Redefining “sustainable fashion” – The New York Times

That’s before you start trying to skim through acronyms and abbreviations; Besides the above, there are GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) and CCS (Carbon Capture and Storage) and NFFO (Non-Fossil Fuel Obligation) and TPH (Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons). To name a few.

We need a better way to frame the discussion.

We are therefore going to talk about “responsible fashion”: a term that designates a world in which all players, from the consumer to the CEO, via the manufacturer and the farmer, assume their role in the supply chain and the creation, and for the choices they make.

It may sound semantic, but it’s the difference between an end goal that seems impossible, perhaps daunting, out of reach, and the process of at least trying to get there: step by step, increment by increment, decision by decision.

Because there’s no simple answer to solving fashion’s role in climate change. Even the most obvious — don’t make or buy new things and don’t throw away old things — has negative implications for employment, skills and self-definition. (After all, people have adorned themselves to express themselves for about as long as they have understood themselves as “I’s”.) The crucial question for each of us, regardless of which side of the equation we find ourselves, is to think about and understand the effects of the choices we make, so that we can make better ones in the future.

And even, perhaps, to see these challenges as creative opportunities rather than burdens. Especially for brands. Often, limitations give rise to new ways of thinking and designing.

To bring to life what this means when it comes to clothing – especially as we begin to emerge into the world after a two-year period of near hibernation and begin to rethink dormant wardrobes – we bring to you the stories of a group of small brands and manufacturers as they seek to act responsibly, weigh the trade-offs involved, and try to make choices that balance not towards zero, but towards a positive outcome.

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