It was in the middle of January 2021 and I was working from home like most other people. Procrastinating over a blog post, just like this, I was trawling through the news yet another time when my eyes were caught by an article about how Boohoo’s sales had soared 40% in the run up to Christmas. Similarly, ASOS had grown its sales by 36% over the last four months of 2020.
In short, while many independent ethical and pro-environmental brands were struggling during the pandemic, the big online fast-fashion retailers were riding a wave of consumers wanting cheap fashion fixes.
Unfortunately, this wave comes at a high price - not only to the workers in the supply chain, but also to the planet. And when I say planet, I mean all of us including our children and future generations.
The reason for this is that the vast majority (if not all, as in Boohoo’s case) of the garments sold by fast-fashion retailers are made from the most polluting fibres around; conventional cotton, generic viscose and virgin polyester.
We’re talking about fibres that are pesticide- and chemical-heavy, require vast amounts of water and energy to produce, cause water and soil pollution, contribute to deforestation and end up in landfill or the oceans. How is that allowed when much better, eco-friendlier fibres are already widely available?
Some of the fast-fashion brands like ASOS, H&M and Zara are making moves in the right direction, but their progress is far too slow.
I set an intention there and then in January: I wanted to accelerate the change in the fashion industry; to contribute actively in getting the most polluting fibres phased out entirely.
We are in the middle of a climate emergency. School children are super worried about their future and big Fridays for Future protests were held throughout 2019 across the world. And yet, we’re allowing the biggest players in the fashion industry to continue their polluting practises in their pursuit of growth and profits.
We need to (wo)man up. To take responsibility and offer hope to the younger generations in particular - and the way to do this is through action.
At the end of January, I presented the draft petition and Fashion for Climate plan to my Co-founders, and, sharing my values, they immediately gave me the go ahead. I think my passion for the ‘project’ was evident :-)
Which brings me to today, when our Fashion for Climate campaign is well on the way and a petition calling on the UK government to ban the most polluting fibres in fashion by 2025 is now live. Yay!
I genuinely believe that a ban like this is achievable and that it will have a significant, tangible, positive impact on the planet. So please consider signing the petition – and please share it with your friends, family and colleagues. You really can make a difference here.
PS: if you are another brand, a blogger or just someone with a great idea/passion who wants to get involved with the petition, please feel free to get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org