Rahul Sharma, G.M. Marketing, Red Chief Shoes

Mr. Rahul Sharma has been with Red Chief Shoes for the past 4 years. Under his wing, Red Chief has launched several brand campaigns and continues to strive for many more. He has worked extensively in marketing and was also the leading force for the launch of the “Khel Gaye Chief” campaign with Vicky Kaushal. With his expertise, Red Chief Shoes continues to grow strong among youth across the length and breadth of the country.

 

The COVID-19 pandemic is an eye-opener and an alarm at the same time to adopt an eco-friendly lifestyle for sustainable development. In recent years, talk on sustainability has gained traction and people have started making conscious efforts to be mindful of the environment.

Fashion accounts for around 10% of greenhouse gas emissions from human activity. For instance, fabric dyes pollute water bodies, with devastating effects on aquatic life and drinking water. And the stretchy elastane material woven through many trendy styles is made using synthetic materials derived from plastic, reducing recyclability and increasing the environmental impact further.

Knowing all this, consumers have become selective towards their fashion choices. New trends have brought up the topic of sustainable fabric. These can include either thoughtfully designed, good quality, material that can last long, or it can show the advantage of using environmentally friendly materials such as hemp, bamboo, organic cotton, khadi, etc. In the future, customer satisfaction and brand loyalty will very much be dependent on the sustainability attributes that a brand enables or builds with its consumers.

According to a survey conducted by McKinsey, there has been a huge shift in consumer behavior towards sustainability. Consumers are more conscious in terms of their lifestyle to lessen the environmental impact, they are fast-tracking towards recycling of products as well as environment-friendly packaging. Thus, sustainability is going to be on top of the minds of consumers and brands in the coming future by building loyalty and delivering end-to-end sustainable brands.

Let’s look at few ways in which we can step towards sustainable fashion:

Support homegrown brands: India’s push towards Atmanirbhar Bharat will prove to be fruitful in the coming years, encouraging local companies to boost manufacturing. Consumers are soon shifting towards homegrown brands like khadi and ethically sourced brands to support ‘self-reliant India’.

Reduce carbon footprints: fast fashion industry leaves a large carbon footprint behind as part of its operations, including the amount of textile waste in landfills, water pollution, and other widespread negative impacts on the environment and human health. Fast fashion clothing is often made from petroleum-based materials, including acrylic, nylon, and polyester, which also require a significant amount of energy during production.

Ethical fashion: ethical fashion is concerned with the idea of how the product has been manufactured in terms of sourcing and designing. It should maximize the benefits to the industry and society at large and minimize the impacts on the environment.

Shift to biodegradable material: Fashion designers have already started exploring the possibility of biodegradable textiles made of materials like algae, mycelium, fungi, bacteria, etc., which when thrown away, break down into nontoxic substances. The major benefit of this is that they can be grown into molds and hence grows only the amount of fabric that is required, which considerably reduces waste, right at the production level.

Fashion is a consumer-driven industry, and it is our responsibility to be mindful consumers and rethink its impact on the earth and its ever-depleting resources. Sustainability for every industry is essential to support the planet we live on. We cannot continue to exploit natural resources in a linear model. COVID-19 crisis could serve as a reset opportunity for players in the apparel, footwear, and luxury sectors to strengthen their sustainability commitments and accelerate industry-wide changes.

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