Sustainable Fashion and Future of the Apparel Industry

Going Digital 2018
Keynote Speaker Iva Jestratijevic*
“Sustainable Fashion and Future of the Apparel Industry”

Fast fashion brands are annually launching 52 trends, creating new looks on a weekly basis while aggressively cutting the garment costs. The prices consumers pay for the clothing are reaching the lowest point in the entire human history. Cheap fashion has formed disposable clothing habits, increase of the textile waste and emotional disconnection between consumers and clothing they accumulate. Overconsumption of cheap garments is pushing the boundaries of the Earth’s capacity to absorb greenhouse gases, hazardous chemicals, and textile waste. Moreover, the textile industry is recognized as the second largest polluting industry in the world. The purchase and use of clothing contributes about 3% of global production of CO2 emissions that originate mainly from the manufacturing and clothes usage (washing, drying, and ironing). New business model in apparel industry requires radical and multiple transformations, from the companies and supply chains through to the retail and customers and back. Thus, circular rather than linear fashion system is the only one that fits into the sustainable world future. Sustainable fashion requires fundamental change in the way the industry sources, uses, produces, and disposes textiles and clothing. In practice, transformative change implies continuous work to improve all stages of the product’s life cycle, from design, raw materials, dyes and manufacture to its use, reuse, repair, and remake. That way, sustainable movement supports: change in both environmental and socio-economical production manners, and equally important shift in individual consumer attitudes and behavior.

*Fashion & Retail Studies, College of Education and Human Ecology,
The Ohio State University, USA


Dr Iva Jestratijevic is a Fashion theorist based in Columbus, OH. She holds a Ph.D. in Theory of Art and Media from the University of Arts, Belgrade, Serbia. Currently, she is completing her second Ph.D. at the Department of Human Sciences, the Ohio State University. Her areas of interest include Fashion and Retail Studies and she actively teaches undergraduate and graduate courses: Branding in Fashion and Retail Industry and Dress, Culture and Diversity. Her research focus is corporate social responsibility, sustainability, and slow consumption. She is strongly involved in publishing and presenting the most critical topics which include but are not limited to: circular fashion, supply chain transparency, and fashion waste regulation. Dr Jestratijevic is a member of International Textile and Apparel Association and her latest peer review papers has been published in Berg Encyclopedia of World dress and Fashion, Bloomsbury Business Case Studies, and Clothing and Textile Research Journal.