Regenerative Abundance: Fast and Sustainable Apparel Production in Toronto
Fast fashion consumers demand rapidly changing, trend-based product lines at low cost. As a result, independent designers struggle to compete and this model of production has far-reaching negative environmental and social impacts. This exploratory qualitative analysis suggests best practices to revitalize Toronto’s apparel manufacturing sector by catering to new demands with a blended approach rooted in Zara’s fast fashion supply chain model, and McDonough and Braungart’s (2002) vision of Cradle to Cradle sustainability. Using a semistructured interview and online short answer questionnaires, participants from the Toronto apparel design and manufacturing industry were asked what they thought about these competing objectives. Four themes emerged: (1) the need to instil sustainability awareness in consumers and producers; (2) the need to manufacture locally; (3) the importance of convenience and incentives offered for sustainable, local production; and (4) the pace of apparel production must discard the two-season model in favour of more rapidly changing product assortments.