This study is an attempt to understand the awareness of various aspects of eco-fashion among students of textiles and fashion design and their acceptance towards such a concept. The study could establish a significant relationship between shopping orientation of the customer and his/her self-expression. It was also found that consumers' purchase decision of eco-fashion products was dependent on their awareness of the eco-label contents. This study by Fezeena Khadir throws light on the importance of knowing the target market to get a clearer idea of the purchase intention of sustainable fashion.
Eco-fashion or sustainable fashion is one in which the materials and processes used are connected to environmental visions and policies. Responsibly farmed organic or natural sources or those made from upcycled or recycled materials become an integral part of the production process. It is a means of meeting the needs of the present generation without compromising the needs of the future generations. Hence, the responsibility is shared between the industry, government and consumers to evolve ways in which environmental, social and economic issues can be tackled with far-reaching solutions.
The idea of eco-fashion is closely connected with the idea of sustainability. Eco-friendly thinking and sustainability awareness are on the rise to adopt a socially and environmentally responsible lifestyle by consuming goods that are made from sustainable fibres and in an ethical way. The emerging design philosophy and sustainability has embraced eco-fashion, in a small way, in order to construct a new system and mechanism for the growing fashion industries. A number of green trade fairs, ethical movements and eco-friendly concepts are growing rapidly and they become part of the contemporary fashion scene with an escalating consciousness among the international players.
The fashion industry has been infamous for damaging the environment during various stages of production from raw materials to manufacturing to consumption and disposal. While fast fashion has been characterised by hedonism and shorter product lifecycles, sustainability is seen as being synonymous with ethics, durability and reuse. Compulsive consumption behaviour, completely disregarding the natural resources, has been noticed in this industry, thanks to the overwhelming fashion perceptions and trends from one season to the other. The concept of e-tailing has also contributed largely to such kinds of consumption behaviour. The other negative impacts are social, ethical and health issues, especially with the rise in sweatshops in the sector.
There have been researches urging the sector to take necessary steps to develop products and services that are sustainable. As a major share of lifecycle impacts of a product is contributed by the design phase, the role of the designer is very vital. Designers in the fashion field have a big role to play in the design and development of sustainable products that can have a lesser negative environmental, ethical and social impact. Irrespective of the widespread criticism that fashion industry is facing, majority of the players have not come forth to address the issues related to sustainability, except some of them like Marks & Spencer and H&M with their Conscious Collection, though with lesser mass appeal. Though sustainable fashion was an oxymoron in the yesteryears, it has seen a sea change in recent times, adapting practices like eco-efficiency, eco-effectiveness, life cycle analysis or cradle-to-cradle techniques.