Fashion startups going against the fast tide
Responsible Consumption
Waste Reduction

The impact of fast fashion on our environment is receiving increasing attention and concern in recent years. The apparel industry counts second as the greatest polluters on the world, after the petroleum business. From the pesticides and toxic dyes to treat raw materials, to the energy required for manufacturing, as well as the wastage of fabrics during sewing and distribution, the life cycles of this industry is spewing far too much carbon dioxide in our atmosphere, and leaving far too much wastes in our landfills.

With growing media coverage and fresh dialogue being sparked on social networks, consumers have grown conscious and are seeking eco-friendly alternatives for their fashion needs. On the entrepreneurial side of things, several startups have also began wising up to the idea of a transformative business model for the fashion industry that could help protect our next generation. Enter “Aday”. Based on New York, this three year old apparel startup aims to do just this with an experimental model based on three facets.

First, to minimize the wastage of materials in the cut and sew process, Aday’s designers have specifically developed patterns that maximize the reuse and upcycling of excess fabrics – swathes and stretches removed to form a short sleeve can form a waist band instead of being sent straight to the landfills. Second, to make use of wastes from other industries, the “Waste Nothing jacket” is a kimono sleeve shirt/blazer made from fabrics that recycle the plastics of 41 water bottles. Third and finally, Aday only partners with factories that optimally utilizes renewable energy, as they must consider forming supply chains that adhere to their values. On this front, they work with Italian and Portuguese facilities powered by solar energy and biofuel respectively.

Aday is not alone in their mission. Egyptian fashion startup “Upfuse” also proudly presents their array of backpacks, totes, and laptop cases upcycled from plastic bags. With these and other environmentally conscious pioneers, the fashion industry may yet shift gears to contribute to a greener and safer tomorrow.