How can we make it easy for people to buy, sell, rent, and give away clothes within a community to adopt sustainable fashion?
Fabric waste has been a problem since the 90s. Statistics reveal that over 92 million tonnes of textiles are disposed of each year, and this number is increasing steadily. The environmental ramifications are severe, as synthetic fabrics can take up to 200 years to decompose, emitting harmful chemicals during the process.
Though the world is trying to solve this problem, the rate at which fabric disposals have increased has only exacerbated the issue. According to TRT AFRIKA, the fabric dumping problem has led to pollution, water contamination, health problems, job losses, and economic hardship. Not to mention the amount of water used to make clothes is enormous. A 2017 report by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation found that the industry consumes around 2.6 percent of the world’s freshwater, highlighting its significant environmental impact.
While people around the world are concerned about the environment, pollution and wastage, their support for sustainable fashion tends to vary. A KPMG report says that the net support of the concept is at 49 percent in Tokyo, 55 percent in New York, 54 percent in London, and 71 percent in Hong Kong, with Shanghai in the lead at 90 percent. Young people – especially those aged 18-24 – are most supportive of sustainable fashion.
While conducting my surveys, 3 out of 5 people were supportive of the concept whereas 2 out of 2 people interviewed said that they always think about buying pre-owned clothes but don’t seem to find a safe way to do so.
Product Manager Learnings:
Co.Lab experience has been a wonderful one for me. I am not from a technical background so getting a chance to be a part of a Product Management cohort is a dream. The way the program is structured forces us to think and design a strategy to develop a product. Though my idea was vague, I learned the process of thinking like a product manager which will help me in the future.