Although fashion can never be 100% eco-friendly, sustainable fashion attempts to foster social equity and a healthy environment by promoting change in the fashion industry. Sustainable fashion is multifaceted and only successful when both consumers and producers play their part. It starts with clothing and textile brands creating eco-friendly products by using materials that create the least amount of waste and/or recycling already used materials and doing so without exploiting workers. It is then the responsibility of the consumers to only purchase what is necessary while being mindful of their purchases’ ecological impact. Examples of sustainable fashion practices include reusing clothing, utilization of different textiles, thrifting and upcycling, having fewer items on the market, avoiding impulsive purchases, and only purchasing from brands that do not exploit workers. Sustainable fashion is broad, but its overarching goals include individualistic and global change.
Since New York City is one of the greatest fashion capitals in the world, the center of our research project will be the impacts of sustainable fashion on NYC. Whether sustainable fashion actually improves NYC remains unclear. To assess whether this movement is worthwhile, a comprehensive approach must be used. For our project, we focused on collecting data on three aspects of sustainable fashion — its ethical, environmental, and economic attributions. After investigating the interplay of these three aspects to determine whether the positive impacts of the movement outweigh the potential negative impacts, it was found that while sustainable fashion has its few setbacks, it is expected to holistically improve NYC if implemented properly. The question now becomes whether people wish to move NYC towards sustainability and how such a change will be executed.

By Haya Alkiswani, Yasmin Hussein, Lina Povolotskiy, Cooper Moran, Leo Glassman


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