The concept of "sustainability" in the fashion world is a much-debated topic. Both designers and big brands are trying to reflect the growing demand from consumers for more attention to the environment. Very often, however, as if it were "one last trend to follow", what we see are just high-sounding slogans with eye-catching graphics but nothing more. When we learn about sustainability, we realize that having a "zero emissions" show or a "green" collection is not enough and that what is needed to make the fashion world genuinely sustainable is much more than that.
The search for sustainability is, in fact, a vast, complex and increasingly urgent task. Radical and immediate transformation measures are required that affect both the product and the production process. Fortunately, we are finding that more and more clothing companies are transforming their business models and changing their production and supply chain for the better to reduce the environmental impact generated by their work. This process is also part of a much broader change that is taking place within the entire textile industry, which is increasingly experiencing sustainable production processes. All this is possible thanks to consumers who are becoming increasingly demanding. The growing awareness of people occurs at every level of society and age, even though young people are the most attentive and sensitive to sustainability issues.
To monitor the fashion supply chain, there is the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), the international certification for organic textiles that have recently processed some data to support this thesis. GOTS has highlighted that last year saw the highest growth in certification operations ever. The research found that in 2019 the number of organic plants certified by the body grew by 35%, with a total of 7,765 suppliers in 70 countries around the world, compared to 5,760 in 2018. In particular, the most significant increase in the number of organic plants was found in Europe, India and Bangladesh. An essential aspect to consider concerns the parameters to be respected to be certified by GOTS as an organic plant. It is necessary to pass strict tests where each procedure and processing method respects the high standards of certification. These must ensure that no synthetic chemical pesticides or fertilizers have been used for organic products and that they have not been grown with genetically modified plants. It must be remembered that applying a sustainable agricultural supply chain is always the best choice as it also helps to protect and strengthen the biodiversity of the environment without risk of soil pollution, thus avoiding contamination of the land and the entire ecosystem.
Moreover, organic farming represents the best choice to be oriented towards as it plays a fundamental role in achieving at least 8 of the 17 SDGs of Agenda 2030 for sustainable development. These include Zero Hunger (SDG 2), Good Health and Well-Being (SDG 3), Drinking Water and Sanitation (SDG 6), Decent Work and Economic Growth (SDG 8), Responsible Consumption and Production (SDG 12), Climate Action (SDG 13), Life Under Water (SDG 14) and Life on Earth (SDG 15).
Fashion, therefore, cannot close its eyes to the future of the planet and all the strategies it will promote for more environmentally, socially and ethically friendly production and consumption will be fundamental to develop more and more sustainability in the fashion supply chain.