What the Fashion Industry Can Learn From Rolls Royce

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BMW Rolls Royce Electric Car

Rolls Royce, a subsidiary of the BMW Group, made an astounding announcement this year.  BMW Rolls Royce announced that starting in 2030, the company will only sell electric cars. The luxury automaker has declared that it will launch its first 100% electric vehicle in 2023. With this starting point, Rolls Royce plans to have completely phased out their petrol, diesel, and hybrid vehicles by 2030.

A vehicle called ‘Spectre’ is the company’s latest project. Rolls Royce’s Spectre will be the first step in the seven-year operation to expand the company’s electric vehicle portfolio. Torsten Müller-Ötvös, CEO of Rolls Royce Motor Cars, stated that the testing done for the new Spectre vehicle will “elevate the global all-electric car revolution and create the first and finest super-luxury product of its type.” The chief executive has also claimed that the company’s plan to shift to fully electric vehicles by 2030 will be “the most significant” milestone for the company since it was founded over a century ago.

Alternative Energy and Materials

From Gas to Electric

BMW Rolls Royce is one of the many auto brands making the switch away from fossil fuels. This comes as part of the growing movement of adopting alternative sources of energy. As the outlook on the climate situation grows bleaker, enterprises across all industries have been searching for ways to reduce their environmental impact. One of the main culprits of this climate crisis is greenhouse gas.

Due to the increased emission of greenhouse gases, more heat has been trapped within Earth’s atmosphere. This results in global temperatures incrementing more rapidly than what would naturally occur. Exhaust fumes from traditionally powered cars are a significant contributor to these greenhouse gases. Globally, passenger cars are responsible for the release of approximately 3 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide. In an effort to reduce tailpipe emissions, car manufacturers–on an international scale–are doing their part to reduce the number of gas-reliant vehicles.

Alternative Manufacturing in Fashion 

While the connection between cars and fashion may not be inherently clear BMW Rolls Royce serves as an excellent example of commitment to environmental consciousness. The fashion industry can learn a lot from motor vehicle companies. Fashion brands can implement a shift in energy sources much like how the auto manufacturers have. This shift can come into effect as early as during the production chain. Meaning that brands may opt to work with manufacturers that rely on renewable energy to operate or use electric vehicles to transport their merchandise.

However, there are other ways to find alternatives in fashion. We may opt to change textile dyeing practices so that they require less water. Traditional dyeing methods have rendered trillions of gallons of water unsafe to drink after filling them with contaminants. DyeCoo is just one company that has developed a “dry dyeing” technique. Their method consists of a closed-loop system that utilizes carbon dioxide to dye fabrics. Twine Solutions is another company that has found another solution to dyeing. Here, they have developed a method of digitally printing color onto white thread and yarn.

Substituting Fabrics for the Environment

Another option available is to swap for different materials. We have seen many companies starting to phase out the use of materials derived from animal products such as furs, feathers, suedes, and leathers. By discontinuing the production of such products, we can protect biodiversity. If there is no longer a demand for animal-based fabric, we can see the steady return of animal populations that were once on the brink of endangerment due to overhunting.

The most common substitutions in fashion might be switching to biodegradable and organically-grown fibers. Clothing made from fabrics like organic cotton is typically better for the environment. When something is grown organically, there are no pesticides or insecticides involved whatsoever. The chemicals found in pesticides are known to contaminate the soil and water used on the crops, and even the air. 

Other fabrics that are growing in popularity are bamboo, linen, and hemp. Like cotton, these fabrics all come from fast-growing plants that do not require pesticides in the process. The great thing about these materials is that if they end up in landfills, they will degrade much more quickly than their synthetic counterparts. Using organic fabrics will help to curb the gradually increasing problem of microplastics.  

The Intersection of Cars and Fashion

If the example set by BMW Rolls Royce wasn’t enough to show the link between cars and fashion, we can look at AlphaTauri. AlphaTauri is a brand under Red Bull, more specifically it is a Formula One (F1) team. In other words, this brand has established a long standing association with racing and cars. Back in 2016, AlphaTauri released a new branch that focused on fashion. Much like how BMW Rolls Royce is developing technology to improve cars, AlphaTauri is also improving fashion. As a fashion brand, AlphaTauri works on cutting-edge technology to make clothes that are innovative while remaining stylish. For example, the brand boasts a collection of jackets that are heat-controlled by apps on the wearer’s smart devices.

Despite seeming unrelated, every industry can take inspiration and knowledge from another. This allows for the continued innovation of society as a whole, while also improving conditions for the planet. While Rolls Royce is one example of conscious sustainability, there are many others that we can gain inspiration from.


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Dara Douglas


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February 3rd 2022