Sustainability is now the prevailing paradigm by which industries must carry out business operations in light of the growing support for the green movement. Even the fashion industry must rise to the occasion despite the perceived need to come out with a fresh set of product lines for every season. Yet fast fashion and sustainable practices are deemed hard to reconcile, because the problem stems from the difference in the markets that demand the products.

Eco-Friendly Garment Market vs. High Street Fast Fashion Market

Environment-conscious consumers are willing to pay more for durable garments produced by companies that focus on creating product lines from natural, eco-friendly raw materials. When and where organic materials are not suitable, garment manufacturers supporting the sustainability advocacy, use renewable energy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, create with less if not zero wastes, practice fair treatment of workers, maintain safe production facilities and commit to social development programs by partnering with socio-civic organizations. Naturally, all these equate to additional production and operational costs that result to higher price tags.

The fast fashion market on the other hand, cater to consumers who demand trendy clothing resembling the latest designs copied from catwalks or worn by celebrities, but offered at cheaper prices. Here, customers prefer to patronize stores that come out with cheap copies of the latest in off the runway fashion, at breakneck speed.

Based on a State of Fashion Report by McKinsey Company which delves into analyzing data in the Business of Fashion, one in every three young women thinks that a piece of clothing that has been worn once or twice is already old. This finding suggests that addressing sustainability issues in the fast fashion market is not just a matter of adhering to environment-friendly practices. There is the systemic purchasing behavior in the fast fashion market that is posing as huge stumbling block that prevents the sector from reducing various types of pollution in large volumes.

What the Fast Fashion Sector Learned from the Construction Industry

Although the fashion and construction industry are poles apart in their line of business, both industries count among the largest consumers of natural resources and producers of wastes.

The difference however, is that the construction industry has to build with longevity in mind, Structures must be built using materials that generally have a lifespan of more than 60 years. That way, and depending on the structure, constructed buildings can meet the minimum lifetime guarantee required by insurance companies.

This is why discarded building materials that are still in good condition and sold as scrap by junk yeards still find use as affordable, recyclable construction materials. Even concrete rubbles find use as construction filling materials without compromising the foundations of a building or home.

The recycling and/ or repurposing of construction materials somehow reduces the demand on natural resources and at the same time reduces the amount of construction wastes polluting the environment. Moreover, construction companies are also required to install protective ground coverings to prevent soil contamination, compaction and salination, the most common problems that lead to land degradation.

While the fast fashion industry has to cater to the throw away and short use behavior of high street consumers. using raw materials with greater durability can help mitigate the impact of wastes and demand for natural resources. In doing so, fast fashion companies can still afford to offer products at lower prices by adhering to the construction industry’s closed-loop or circular economy. A related system collects discarded but relatively new clothing for future use as recyclable materials.

Actually, leading brands of high street, fast fashion garments Levi’s and H&M are now working closely with a I:CO in tackling textile wastes. The latter is a company is into creating a closed-loop economy specifically for the fashion industry by devising ways of making old fashion items become new instead of turning into discards or trash.

Lawyers admit, mastering a good professional style is not easy. Lawyers need to present themselves in the most professional fashion but not too intimidating that it scares their clients. That’s why family law lawyers (rechtsanwalt familienrecht) choose their attire very carefully.

There are many unwritten rules that determine to a certain extent in which ensemble should you go to work. However, there is also often room for some personal input. So it’s important to use that full potential. Yana Gaevskaya fully agrees with that view. “I understand that fashion is not the biggest priority in people’s lives. However, your clothes influence how you behave, which in turn influences how other people think about you. Especially in a professional context, style is not to be underestimated .” The combination of what you want to wear and what you have to wear is not an easy balance. “Still, it’s important that your outfit gives a visual representation of who you are and what qualities people may associate with you,” says Yana. “For an employee, it can help to fit into the company culture. An entrepreneur then gives it the opportunity to create an image and build trust.”

Find inspiration, everywhere

Not sure where to start building a good work style? Then look for colors, fabrics, or designs that you like, regardless of whether they look good on you or not. If that is too difficult, you can look at interiors, books, or art that inspire you. You often discover a common thread through all those sources of inspiration. Those are the elements you can use to put together a successful professional wardrobe.

Opt for functionality

Regardless of what you like, it is important to take into account the functionality of your outfit. If you think it is important to walk comfortably, this will be reflected in the shoes or pants you wear. A good work outfit does not prevent you from performing your everyday tasks. Ultimately, style equals freedom. And freedom is impossible in painful shoes.

Integrate personality into the details

Make a distinction in your outfit between what is expected and where there is still room for personal input. For example, opt for a certain level of comfort that gives you the confidence to function properly, but also work with details. If you wear glasses, you can experiment with a model with more individuality. And shoes also offer countless possibilities to distinguish yourself. Don’t lose sight of the balance: don’t go for accessories that are too distracting or that prevent you from performing your job comfortably. Ultimately, the visual picture must fit within the context.

Adjust your style gradually

Don’t show up at work overnight with a radically different dress style. It’s safer instead to gradually change elements of your outfit and see how your environment reacts. Dare to try something new, but always go for a calculated risk. The workplace is not the environment for stacking statement pieces.

Start from values ​​you want to radiate

When choosing new clothes, emphasize the values ​​you want to be associated with. Think of the image you want to create around yourself as a professional and build on that. This makes it easier for you to stock up on items of clothing that have a certain consequence and the whole does not become a collection of divergent styles.

Find designers who reflect those values

Look for the designers that match the values ​​you want to radiate. On the basis of the keywords to which you want to link yourself, you can search the internet for fashion houses or clothing chains that attach importance to the same concepts.

Think of a signature look

At best, the way you’re dressed means you don’t have to say as much yourself as possible. A signature look can help with that. That’s a style of clothing that people come to associate with you and can be different depending on whether you’re in a meeting or at a networking event. Either way, it helps to make it clear to others at a glance what person they’re dealing with.