Be Stylish And Sustainable: 3 Gen.T Honourees Show Us How
Gen.T honourees Denica Flesch, Sarah Garner and Walden Lam are making fashion environmentally friendly
It is no secret that the fashion industry is guilty of producing incredible amounts of waste, no thanks fast fashion. According to the UN Environment Programme, the sector produces between 2 and 8 percent of global carbon emissions.
The same study found that if the status quo remains, by 2050, the fashion industry will use up a quarter of the world's carbon budget. Given how resource-intensive processes like textile dyeing are, for example, which uses up to 2,000 gallons of water to make a pair of jeans, these numbers are hardly surprising.
But not everyone is waiting for the damage to become irreversible. Here are three change-makers from the Gen.T community giving the fashion industry a makeover by incorporating sustainable practices.
When she saw how quickly children grew out of their clothes, Garner had the idea of creating a sustainable fashion loop that would enable individuals to promptly sell, pass on or donate their children's clothes on one integrated platform.
Retykle carries over 2,000 designer brands at 50 to 90 percent off its original retail price, allowing parents to save money and the planet simultaneously. Oh, and their kids look fabulous.
Denica Flesch is helping to preserve the environment and empower individuals in her native Indonesia. The trained economist, who worked for The World Bank, saw firsthand the devastating impact that chemicals used in the production of clothes have on rivers, and started her ethical fashion brand SukkhaCitta, which is a play on the words “suka cita” which mean “joy” in Bahasa Indonesia.
SukkhaCitta works to provide training and better job opportunities to artisans, connecting them with business opportunities on the global market. At the same time, the company only uses natural dyes to produce clothes and employs zero-waste practices to minimise its environmental impact.
It is not easy finding a pair of jeans that fits just right. At the same time, jeans are one of the most resource-hungry items of clothing to produce.
Walden Lam, a Stanford University graduate, wanted to solve both these problems through technology.
The idea gave birth to his fashion-tech startup Unspun, which uses a proprietary body scanner to make custom jeans on demand and sustainable fabric that minimises waste. In 2019, the company launched the world's first digitally tailored jeans that can be infinitely recycled.