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  • Rachel Kan

The Sliding scale of Sustainability

Well I have been privy to the sliding scale of sustainable development for the time I have been working in it.

In just putting something out there to the fashion world at all makes it unsustainable in itself. Other than making emperor’s new clothes I don’t think we can justifiably say that anything is 100% sustainable.

Saying that there is a sliding scale to sustainability, as a consultant I need to be in research mode as much as possible to make sure of the integrity of my advice. It is a bit like trend researching as a designer, constantly searching out all the new data. One is never finished – because more information will become apparent. So, the trend & development research of the past now just becomes sustainability research and development.

I have found networking (one of my superpowers) to work so well for this, as I get many views from different places – not just my own. Knowing a lot of people Is very interesting and informs my views on the sustainability world not just in fashion but as a whole. I know guys making innovation in 3D printing to people homeworking upcycling projects. Each and every one of them has passion for this arena.

I also must link to new technology to find as much transparency as there can be with fabric knowledge and factory practice. I love to hear about the new things coming up – so exciting.

However, sustainability is overall about a mindset, for me it is about future thinking and troubleshooting, I like to get a product or system thinking out there with the most integrity possible – I know full well that this is a journey and that sometimes it just isn’t possible to create – so you have to slide down a few scales until technology or development has evolved. But I will make it clear to clients on the compromises and the level to still be aiming at long term, as well as the communication and clarity that is needed to their clients or customers.

The reason I didn’t make my own sustainable brand is exactly that – I didn’t want to put any more stuff out into the world – even if it is on the higher end of the sustainable scale. I want to help others get there using my knowledge, networking and future focused strategy. With a long term view to transforming what they do knowing that they have integrity from the back end.




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