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Frederico Albergaria

Product design challenges

Frederico Albergaria

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Sustainability and inclusion in the fashion world

Fátima Lopes

Fashion Designer

Fátima Lopes
I am part of a group of fashion designers who are challenging stereotypical beauty standards, determined to make a difference in terms of sustainability and inclusion within the fashion world. Two key words - sustainability and inclusion - that are unavoidable and indispensable for what is intended to be an increasingly visible reality.
In the three decades of my career, I have experienced several fashion trends and this is undoubtedly a new time that makes a difference, a process that needs to be continued, but which I believe will be successful.
Regarding sustainability, I would like to highlight the disposable fashion industry versus designer fashion. The former is literally made to use and throw away, ending up in landfills with a large environmental footprint. This one is obviously appealing to consumers who have access to very low-cost products, but it results in a very expensive bill for nature to pay. Designer fashion, on the other hand, although not accessible to everyone financially, creates art, quality pieces, which last over time.
As for inclusion, this is a question of justice for marginalised groups. Beauty standards, as they were known up until recently, are coming to an end. A closer look at some of today’s most important fashion designers shows a commitment to valuing diversity, in terms of ethnicity, size, age and gender. 
By showcasing representatives of all ethnicities on the catwalk and in fashion campaigns, we are recognising the beauty of each and every one. Models with different body measurements represent an approximation to the real world, to the public for whom fashion is actually intended. Age, once a mandatory dictate of youth, is increasingly seen as distant from the buyer. In relation to gender, it is important that everyone, without exception, is recognised and not forgotten. It is an attitude, on the one hand, intelligent and strategic for bringing the brands in closer contact with the public, which is intended to be vast and comprehensive, and on the other hand more ethical and fairer, because it contributes to the fight against prejudice and discrimination, promotes equality and encourages self-esteem and acceptance of one’s own body and age, so that everyone feels represented, accepted and valued.
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