It is not a secret that the fashion industry is the second most polluting industry in the world. There are many beautiful things about fashion, but the price is very high. In the past months, the industry was changed upside-down as everything else and put on hold. That caused a lot of changes in the industry, which might make one assume that it is a new chance to become a more sustainable industry.

It is September, and it is one of the two most important months of the year, for the fashion industry. One of the two most important fashion months starts today in New York followed by London, Milan, and ´la grande finale´ in Paris. The only difference is that this time is nothing as it used to be. Only half of the brands announced to present their collections in the ´old-fashioned way´. Still, many decided to slow-down, which almost makes one assume that the fashion industry takes the chance to become more sustainable.

It is only half a year ago since the world was hit and changed upside down due to the Corona Virus, spreading all over the world. It was during the Milan Fashion Week in February 2020 when the virus started causing several lockdowns in the followed weeks and, several fashion brands decided to cancel or to present their fashion shows online. Some of the brands even announced to minimize their collections from five collections to two a year, as Gucci did. Since February 2020, several brands have had to come up with new ideas to present their collections. Like many other industries, the fast-paced fashion industry was put on hold and, fashion professionals, as well as fashion students and sustainability activists, believe that change was necessary and that this might be a chance for the fashion industry to change the old system and make it more sustainable.

Petra Banoczkí (22) studies Fashion and Management at the Amsterdam Fashion Institute and is currently constantly confronted with the topic of ´how to make the fashion industry more sustainable´. The Fashion Management student stresses the fact that a sustainable fashion industry comes down to a lot more than just stopping to show fashion shows. “On the other hand, I think the fashion industry made a big step since a change of mindset is obvious, and brands started to be far more creative with their way of presenting their collections, more sustainably and consciously. Also, we´ve made a huge step when it comes to fashion and technology the past months,” says Petra Banoczki, mentioning collection presentations using avatars or animations.

There is also another view on that story though. Isa S. (18), whose mission it is to create more awareness about the impact of the fashion industry, by protesting and spreading awareness says: “I don´t think that there has been a big change the past months, but I think people do have far more time to think about the topic and to do more research on sustainable fashion. Still, there is a long way to go.” says the young activist.

Only the future can tell what will happen, but one thing we can tell for sure, nothing is as it used to be, also not in the fashion industry. Many changes are happening, the fashion industry is changing, but only time can tell if the fashion industry will become more sustainable. Many changes have been happening in the past months. The main question is if the industry will manage to keep on going with the positive changes.

written by Isabella Burtscher
photo by Isabella Burtscher