We are living in a (thankfully) more sustainable-aware/eco-sensitive time, but we still have a long way to go to turn the tide of global warming. Global warming is the greatest threat to life as we know it, and unfortunately it’s all down to our behaviour. As Sir David Attenborough says, “there’s still time to remedy this if we act now”.
The diversity of all life on Earth, including trees and plants, animals and insects, has supported and protected our planet’s health for millennia. However, intense mining, farming and animal production has greatly impacted the balance of our ecosystem. Up to now, the dominant element of this problem has focussed largely on food, how we generate it and how we consume it. Afterall, we mostly tend to eat three times a day which means this topic is at the forefront of our minds.
Having said all of this, what we wear, it’s providence, how it is made and by whom needs out focus now.
The statistics show that the clothing industry is the third largest polluter in our world today and as consumers we have been trained to want more and more by large corporations who generate profit from stimulating and exploiting this desire. Our largest fashion retailers on the High Street in Europe have grown through incentivising their staff to consistently sell more and sell it faster. In many corporate fashion houses, sales reports ping through to employee phones daily, which would serve as a constant reminder that growing sales is the number one priority. This kind of ‘daily sales’ culture we see in many large operations, is not unlike what we see in the movies when representing the shark-like world of the stock market. The measure of success? Drive sales, make money - at any cost.
However, what would happen if consumers bought less? Companies would see reduce in demand and therefore reduce output… that seems logical. Our power as consumers is immense and we have the opportunity to challenge the current marketing fallacy that more = better.
This approach is a direct result of Capitalism and has largely been driven by modern Western culture. However, we can turn the tide towards Conscious Consumption. This newer approach is thankfully healthier for the world around us and its inhabitants (us!), which in turn will protect our future for the generations who follow.
It’s not just about how companies are exploiting our buying habits, it’s also about the consideration of who is making our clothes and how they are taken advantage of. This has only been part of the conversation since the Rana Plaza disaster in 2013. Since then, PR damage limitation machines have ensured this ‘story’ is buried as much as possible. However that doesn’t change the fact that it happened and is still happening in unfortunately too many cases.
Rana Plaza disaster 2013
Additionally, we were amazed to discover that typically, people wear just 10% of the clothes they own, with wardrobes full of fast fashion, to be worn once and never again. Alarmingly, in Britain alone, 700,000 tonnes of clothes reach landfill each year, and in our effort to be more conscious about our fashion consumption, it's time to think about what we buy, where it’s from, how it was made and how each garment impacts our planet. It’s time to start making educated and sensible decisions, both for ourselves and for Mother Earth.
Will you join us on bringing fashion to the forefront of the Conscious Consumption conversation? Hopefully these statistics will demonstrate that we need to walk this road together - we’re ready when you are!