Greenpeace say the fashion industry has a massive effect on the planet in all steps of the production cycle; from growing cotton, producing fabrics and making the clothes. WhoWhatWear.com, a fashion portal, worked with eco-brand Reformation to show the facts and figures about sustainability and the current threats. The following infographic has been created to show some of the main ways that the apparel market currently harms our planet.
Andrew Gormley is the owner of G&B fashions, a company working with some of the biggest names on the UK high streets including New Look and Blue Inc, and sourcing garments mainly in Bangladesh. He spoke about the way his business works, it’s effect on the environment and some of the ways he is trying to limit the damage caused to the planet. However, he suggests that a strong need from consumers for fast fashion at low prices is a big part of the problem.
Consumers play a large part in brands being able to act in an unsustainable way because of the large quantities of clothing we buy. Fashion Revolution, a global movement addressing the problems, report that as a society, 400% more clothes are being bought compared to 20 years ago. So, how conscious are we about the need for changes to be made, and the impact of fast fashion?
Kellie Dalton is a strategist at Futerra; a sustainability consultancy and creative agency that helps big brands change their effect on the planet. She talks about the current threats to the globe from the fashion industry and why this has come about. Kellie also suggests some key ways that both brands, and consumers, can help to bring about change.
This investigation has shown the part that fast fashion has played in damaging the environment. Greenpeace suggest that the amount of waste sent to landfill is growing as consumer choose to throw away clothes when they go out of ‘style’. They argue that 95% of clothes thrown away could be used again.
However, this isn’t the only way that fast fashion impacts the environment. Odds are if you look at the tag in any piece of clothing, it won’t read ‘Made in the UK’ as brands source garments overseas where prices are low and large quantities can be made quicker than in the UK.
Boohoo is an online retailer whose efforts spread across the globe. Not only do they deliver to people around the world, the clothes almost do a full circle of the planet before they reach us. The map below shows some of the main points in the travels of a Boohoo garment.