5 Good News Sustainable Fashion Stories From Summer 2024

by Karly Rayner

Being a fashionista while also caring about the planet can feel like a minefield sometimes. As demand for sustainable fashion grows, so too do greenwashing strategies which can be misleading and make it hard to know which way to turn. 

Despite this, 2024 has been an exciting year for the development of truly sustainable fashion and this summer has delivered a plethora of good news sustainability stories which might have flown under your radar. 

Below is a round up of some of the good news stories around sustainability which capture the intrinsic creativity of the fashion industry being harnessed for good. 

1. A 15-Year Strategy For Net Positive Fashion by 2050 From The Global Fashion Agenda 

Image credit: Wikicommons 

Marking the 15th anniversary of the influential Global Fashion Summit, the Global Fashion Agenda (GFA) has launched a transformative 15-year strategy aimed at achieving a net positive impact by 2050. This strategic guide, outlined in the special edition of the Fashion CEO Agenda, focuses on five critical areas for industry leaders: Operationalising Sustainability, Redefining Growth, Activating Consumers, Prioritising People, and Mobilising Based on Materiality.

The 2024 agenda emphasises the need to challenge established industry norms and scale up efforts to drive substantial changes. The agenda highlights five primary priorities:

  1. Creating Respectful and Secure Work Environments: Ensuring workers' rights and promoting diversity.
  2. Implementing Better Wage Systems: Establishing fair and equitable compensation practices.
  3. Practising Resource Stewardship: Efficient and responsible use of resources.
  4. Making Smart Material Choices: Adopting sustainable materials.
  5. Developing Circular Systems: Embracing circular economy principles to minimise waste.

Federica Marchionni, CEO of GFA, encourages leaders to adopt a mindset shift, collaborate across functions, and prioritise both planetary and human well-being. This strategic approach aims to ensure business longevity and foster a positive global impact.


2. Rise of Next-Gen Materials

Image credit: Wikicommons 

According to Paulien Harmsen, Senior Scientist Sustainable Textiles at Wageningen University and Research “About two-thirds of the raw materials used in the fashion industry are synthetic materials”

Many consumers do not realise the prevalence of petroleum based products, like polyester which, even though they are durable which does offer sustainable credentials, are ultimately harmful to the planet. 

"The fashion industry actually needs a materials transition," explains Harmsen. "We need to scale back the use of fossil-fuel based synthetic materials and switch to materials that are less harmful to the environment or more sustainable alternatives. Compare it to the energy transition, where we have to say goodbye to gasoline and diesel."

Although they have been on the horizon for many years, technology breakthroughs are making bio-based materials cheaper to produce, while their performance has also been improved to make them comparable or superior to fossil-based counterparts. Consumer demands are rising for sustainable fibres and materials, and although it may be slow, the beginning of real change is there. 

While we are already familiar with the sustainable potential of plant based fibres such as organic cotton and linen, forays into fungi research are delivering promising developments which offer exciting and creative potential for the future of sustainability. 


3. EU Tackles Greenwashing With New Directive

Image Credit: Wikicommons 

The EU has made bold steps to tackle greenwashing (when companies state they are adopting environmentally sound practices, but they are of minimal sustainable benefit, to attract consumers who want to be more conscious in their consumption)

This directive mandates that companies substantiate their green claims with clear, scientifically-backed evidence, and ensures transparent communication and third-party verification of these claims. It covers both current and future environmental labels, including public and private schemes. The directive aims to simplify guidelines and support SMEs, contributing to the EU's broader goal of climate neutrality by 2050.


4. Sustainable Offerings From The Shirt Company

Image credit: The Shirt Company 

As The Shirt Company customers will know, our founder Donna Middleton is deeply invested in sustainability and this is the heart of all that we do. 


To remain sustainable, we endeavour to keep production closer to home with 70% of our current collections made in Europe thus cutting transport times and CO2 emissions. All of our cotton shirts are made in natural BCI certified cotton. 

We are proud to have built long standing relationships with factories and suppliers that are ethical by treating workers correctly, paying fair wages, supporting growth in surrounding communities and maintaining positive environmental policies. We regularly visit our factories ensuring full accountability of the production of our garments. 

To invest in our highest grade sustainable pieces, which are designed with classic silhouettes designed to be worn, and re-worn for seasons to come, we recommend the OCS certified organic collection collection which is better for longevity in your wardrobe and the planet. 


5. The Good Clothes Show to Launch in September 


The Good Clothes Show will launch at the Birmingham NEC in September this year, which is a promising sign of increased consumer demand for sustainable fashion. 

Aimed at promoting sustainable fashion, the event will feature pre-loved and vintage fashion, independent labels, and customisers. Highlights include the "Circular Machine," showcasing circular fashion practices like swapping, donating, and upcycling. Visitors can donate garments, participate in swap parties, and attend panels led by industry figures like Clare Press and Carry Somers. The show aims to inspire positive change in mainstream fashion.


5. Big Players Join Forces to Decarbonise Supply Chains 

Leading fashion brands, including Bestseller, Gap Inc., H&M Group, and Mango, have launched the Future Supplier Initiative to decarbonise global supply chains. Facilitated by The Fashion Pact, Apparel Impact Institute, Guidehouse, and DBS Bank, this initiative aims to reduce the fashion industry's greenhouse gas emissions. It will support suppliers in transitioning to renewable energy and low-carbon technologies, starting in Bangladesh with plans to expand to other regions. The initiative addresses financial barriers, offering technical and financial support to achieve significant emissions reductions by 2030.


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