Despite implementing ‘greener’ materials in their clothing (alone), fast-fashion is still encouraged by the range of choice and the frequency of new clothing. Honestly mentioning its limitations, as well as future goals however also highlights the ability for the company to do more. Considering there is very minimal information on where the materials are sourced, in addition to its ‘democratic prices’, only general assumptions about its sustainability can be made. The brand’s scale of use of alternative materials such as Linen and Lyocell remains unknown. The selection of products from jewelry and homeware also show that the fabrics are just a partial component of the overall company and therefore may have a large influence in greenwashing the entire company.
Based in Singapore, the Editor’s Market is a wide ranging fashion and lifestyle brand that produces an abundant choice of products for customers based across the Asia Pacific, the US and Canada. Living in Singapore, this store has significantly grown in popularity and has become a common brand worn by many, particularly by Gen-Z. Through storefront advertising, they’ve begun to brand themselves as a sustainable brand, even claiming to be a slow fashion brand.
Coming in a selection of six colours, the top is composed of 35% viscose and 65% nylon. Viscose as a fabric is relatively contested in terms of its overall sustainability, despite it being a cellulosic fibre derived from natural, wood pulp. Due to its extensive manufacturing process, viscose is termed as a form of ‘regenerated cellulose’. Several chemicals such as caustic soda, ammonia, acetone and sulphuric acid are used to treat the fibre, producing evident sources of toxic waste that detrimentally harm the atmosphere and surrounding waterways. Additionally, without statements from the company on where they source their fabrics, the wood pulp used in the making of viscose may have encouraged deforestation or rapid depletion of old-growth forests for pulpwood plantations.
On the other hand, nylon as a synthetic fabric earns its infamous reputation of being unsustainable as it isn’t biodegradable. Made from non-renewables, partly derived from coal and petroleum and their extensive manufacturing process presents concerning environmental impacts. The production of nylon raises issues of nitrous oxide emissions, large-scale water use and energy-intensive processes. The emission of nitrous oxide in particular raises alarming impacts due to its factorially higher potency as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. Furthermore, the mass depletion of water and unknown energy sources used in the manufacturing of this top diminishes its sustainable reputation.
Though, it must be noted that other clothing items show a drastically different composition of materials, where some products are 100% made of linen, a biodegradable fabric. The lack of uniformity in the material composition of clothing counteracts each other, questioning the brand’s ability to claim their entire product base as ‘sustainable’.
In regards to the manufacturing of clothing, there is an evident lack of transparency of where the materials and products are made. Due to its diversified output, the company’s wide range of products from women’s clothing, jewelry, to household items classified under ‘life’ all require distinct production chains. Mentions of minimising ‘dead stock’ (unsold inventory), show an effort to tackle supply chain sustainability by limiting restocks and manufacturing products in smaller batches. This adoption of a demand-driven supply chain, in which the dual benefit of loss minimization and waste reduction can be gained. Overall however, the inability for consumers to trace the supply chain of clothing in particular largely puts into question just how sustainable the process is.
The Editor’s Market began as a small-scale store located in Singapore’s city centre. Entering the e-commerce market, the brand has been able to gain traction and attained a wider outreach through its overseas shipping. Since then, the company has developed 11 global outlets, based in cities such as Bangkok and Phnom Penh.
They claim they are unlike ‘fast fashion brands’ in which their clothing is designed to suit and endure seasonal trends, through implementing minimalist, refined and effortless style. Despite these statements, new apparel tends to appear on shelves ever so frequently, alongside the former use of a price step system (where discounts were given with more items of clothing bought) that continues to feed mass consumerism. The lack of transparency in the supply chain also means the absence of knowledge of the labour conditions the brand maintains. Using quite general and broad statements on the sustainability of material alternatives, their independent supply chains are pushed into the background. Furthermore, emphasising future goals rather than stating current practices may create a false sense of hope in their sustainability, acting as a form of greenwashing.