The textile industry is one of the most environmentally-damaging of all, and is contributing significantly to climate change, according to fashion designers, environmental campaigners, and economic experts.
But consumers can influence what companies manufacture and what textiles through their choice to either buy low-quality fast fashion or quality work from local designers, vintage clothes, or even old outfits re-designed into new outfits, Slovak fashion designers say.
“If we don’t care about what we buy, manufacturers will not care about the environment either,” Zuzana Bobíková, CEO of the non-governmental organisation Slovak Fashion Council, told The Slovak Spectator.
“By buying second-hand and upcycled garments we can help solve the problem of waste, prolong the life cycle of textile materials, and mitigate [the clothes’ industry’s] negative impacts on the environment,” she said.
Martina Mareková Kuipers, a slow-fashion designer, has had second-hand, upcycled and self-designed clothes in her own wardrobe for more than a decade.
“There are so many clothes out there that there is no need for any new production – if all clothes production stopped everywhere today, there would still be enough clothes in the world for the next 10 years,” she told The Slovak Spectator.
Sustainable fashion in Bratislava
The Slovak Fashion Council runs many projects, one of which is the Bratislava Fashion Map which helps people find local shops, concept stores, fashion studios, showrooms and outlets selling second-hand and upcycled clothes.