The word ‘sustainable’ gets thrown around in the fashion industry. Large labels are constantly committing to new environmental policies and improving their processes but still we see little change.
Collections are still churned out, plastic packaging smothers new products and material is still wasted as they push profit margins to the extreme.
Greenwashing is the process of conveying a false impression or providing misleading information about how a company’s products are more environmentally sound.Jay Westervald, coined in 1986.
In Netherlands, there’s one branding fighting this fast-fashion, greenwashing trend, pushing for a more environmentally-friendly future.
Permanent are founded on planet-first principles, and are doing it with style whilst bringing forward educative material.
“Having a clothing brand isn’t really a sustainable thing to do, however, we believe in tackling the fashion industries issues and educating others,” Iris Van Melsen, Permanent’s founder, tells Wear? Archives.
“That’s why every collection of ours addresses a specific industry fault.”
Take their ‘Energy’ collection, it targeted the environmental disasters and fossil fuel scarcities through the inspiration of science fiction.
Permanent face constant challenges for their stance. The way they operate gives an insight into why the profit-hungry multinationals have shunned sustainability. They’ve distorted the landscape so much, normality has been completely shifted.
“It’s crazy to me that this shift to fast fashion happened so quickly. Our grandparents would buy a good jacket and have it for years!”
“This shift has given consumers the wrong idea of how much clothing should actually cost.“
Permanent’s production centres around innovative creative means to cut their impact on the planet.
Printing on the inside of their shirts allows consumers to have a plain black tee on the flip side whilst they’ve made a whole collection out of repurposed products from a previous drop.
They “love the challenge” of not being able to use Alibaba to garner cheap blanks, which keeps their quality at an incredibly high level. Every move has an environmental thought process behind it.
Brands should highlight Permanent’s operations as aspiration for their own.
Luckily for the Dutch brand, their means of having an impact have improved from times gone by.
Using the internet, they connect with their following directly, allowing the education that is missed in the school curriculums to seep into their fans’ timelines.
The messages about water-usage, chemicals, second-hand shopping all strike across the brand’s social medias.
“We aren’t saying that people shouldn’t buy anything or that you can’t buy what you like, people just need to put more thought into it,”
“Think about your consumer habits and only buy pieces that you will really wear.”
For Permanent, it’s the educational gap that’s funding this fast-fashion trend. The industry is ignorant and ill-informed to the true consequences of its practices on the planet.
“Above all, we recommend people to read about the fashion industry, there is so much to learn that will change your vision towards clothing heavily.“
Iris van Melsen for Permanent speaking to Wear? Archives.
Images courtesy of Permanent (@permanentclothing.eu).