June 21, 2021

Is it sustainable to be fashionable?

The fashion industry in Spain accounts for 3 percent of GDP, around 20,000 companies are part of the sector and bring together 4 percent of total employment, although, however, not all can get on the train of sustainability.

That is the conclusion that can be drawn from the conference organized by the Fashion Design Degree of the Rey Juan Carlos University, which is part of the program of events in the “Off” of the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Madrid catwalk.

“The future of fashion goes through sustainability,” said the president of the Sustainable Fashion Association of Spain, Marina López, at the conference on Monday.

“There is awareness” on the part of the sector, but also “a lot of marketing” behind the big companies, López pointed out before an auditorium full of students who aspire to be the designers of the future and whom he has called to “focus on ecodesign”.

Fashion today “is not sustainable, but it must be in the future,” he says, and more for a company that starts in the sector. López has pointed out that the consumer is not aware of the effect of some tissues on the skin and its impact on health, a fact that has to do with the sustainability of the garment.

The president of Sustainable Fashion has added that not all companies can address sustainability projects “even if they want”, because they have “neither economic nor human resources” and each one will have to establish “a different speed to achieve it”.

The mixture of fibers in the tissues is what complicates the sustainability of the garments. “It is difficult to recycle garments that are currently full of finials, tacks, zippers and a mixture of fibers that are difficult to separate,” López explained.

In the same vein, Carmen Torres, general secretary of the Confederation of Fashion Spain, who has considered that the challenge of sustainability is also in the hands of the consumer. “We continue to buy and throw away compulsively,” he warned.

“Awareness” of both consumer and business is the most important step. “You have to keep in mind that you cannot buy sustainable fashion at ‘low cost’ prices, because the investments that companies must face do not allow it,” although that does not mean that the margins increase.

Marina López has reported that there are two basic problems in the fashion industry: one is overproduction and another is hyperconsumption.

“It consumes more than it should,” he emphasized, and recalled the possibility of using second-hand clothes and being aware of what we keep in the closet. “The first step to reach sustainability is to stop using compulsively and concentrate on what we need,” concludes Marina López.


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