If we source and create fashion products with a strategy to produce styles that are more durable, with higher-quality production processes, these products will then last longer and be used for more years. And when this happens, we consume fewer total resources per material and product and, ultimately, have less going into waste streams and tainting nature’s resources.
How to achieve it: When sourcing fabric, request it be knitted or woven in high-quality yarn and, when possible, request tightly-spun yarn. This will help your fabrics to pill less when wearing.
When sourcing garment factories, ask tier-one manufacturers to use durable construction processes, such as reinforcing seams, and to sew with more stitches per inch as smaller stitches won’t unravel after a few rounds in the laundry.
When designing, add style and fit details that can be worn for five or more years. Or create designs in which the sizing can be adjusted. Consider offering and launching a repair program as well as an upgrade program where customers can simply upgrade a garment component instead of needing a whole new item from you. Then you can build a great relationship and keep them coming back!
Which materials get you there: Ones in which the raw materials and the material processing methods comply with rigid standards and are verified to ensure no corners have been cut. Explore Textile Exchange’s robust fiber and material standards here. For finished garments and accessories, make sure they are tested for durability, functionality, safety, and performance by one of the third-party standards such as SGS, Intertek, Eurofins, and UL’s Consumer Testing Labs.
Who has them: Shahi does! Shahi is a female-founded textile and garment supplier started in 1974. Shahi strives for material and product longevity, and has scaled quite a bit in the past 49 years. They now operate over 50 manufacturing facilities throughout India, producing high-quality knits or wovens made from cotton, linen, rayon, and blends.
Shahi strives to make materials long-lasting by using third-party verified materials processed with state-of-the-art machines. Their material certifications and standards include the Better Cotton Initiative, Standard 100 by OEKO TEX, Global Organic Textile Standard. They also have ZDHC, ISO 14001 environmental management, and IS9001 quality management certifications in place.
Not only does Shahi work to produce fabrics with longevity woven right in — their business strategy also includes place-based practices as they strive to create long-lasting, positive social and environmental change! They have community-centric goals such as: planting 21,000 trees in Delhi by 2025 and extending maternal, menstrual, and reproductive health services to 42,000 women by 2025 to work for long-term equity for all community members. Reach out to us here to source from Shahi on Material Exchange!