Climate change is real and is no more than the result of predatory human activity on the planet’s resources. From our fashion industry, world-renowned brands created fast fashion, but they forgot their environmental awareness and monetary wealth became the main goal. At what expense? At that of undervalued labor in deplorable conditions, children’s work, low-quality materials, chemical products that end up in rivers and landfills with tons of discarded clothes.
Fortunately, in order to solve this problem, a new trend to give us hope has appeared: Sustainable fashion. That one which is based on the use of natural fiber with friendly environmental process and fair labor conditions. In summary, everything that gives a balance between society, fashion and nature.
Leading the industry
What are we doing in Peru in favor of sustainable fashion to help and counteract the problem? More than we imagine. In 2015 the Association of Sustainable Fashion of Peru was founded. The idea was given by Ornella Paz, Mirva Trujillo, Ester Xicota y Yurac Fiedler who wanted to improve the fashion industry. “Our goals are clear, we want to join, strengthen and visualize these brands that are working on sustainable fashion” – remarked opportunely Ornella Paz. To realize it, they gave lectures at fashion schools, met people interested in the topic and they also created a directory where there are 75 actors of this value chain. As Ester said “the purpose is to strengthen this project as a digital platform in Latin America”.
On the other hand, Luis Antonio Aspíllaga, President of the apparel Guild the Lima Chamber of Commerce, said that “in Peru people get a good salary, they get bonuses, most factories have a water treatment process to avoid contamination. Some companies work with ecological cotton and recycled material. The idea of sustainability is getting stronger. Millennials don’t want to buy and throw away their clothes. They are conscious of the harmful effect it generates.”
A real commitment
To this, “in 2009, PROMPERÚ created the Good Practices Program in Fair Trade focusing on the clothing industry for alpaca products, decoration items and gifts. We already have 15 certified companies” said María del Pilar Alarcón, Area Coordinator proudly. In 2014 the Department of Sustainable Multi-sector Trade was created in order to apply sustainability principles in export companies through organic and sustainable certifications, and environmental indicators. But it does not end in getting a certificate; it is about being committed to apply the good practice in the company. “Most companies pass the external audit with a higher than 80% qualification which means their real commitment”, added María del Pilar. These actions are also marketing tools for business. The consumer, who is now more informed and more cautious when choosing, will choose those products which have an interest in sustainability. It can be said that the tools are available to entrepreneurs and business people, they just need a bit of motivation and the decision to get totally committed.