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Fashion, Sustainability, and Climate Change — A green lining through COVID-19


We are experiencing one of the greatest moments of global solidarity within our generation, witnessing how COVID-19 has elicited a worldwide response has prompted us to contemplate how our social landscape is changing to bring an immediate and effective response to this pandemic. Businesses are taking on new roles, reorganising how we work, socialise, and travel, the transformational changes are characterised by compassion and human connection. 


Though the consequences of COVID-19 are horrifying, the pandemic has shown us that a radical shift in our behaviour towards our surroundings and environment is possible, and has laid the groundwork for how to respond to another global crisis: climate change. The global nature of Coronavirus has allowed us to really recognise the inherent interconnection of our human condition —we are all in this together. Climate change is a major threat to our lives, and with scientists and experts warning that we have 10 years left to avoid the worst consequences of an environmental crisis, by using the time we have now effectively we can begin to make an impact. In order to positively affect climate change, individuals need to change diets, consumption patterns, ways of interacting with one another and how we travel; COVID- 19 has shown that creating new ways of being is possible and a part of our human evolution. 


Though there’s been debate whether green initiatives will go overlooked throughout the pandemic because of the likely economic hardship, we are seeing the fashion industry is quickly adapting sustainability and climate change initiatives during COVID-19. It is becoming clearer that brands with sustainability initiatives at the core of their business model are more secure in continuing their sustainability movements in comparison to businesses who have used sustainability as a marketing tool only. By making our impact to the environment an integral part of the creation process, we can see that deep-rooted sustainable approaches are an important part of building a greener market. 

 

Human behaviour is changing due to coronavirus, consumers have now experienced at a new level how vulnerable the world is, and this crisis has raised more awareness for social and environmental sustainability. The direct impact of COVID-19 on our way of life has shown the positive impact on our environment like reduced air pollution and cleaner environments, demonstrating what we can do to address climate change through lockdown. As life continues through this pandemic, and we come back into our new normal, we must acknowledge that we have a choice, whether to overlook our ideals for this Earth and our aspirations for a better, healthier future for short-term fixes, or whether we use this opportunity to build an economy and society that lives harmoniously with nature, thriving alongside it. 


Our awareness of the effect we have on our environment is deepening, we can expect more demand for a sustainable market (including sustainable fashion) that is not run by a broken economy. There is no going back to our previous habits of consumption, we are now beginning to see a gradual shift towards a preference for sustainable goods and an investment in businesses that offer a different alternative to living. These societal changes can help build momentum for strong climate action. Today let’s start by asking ourselves what is a change in our behaviour that can benefit nature?