Raza Beig On Sustainable Fashion In The UAE | ewmoda

Raza Beig On Sustainable Fashion In The UAE

#iamsustainability

Posted on

6 November 2017

Raza Beig On Sustainable Fashion In The UAE

It’s no longer a secret that the fashion industry is the second largest industrial polluter, second only to oil. With the industry accounting for 10% of global carbon emissions, fashion has developed a negative image that it is determined to fight back against.

With an influx of new sustainable fashion labels being launched into the market, established brands such as the Middle East’s largest fashion retailer – Splash, have also started to install new methods into their production, in an effort to reduce waste, pollution and overproduction.

However, we wanted to investigate if the apparel industry really does accept responsibility for its impact on the planet or is eco-friendly fashion just another trend that the industry is manipulating for publicity?

ewmoda had the privilege of spending time with Raza Beig, Director of Landmark Group and CEO of Splash, ICONIC & Landmark International, as we discussed his opinions on eco-friendly fashion and the inspiration behind Splash’s own sustainable collection #iamsustainability.

Splash and Sustainability

Being a Dubai-based fashion brand instantly puts Splash under criticism for its carbon footprint, as let’s be honest Dubai isn’t known for being environmentally friendly. But, sustainability is a policy that the UAE government has pledged to adopt and it is also a campaign that Beig has brought to the Middle East.

Beig is honest in admitting that “[sustainable fashion] came by default, I was in Amsterdam at a denim show when I walked into a talk and I became completely horrified, after already being in business with fashion for 20 years, I did not realise what goes on at the back end.”

Beig would have been exposed to alarming facts about fashion’s impact on the environment. For instance, the volume of water that fashion production generates each year is equivalent to 32 million Olympic swimming pools. Therefore, Beig accepted that as “business people within the industry [they] have to become responsible.” The Director of Landmark Group and CEO of Splash, ICONIC & Landmark International, explained “that you can create something using 3000 gallons of water or you could do it in 13 and still come out with the same product, which really hit me and made me take back to Dubai what I had learnt.”

With the apparel industry employing 60 million people globally, it is important for brands like Splash and ICONIC to have leadership that is aware of the consequences they create as an industry and also, how they can fix it. With the help of his “thinker’s team” and advice from agencies, which further educated the UAE fashion brand, Raza Beig can now proudly say that this year Splash will sell 7 to 8 million pieces of sustainable clothing and “as a team we have decided that by 2020, 50 million items will be completely sustainable.”

So how have Splash become Eco-friendly?

Beig continues that “it is about being conscious, changing your mindset and having the right education, which can be shared with partners and then suppliers.”

Splash’s collection #iamsustainability is made from organic materials and recycled cotton, regenerated polyester and sustainable fibres like Tencel, all coloured with eco-friendly dyes. Raza Beig stated that “[they] also use water-saving manufacturing processes” and that “the fashion has not been comprised on, prices have not increased,” which is why almost half of the collection sold out across the UAE after its launch.

What does this mean for sustainable fashion in the region?

In our interview with Raza Beig he continued to use the word “responsibility” as he evidently recognised the obligation he has within the fashion industry. Splash are now the now the largest user of recycled Polyester in the Middle East. For Bieg it is not just a trend but an adjustment the brand had to make.

Splash is spreading awareness of sustainable fashion in the UAE to their customers, with labels guaranteeing sustainability and the hashtag #iamsustainabilty printed on the wall of their stores. They are also promoting a message to their competitors, as Beig reveals “we want not only splash, but almost everyone who is competing with us to have the same the feeling [on sustainability] they should work on it to make the region more eco-friendly.”

Although there is still a lot of work needed to make fashion environmentally friendly around the world, this is definitely a huge step forward for sustainable fashion in Dubai!