Although many are adopting new means of fashionable consumption through wearing organic or buying second-hand, these acts alone are simply not going to cut it when it comes to making a dent of true sustainability in the fashion industry as we know it.
Reality Check: Because it is cheaper to dump fabric scraps than recycle them, 15-20% of apparel production fabric ends up as waste! (per NY Times)
A more efficient and thoroughly sustainable concept that will allow style to save us is Zero-Waste, a production process that has already been utilized in other countries, by designers like Zandra Rhodes and Mark Liu. Zero-Waste gives designers the challenge of using the entirety of their fabrics without any -or very little- waste. Involving much conception and intricate patterns, zero-waste planning must be carefully calculated in order to achieve ultimate utilization.
In September of this year, Parson New School for Design is offering the first U.S. fashion course in zero-waste. In addition to the publication of two new books on the subject, zero-waste has also inspired the A + D Gallery of Chicago that is planning for an exhibition dedicated to zero-waste fashions due March of 2011.
And so we are catching on. May I add a big F I N A L L Y ! ! ?