The fashion industry heavily relies on agriculture and nature. Different types of fabric are sourced by the land, such as cotton and linen. Sheep produce wool and wood pulp is used to make viscose – a semi-synthetic cellulose fabric.
Often, the fashion industry takes many resources out of the environment without giving anything back. This is particularly true when it comes to the environmental damage left behind by fast fashion brands.
The regenerative agriculture movement has recently gained momentum and seeks to give back to nature and restore biodiversity. More specifically, a 2020 article from Vogue explains that regenerative agriculture is a farming method which focuses on strengthening and replenishing the soil of its lost nutrients (due to monoculture). This is done by eliminating the use of pesticides, reducing or eliminating tilling and by adding different plant varieties to enhance biodiversity. The same article highlights how on a regenerative cotton farm there may be rows of “trap” crops to divert pests; additional types of crops are usually present to attract pollinators and enhance diversity.
Interestingly, healthy soils can capture CO2 from the atmosphere (and subsequently release oxygen) more effectively. It is evident regenerative agriculture can also play an important role in the current climate emergency.
In India, Nishanth Chopra has developed a fashion brand (Oshadi Studio) employing regenerative farming and was able to grow his own cotton, develop “pest control using indigenous plants” and “create his own compost” (Courier Magazine, 2020). These techniques go back to traditional farming practices which would respect nature and work alongside it.
Therefore, regenerative farming consists in taking a step further to protect the soil and ecosystems. Being closer to nature and respecting it is at the core of Beatrice Bayliss mission. Although regenerative agriculture requires more work and effort, it is a promising field. We hope it will contribute to creating a fairer fashion system. You can learn more about the topic by checking out the sources below.
Courier Magazine (Issue 36) August/September 2020 (pp.44-47)
Farra, E., 2020. Regenerative Agriculture Can Change the Fashion Industry—And the World. But What Is It?. [online] Vogue. Available at: <https://www.vogue.com/article/regenerative-agriculture-sustainable-fashion-christy-dawn-fibershed> [Accessed 16 September 2022].
Rees, L., 2022. What Is Regenerative Fashion? - Fashion Revolution. [online] Fashion Revolution. Available at: <https://www.fashionrevolution.org/what-is-regenerative-fashion/> [Accessed 16 September 2022].