The key to sustainability in Fashion

BY SWC Colombo
December 7, 2016

Sustainability was one of the focal points of discussion at Swim Week Colombo 2017’s inaugural edition of TrendSwim, which was an engaging and informative series of dialogues concerning the international swimwear industry. The final segment of the program line-up was “Fashion For Good”, a session focused on addressing various aspects of “goodness” in swimwear fashion, from ethical sourcing to social impact to positive body image.

To Ajai Vir Singh, founder of Swim Week Colombo and Colombo Fashion Week, both events are platforms for educating people on the sustainability aspect of the fashion industry with the “Fashion for Good” segment being merely the first step: “We’re doing this from the heart, and not just because it’s perceived as cool.”

According to him, the key to sustainability in the fashion industry is ensuring sustainability right down the supply chain, from the manufacturing process, which is Sarinda’s forte, to design and marketing, which is Ajai’s. Sarinda went on to share his insight into operations at Linea Aqua, giving the example of a project undertaken by MAS that looks to replace the water used in the manufacturing process by creating replacement catchments elsewhere while another aims to reduce landfill by reducing excess fabrics to fluff and developing geo-fabric for use in the laying of roads or lining of carpets.

Co-founder Heidi Gosman and CEO Eric Koby of luxury swimwear brand Heidi Klein too shared their thoughts on the impact of sustainability on their brand, “Sustainability is very important. We are very keen on ethical trade and are very careful with recycling as well. We are testing fabric made out of recycled fishing nets. It’s very important. Fast fashion is changing and we are a moral brand that care a lot about sustainability, the climate and environment. We go through a lot of testing, chemical testing and all of that is very important. You have to be responsible.”

With regard to designers hoping to pursue the creation of sustainable brands or collections, Ajai said, “Going ethical while keeping it sustainable is the call of the hour but it needs the designers to be diligent in pursuing sustainable lines. You need to love it. It is a labour of love. The other thing that is required is being innovative. It is one of the key pillars.”