The clothing market; a market that is highly competitive. With large numbers of sellers and clothing items on offer and a substantial number of buyers purchasing to fulfil wants and needs, you may ask ‘Is the current market sustainable?’ To help answer this, we need to look where the industry currently sits.
The clothing market involves fashion design, apparel and textiles. During the early years, the Australian government set trade policies, protecting the textile and clothing industry from imports. Fashion companies had to set up manufacturing in Australia if they wanted to compete in the market. Research and development were typically low and high value raw materials used in production were imported.
During the 70’s Australia started to fall behind the world in economic growth. Policies for protecting imports were outdated. Other countries were opening up trade to the world, allowing opportunities not seen before. Australia followed, lowered tariffs and encouraged more imports. Australia viewed the clothing and textile industry as low skilled focusing more on agriculture and technical knowledge. As time moved on Australia saw manufacturing decline, where cheaper imports began to dominate the markets. It made sense to move manufacturing to countries where labour, materials and overall costs were cheaper. The world became a global supply chain, giving retailers increased access to a broad range of cheap overseas clothing. Local manufacturing started to close or restructure, wholesalers grew and along with the retailers.
So, we currently know where the fashion industry sits, but do we know the environmental cost? Let’s look over a few facts. The fashion industry is booming, globally employing over 75million people in an industry valued at over $US2.5 trillion. More garments are being purchased than ever before but only kept half as long. You may have heard the term ‘fast fashion'? Cheap clothing that has high turnover, keeping up with current trends. Consumers use them to dump in a short amount of time. Sadly 85% of these garments go to landfill yearly and 10% of all carbon emissions are from fashion production. Micro-plastics enter rivers and oceans from production and washing, around 500,000 tonnes per year. How many stats can we mention here, it goes on…….
The damaging nature of the fashion industry on the environment, coupled with recent focus on sustainability has led to an industry and market change. The Australian government is aiming to reduce clothing sent to landfill, by improving design, using sustainable raw materials in production, enabling re-use and/or recycling of items. A keynote is the government supporting local businesses to manufacture clothing locally. COVID-19 revealed how reliant Australia is on overseas imports. Disrupting clothing supply chains and how they do business.
Locally Crafted is doing its part to support a sustainable clothing industry. Offering a range of stylish men’s, women’s and kids tops, with high levels of sun protection against UVB and UVA rays with a UPF of 50+. Garments made focus on sustainability, environment, animals and people. The brand of clothing is Tscudo, where scudo is Italian for shield and the T represents T-shirt, meaning T-shirt shield. The brands symbol of the turtle represents an animal sustaining itself by remaining relevant to its environment.
Tscudo is leading the way in sustainable sun-protective clothing and taking part in the slow fashion movement, focusing on the planet and people’s well-being. Tscudo swimwear are locally made from recycled plastics, each top containing up to 6 plastic bottles. The clothing can also dodge landfill by being up-cycled and made into new products. Businesses such as Worn Up sort and process used textiles, then are sent to manufacturers to use in production of new items. It is all part of a circular economy, where goods, made from up-cycled and sustainable materials, are used and then sent to be re-used in manufacturing.
So, to answer the question of whether the clothing industry is sustainable, to be blunt, NO! The government and local businesses in the industry recognise this and are currently working towards a more sustainable future. Locally Crafted urges everyone to think next time you make a clothing purchase and help make a difference. Where did the item come from? What impact does it have on the environment? What impact does it have on the local economy? Is it sustainable? Can it be up-cycled or recycled? Yes, it is a lot to think about.
Purchasing from Locally Crafted you can be assured it is sustainable, locally made and better for the environment. Locally Crafted products are also carbon neutral. Purchases made go to carbon reduction funding. Each purchase earns rewards that can be used in the shop. Happy shopping all and remember to think before you buy.
Locally Crafted Australia - Your Sustainable Choice