Sustainable fashion continues to take the luxury world by storm
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Sustainable fashion continues to take the luxury world by storm

If you think that luxury lifestyles and sustainable products can’t co-exist, you’re living in the wrong decade. Today’s consumers, the majority of which are Millennials, play by a different set of rules: to them, caring for the planet is often more than a preference – it’s a necessity. Leading fashion companies are getting behind the trend, making sure that their businesses are not damaging to the planet and natural resources aren’t being depleted. Sustainable fashion isn’t just here to stay, it’s on the up… but what is it?

Check out Adidas’s definition of sustainable fashion in the video below

As people and brands become more aware of the damage that conspicuous consumption and mass manufacturing can have on the planet, the pressure to become socially responsible is increasing. Today, many in the fashion industry are making a concerted push away from “fast fashion” – the rapid production of countless pieces of clothing to fit in with micro-trends that change from week to week. Even Inditex, the king of that trend who sits behind popular brands like Zara is getting in on the act, and helping people to recycle the garments they no longer want to wear.

The reason fashion is such a damaging industry to the planet is relatively straightforward. Polyester and cotton make up about 85% of all clothing material, and both have an adverse effect on the environment. Polyester requires the extraction of crude oil, and the utilisation of chemical (rather than natural) dyes – both of which can wreak havoc on local water sources and wildlife. Cotton, too, is rough on water: it is estimated that around 2,700 gallons of water (enough to sustain a person for 3 years) is required to grow a single T-shirt’s worth of cotton.

Fashion doesn’t have a brilliant track record when it comes to recycling: less than 1% of all clothing is currently repurposed by the industry. However, as consumers are beginning to exercise their purchasing power in defense of the planet, that’s changing rapidly. As Millennials (and the new-to-the-market Gen Z – see today’s first story) exercise more and more sway over consumption, it is the brands that go green which are most likely to rake it in.


Dominion holds a number of luxury brands (such as Kering and Adidas) that champion sustainable fashion in its Global Trends Luxury Fund.

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The views expressed in this article are those of the author at the date of publication and not necessarily those of Dominion Fund Management Limited. The content of this article is not intended as investment advice and will not be updated after publication. Images, video, quotations from literature and any such material which may be subject to copyright is reproduced in whole or in part in this article on the basis of Fair use as applied to news reporting and journalistic comment on events.