Regenerative Farming Could be the Key to a Sustainable Fashion Euphoria

Photo via Holly Rose

The fashion industry is one of the biggest contributors towards carbon emissions and global pollution, having over $500 billion worth of clothing filling landfills annually; creating a complex supply chain where factories focus on the factories and mills that produce garments instead of the root of clothing, the farms that outsource the materials.

However, a new change is on the horizon where fashion meets farm-to-closet, where the focus is put on altering a sustainable route on growing these fabric materials. This change is incoming rapidly, with brands such as Alexander McQueen, Bottega Veneta, Elieen Fisher, Balenciaga among many others committing to promote eco-friendly fashion through regenerative means.

What is Regenerative Farming?

Gif via Vogue Business

The focal point of regenerative farming is its ability to restore soil biodiversity, promoting natural carbon storage among many other benefits. With current agriculture efforts causing around 30% of the world’s carbon emissions and 60% loss of biodiversity, this new sustainable approach shines a light on an increasingly growing issue. This form of farming has the ability of sequestering 250 million tonnes of carbon as found from a study conducted by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, which is roughly equivalent to 4% of the US’s total emissions.

It can be described as mixing different variants of plants in the same area, in which nourishing cover crops can be spread throughout. This allows for farm animals, such as chickens and sheep, to graze and fertilise these fields with droppings. The head of regenerative practises at Christy Dawn, Mairin Wilson explains it as a “holistic method of working with an ecosystem and creating mutually beneficial connections”. The process discards the use of chemicals, introduces biodiversity, and ensures farmers are paid a living wage. It’s a valuable solution to climate change, as it absorbs more carbon than it releases, creating a natural checks-and-balances system.

Brands Investing in Regenerative Farming

Photo via Vogue

Currently, one of the biggest keyholders in this new venture of sustainability is Patagonia, rebuilding its entire supply chain with the aid of Rodale. In 2018, the brand worked with 150 Indian cotton farmers for this initiative, but has recently increased the number of workers to over 2000 on over 4000 acres of land, with the eco-friendly cotton being incorporated into their garments.

Timberland is following suit, announcing that in Thailand it will be building a regenerative rubber supply chain in which various trees will be grown to mimic a natural forest, with plans of piloting this project in 2023. Additionally, Kering, a company that owns luxury powerhouses such as Gucci and Balenciaga has created a regenerative fund with Conservation International, planning to produce raw materials for fashion through the transformation of 247 million hectares of land with regenerative-farming methods within 5 years.

The Importance Of A Circular Economy

Regenerative farming is the step towards the right direction for sustainable fashion, however, it requires a circular economy of consumerism for it to truly outweigh the detriments the industry brings to ecosystems.

The average consumer buys 68 garments per year in the US, 5 times more than the number bought in 1980. With brands such as Zara and H&M creating 12 to 24 collections annually, 85% of which ends up in landfills, the number of regenerative farming lands needed to accompany such consumption will only increase and hurt farmland needed for food or as a protective area.With a circular economy, one that lowers consumption rates and promotes reuse and recycling, the benefits of both sustainable efforts can co-exist to transform the industry into a slow fashion regime, building together a bigger piece of the industry’s sustainability puzzle. Brands like Patagonia who support regenerative farming and have produced reuse and recycle models with its recrafted collection and secondhand shops are championing both sides of the coin.

Regenerative Farming: What’s Next?

Photo via Wunderman Thompson

For regenerative farming to maximise its efficiency in reducing the destruction of biodiversity and carbon emissions, the industry needs to adopt a slow fashion mechanism to decrease the speed of circulation, fashion trends and consumption. ÀLA.HAUSSE is a part of this solution, with our goal of undermining the effects of fast fashion and translating current consumers habits to BUY/SELL/RENT/LEND their existing clothing for a greener future. If we intersect both sustainability efforts, the uprising of eco-friendly fashion will only heighten.

Via ÀLA.HAUSSE‘s Multi-functional and Multi-purposeful Fashion Ecosystem- BUY/SELL/RENT/LEND/ (swap BETA 2021) mobile application, INDIVIDUALS & brands (BETA 2021) are encouraged to REBUY, RESELL, REUSE and UP-CYCLE their personal “Closets” aka Clothing Assets, along with overstock inventory and samples. Through this consumerism habit shift we indirectly slow down the urgency on fashion’s carbon footprint, aiding sustainability as a whole.

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