A regenerative fashion system needs to begin and end with healthy soil. From using raw materials that are grown or farmed in a way which encourages soil health, to ensuring garments can return to the earth at the end of their life free from toxic chemicals and rich with nutrients that enrich the soil microbiome.
Only by using materials that nature both provides and happily reclaims, can fashion contribute to the regeneration of our ecosystems. In stark contrast, synthetic fibres such as acrylic, polyester, nylon and elastane don’t belong in a regenerative fashion model - recycled or not. Not only are they made from non-renewable fossil fuels, but they release damaging micro-fibres into our environment throughout their lifetime.
Faced with a biodiversity crisis, it doesn’t feel good enough to just choose natural fibres. I think it’s really important to look at how those fibres have been grown. Every part of a regenerative fashion system needs to consider its impact on the environment and what role it can play in giving back - and this begins at the farm level.
Clothing looking to commit to regenerative values surely can only be made without toxic chemicals? From the farming system, to the methods of processing fibres, to dyes and finishing - there are many stages where harsh and damaging chemicals can be removed from the fashion system to reduce impact on the environment.