Sustainability is the name of the game when it comes to all industries. If you’re hoping to build a sustainable future and thriving business for yourself, going green and keeping the environment in mind at all times throughout planning to implementation must be a priority. Not only will this work to alleviate your conscience, but it will also help you to form stronger, long-lasting relationships with your customers. After all, research has shown that over 80% of consumers care about sustainability when choosing the businesses from which they buy.

Here are some tips.

Consider the type of business that you start

While it might be profitable to create your own items of clothing to sell, particularly if you have the necessary skills to pull this off, selling second-hand clothing is a lot more environmentally-friendly. You could also start a business that focuses on repairing old clothes and shoes, rather than manufacturing new ones.

Look at the materials used

If you must start a fashion business that designs new items of clothing, be especially mindful of the specific materials that you use to manufacture your clothes. Look out for organic options as these are sourced and grown without any use of harmful pesticides. You cannot go wrong with organic or recycled cotton, as well as organic linen, hemp, and bamboo. If you are in search of ‘green’ synthetic fabrics, recycled polyester and ECONYL are your best bets.

Worry about waste

Try not to throw away your fabric offcuts. Instead, upcycle them creatively and use them to create stylish trims, patches, and other fashionable embellishments. Alternatively, you could donate them to charities, your school (your art teacher will definitely find a use for them!), and local quilters.

Planning for a Sustainable Future

Running a business with sustainability at its core, or know someone who is? Enter the Zayed Sustainability Prize competition. We have proudly partnered with the program and are encouraging local entrepreneurs with innovative solutions for shaping the world’s future to partake. Submit your entry via

Also, be sure to check out SA Teen’s free online academy where you’ll find the tools to kick-start your own business!