Textured swimwear from Mara Hoffman’s latest collection, crafted using Repreve, a polyester fiber made of 100 percent recycled plastic.

At the Impact Summit held by GFX, Design Pavilion and Nasdaq last week in New York, brands and fashion industry supporters united to discuss “designing a circular future.” And that’s why Fashion Revolution, an information resource on sustainability in the fashion industry that spoke at the event, explained how consumers are guiding the swift growth of the sustainable fashion movement by interacting directly with brands. Its consumer-oriented campaign, #whomademyclothes, involves fashion brands answering — or trying to answer — their customers’ “Who made my clothes?” questions on social media. In an attempt to satisfy its customers’ curiosities, brands such as Zara, Massimo Dutti and G-Star Raw responded with real information about suppliers and photographs of workers stating, #imadeyourclothes, with almost double the number of brands responding compared to the year prior.

At the event’s #Wearnext panel, which centered on a discussion regarding a campaign partnership between NYC Economic Development Corp., DSNY and joining of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s “Make Fashion Circular” initiative that launched last year, also included panelists from Mara Hoffman, H&M and Queen of Raw. The #WearNext campaign is a city-wide effort to tackle waste and pollution in the fashion industry by offering consumers the opportunity to drop off old clothes at participating stores and other locations throughout the city. Brands, and various other drop-off points, then work with the New York City Department of Sanitation, NYCEDC, collectors, recyclers, resale companies and the aforementioned Make Fashion Circular campaign, to give old clothes new life.

Dana Davis, vice president of sustainability, product and business strategy at Mara Hoffman, said, “The #WearNext campaign is exactly the kind of initiative needed to raise awareness around what sustainable initiatives look like in the apparel industry. It’s a call to action for consumers to keep used clothes out of landfills, explaining why to do this and, most importantly, how. This occasion also acts as a rallying cry for continued collaboration among brands and foundations in order to affect critical and measurable change.” And Francois Souchet, project manager at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, told WWD, “#WearNext has been about sparking a serious conversation about the journey our clothes take, not only when we buy and wear them, but every step, from how they are designed, to what happens at the end of their use. By recognizing the limitations and problems caused by the way we do things today, we can develop the solutions and opportunities that can help fashion thrive in the future, in New York City and beyond.”

Or take color solutions company Pantone and its new sustainable product, Pantone Validated, a B2B licensing service that enables color hardware manufacturers to simulate Pantone colors in their products. Its solution “reduces rework,” enabling swift product delivery to the end-consumer. Iain Pike, director of partner business development for Pantone, told WWD, “Sustainable manufacturing trends like on-demand textile printing, rapid prototyping of footwear or digital direct-to-garment can all be undertaken more confidently based on the use of Pantone color identities and Pantone Validated display and imaging solutions.” Its streamlined process addresses “reduction of waste and environmental issues with traditional dyeing, lowered inventory of finished products, and faster delivery based on more localized supply sources.”

For more Business news from WWD, see:

Fashion Brand Vida ‘Redefines Growth,’ Addresses Consumption

At the Source: Peruvian Manufacturing in Focus

Field Notes: Holistic Sustainability

Google Moves Sustainability Needle With ‘Your Plan, Your Planet’

Change Agents: Denim Brands Working to Transform the Industry

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