It was not so long ago when activewear became an unofficial fashion niche, coming out of the shadows of sportswear, its more recognizable predecessor. The fashion industry had barely scratched the surface when another more specialized sub-niche started to gain popularity: sustainable activewear.
Amid growing concerns like global warming and poor working conditions, the fashion world is slowly but surely adopting a more prominent role to affect positive change. The activewear industry is quick to join the fight, realizing the need for a more preemptive approach to save the planet and promote worker welfare.
Several companies like dk active have been making smarter choices in every step of their supply chain in an effort to make a positive impact on both the environment and on people. How far have they gone and continue to go to champion sustainability? Let us count the ways.
Using technology that works for the planet, not against it
Technology has been widely recognized as the bane of nature’s existence, but it does not always have to be. Most sustainable activewear companies have been leveraging technology to use green energy such as solar power in their facilities, significantly reducing carbon footprint and reducing the impact of global warming.
Innovations in the textile industry have given birth to the high-quality recycled fabric from pre and post-consumer clothing scraps, which is a more eco-friendly option compared to the non-biodegradable petroleum-based polyester and nylon.
Using natural fibres for raw materials
Aside from recycled or upcycled fabric, using a material with mostly natural fibres is an excellent way to protect the environment from the harmful byproducts of synthetic material production. Sustainable brands such as dk active use organic cotton, bamboo, or merino wool with just enough blend of synthetic fibre, which are not only functional and stylish but also eco-friendly. Using natural, non-toxic dyes is another way to ensure that each product made would have as little environmental impact as possible.
Ethical production and transparency
The fashion industry as a whole has been under scrutiny for its rapid growth at the cost of unethical labor practices such as exploitation of women and child labor. That is why sustainable activewear brands such as dk active are taking social responsibility seriously by ensuring fair wages, safety for their workers, and transparency in their supply chain. Most of them source their raw materials locally or from a centralized region to support local businesses. Some even go as far as obtaining third-party certifications such as the Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production (WRAP) and SA800, although this is not a legal requirement.
The trends in the fashion industry as a whole with regard to social awareness has still a long way to go but is seeing much-needed progress.
Sustainability, the ideal business model where everybody wins
The sustainable activewear industry is not in the business for profit alone, but to build a world where companies, workers, and consumers all work together for a common goal. Each step in the supply chain is taken while keeping the planet, the workers, and the environment in mind. It is the ideal business model all companies must adopt where the future is not compromised for a quick but fleeting return.
Kathleen Zara works as a freelancer and entrepreneur working from a start-up learning along the way about marketing, social and networking, creating web sites, and web content.
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