Enough is enough! The fashion industry is calling for more than sustainable statements, but tangible actions and reinventions. In November 2018, a league of startups and innovators gathered in a symposium co-organized by The Mills Fabrica and WGSN, shared their exhilarating commitments and actions that have been achieved by far exemplifying “sustainability is not an option but a way of life” as pointed out by one of the speakers.
“The textile industry is the second largest polluter in the world” has been constantly emphasized. Each year, million tons of textile waste is generated and not being recycled which has put the earth at stake. Take a closer look at our community, 253 tons of textiles are sent to landfill every day in Hong Kong according to Redress. Sustainability needs to evolve from cradle-to-grave to cradle-to-cradle, breaking the vicious cycle to sustainable circularity, which requires us, as manufactures, as brands, as consumers and more roles that are engaged in the fashion supply chain, to think forward and to reinvent.
“Without urgent action, global waste will increase by 70 percent on current levels by 2050” — World Bank Report
During the symposium, 7 industry players from the Mills, WGSN, HKRITA, FENC, H&M, Kering (China) and Alvanon have respectively shared their visions and missions of integrating sustainability into their core business and how to raise consumer awareness towards a circular way.
11 winners of Global Change Award initiated by H&M Foundation paid a visit to Hong Kong demonstrating their innovative accomplishments and ongoing pilot projects, from developing sustainable materials to waste upcycling, such as solar energy harvesting for fashion fabrics by Sunthetics, 100% citrus byproduct fibers by Orange Fiber, renewable and degradable aquatic organism Algae by Algalife for eco-friendly dye, a marketplace created by Reverse Resources to track down textile leftovers, and many more innovations by Ambercycle, Unspun, Deakin University, Agraloop, Swerea, MycoTEX and Resortecs. Pioneers like the winners are striving to not just make what once was a mirage of sustainability into reality, but also push it steps ahead and further.