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The Sustainable Fashion Round-Up

The Sustainable Fashion Round-Up

This year the fashion industry continues to make strides towards greater sustainability, with several notable developments in recent weeks. In case you missed them, here’s the headlines you need to know this week. 

Sustainability is taking centre stage on the agenda

Many major brands are now incorporating more eco-friendly materials and production methods into their collections. For example, Stella McCartney showcased her Spring/Summer 2024 line at Paris Fashion Week, which featured garments made from regenerative fibers and recycled fabrics.

The G7 will commit to tackling the heavy environmental and climate impacts of the fashion and textiles sector, according to France's ecological transition minister. This indicates that sustainable fashion is becoming a priority for major global leaders.

Is sustainable fashion now more affordable than fast fashion?

Contrary to popular belief, new research by Vestiaire Collective shows that second-hand fashion is actually more affordable than fast fashion. Their 'Circularity Report 2024' found that across all categories, high-quality pre-owned items have around 33% lower cost-per-wear compared to fast fashion. 

Consumers keep second-hand pieces 31% longer, and fast fashion is worn half as often. For example, a second-hand coat costs just 1.62 euros per wear, versus 4.53 euros for a new fast fashion coat. This "wake-up call" highlights the true cost of overconsumption and waste driven by cheap prices. Investing in circular, pre-loved fashion is better for your wallet and the planet.

Knowing what your clothes are made of just got easier

The EU's Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation (ESPR) is set to be fully implemented by 2025. This establishes minimum design standards for all products sold in the EU. This includes requirements around recyclability, durability, repairability and the use of hazardous substances. The regulation will also mandate the inclusion of a "product passport" to provide consumers with detailed information about a product's environmental impact. This regulation is a huge step towards greater transparency in the fashion industry. 

AI is helping us solve plastic pollution

In the race to find more sustainable materials, researchers have made an exciting breakthrough - and they've harnessed the power of AI to do it.

A team of scientists has combined robotics and machine learning to rapidly discover and produce a variety of sustainable replacements for fossil-fuel plastics. Starting from natural building blocks, they're using AI to predict and synthesize these all-natural plastic substitutes.

"This AI-assisted method allows us to efficiently identify and create sustainable materials that can potentially replace conventional plastics across many applications," explains the lead researcher. The goal is to engineer materials that can mimic the desirable properties of traditional plastics, but in a more environmentally-friendly way. By automating the process of screening and testing different natural formulations, the researchers are able to accelerate the discovery of these innovative alternatives.

This demonstrates how emerging technologies can be leveraged to drive the development of truly sustainable solutions. As the world continues to grapple with the environmental impact of plastics, breakthroughs like this offer hope for a greener future. 

"Buy less. Choose well. Make it last."

Vivienne Westwood

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