The fashion industry is responsible for about 10% of the world's carbon dioxide emissions and it is estimated that clothing and textiles make up at least 7% of landfills globally. The fashion industry is becoming aware that it needs to address this issue, as consumers are increasingly uneasy and wanting to make sustainable choices.
Consumers should know where they can buy clothing that's not just sustainably made but has a sustainable lifecycle.
Enter Sejal Munjal, who became concerned that small to medium sized fashion businesses could not afford to participate in the existing business sustainability certification schemes. She was aware from personal experience that the industry is often not kind to either the people who work in it or to the environment. So for her Master of Design Enterprise Sejal developed a tool that will help fashion designers to improve their sustainability, and to communicate that to consumers. She surveyed fashion students and interviewed two designers to inform her work. The tool incorporates seven facets of sustainability, examining for example the use of resources in making the clothes, using partnerships effectively, ensuring consumers know how to look after their clothes, how long will the clothes last, and what happens to them when they wear out.
Sejal has also developed a business model to help small fashion businesses know what action they should take, using the tool and helping each other, and to provide certification of the standard of sustainability achieved to show to their customers. Sejal is now advising start-ups and small businesses on sustainability practices.