We chat to Samantha Page of Evodia about sustainability in fashion. Her interests lie in sustainability and how it impacts fashion and business that make fashion. Having studied a BA (Hons) in Fashion Design, she is now also a lecturer at Inscape Design school in Pretoria.
Tell us a little about yourself and what you do?
What does “sustainable fashion” mean to you?
Sustainable fashion prioritizes preserving the earthly and human resources that go into making fashion. A sustainable fashion brand includes sustainability in the product, design thereof, business model and operations.
Do you think the future of apparel is sustainable? Why/ Why not?
It has to be. The design problem of sustainability presents many opportunities for every designer and brand to approach uniquely. The future of apparel will be sustainable, collaborative and customizable. The biggest challenge is the consumer. They need to be educated and met with more sustainable products that are easily accessible and in a similar price range than the not so sustainable equivalent.
Which are your favourite local sustainable brands?
Other than my own, Amanda Laird Cherry, Lunar, The Joinery, T-shirts for change and Atyre are all doing amazing things with many sustainable practices in their businesses.
How do you think fast fashion can embrace sustainability?
Fast fashion has to slow down, with better quality and higher use, not necessarily by one user in its short lifetime. Ultimately our consumption habits must change, but this does not mean compromising on novelty. Fast fashion brands should make sustainability easy for their customers by having reuse and recycle plans for the resources that go into making their products. Adaptable fast fashion could also give users more options as one item can be worn in multiple ways.
What are some of the sustainable practices/systems?
On a commercial scale we see take-back systems, materials with recycled content, sustainable fibres, sourcing locally made materials and producing local to their area. Our local designers in the luxury tier are also exploring innovate re-purposing of ‘waste’ within their apparel products.
How can consumers change their buying behaviour?
Shifting that consumptive behaviour to more ‘healthy’, conscious buying is key. Consumers will continue to buy, as they do love new, but does what they buy have to be virgin new? Shoppers should be mindful about what they buy and should see purchases as investments intended for long-term use. Buying locally made products can lessen the negative environmental impact of what they buy as well as support our local industries.
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