Whilst boosting the digitalization of many businesses, the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed global public awareness on the importance of preserving our environment, which translates into the rise of ecologically sustainable business operations.
In recent years, awareness surrounding sustainable fashion has increased significantly, especially amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. There has been a worldwide increase in the number of consumers who prefer buying from ethical and sustainable Fashion brands, according to the Fashion Revolution Day Website.
As one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, Indonesia remains to be the leading textile and apparel producer in Southeast Asia (SEA). Additionally, Indonesia’s fashion industry is the second highest contributor to its creative economy at 18.01% with a 4.05% GDP growth rate, according to the Creative Economy Agency (Bekraf). These numbers correlate to the rising demand of fashion consumers.
It is no longer a surprise that the pandemic has given birth to digital innovations in the country. Nowadays, more people have been able to access services that combine online and offline to limit social interactions in the time of COVID. Therefore, e-commerce businesses have been thriving in the midst of the pandemic, especially the fashion segment. According to Statista, the total annual spent on consumer e-commerce for Fashion and Beauty is $2307 billion, as of January 2019. Revenue in the Fashion segment itself is expected to reach US$ 8976 million in 2021, with Apparel as the largest segment with a projected market volume of US$ 10641 million in 2021.
However, “fast” is not always good when it comes to fashion. Nowadays, there are so many global fashion brands that produce clothes every day, and change styles every season, and most of them are fast-fashion brands. In this era, people have started to realize that they should divert to ethical and sustainable clothes, in order to preserve our suffocating earth.
One might ask, what is so good about sustainable fashion compared to fast fashion? Well, sustainable fashion is about benefiting the people involved throughout the fashion supply chain; from farmers to consumers and to everyone working in end-of-life facilities such as recycling factories. According to Chatham House, some companies have also started developing new materials, like leather made from grape skins and orange skins, which means the kind of leather they can grow in a laboratory rather than relying on animals that are often subjected to gruesome conditions.
As summarized from The Smart Local Indonesia, Indonesia has a number of local eco-fashion brands namely Sukkhacitta, Pijak Bumi, Imaji Studio, Lanivatti, and Cinta Bumi Artisans, to help save the world without abandoning catwalk-worthy looks. However, they do not only make clothes. Cinta Bumi Artisans, for example, make hand-stitched journals, tote bags, and accessories that are friendly to the environment. Just like the name itself, “Cinta Bumi” which translates to “Love the Earth”, they strive to fulfill consumer’s needs without harming the environment. Indonesia is such a big country with over 260 million population, think of the good impact if one person starts contributing to the environment by choosing sustainable clothes every day.