering the call to better their practices. Although the fashion industry is far from creating a perfectly sustainable model, their rapid dedication to improving the environment and the well-being of their global workers indicates that sustainability is indeed the new black.
Image Credit: Andrey_Popov/Shutterstock.com