The industry really got the Eco Fashion message across in Fashion Week this year, so there’s lots to celebrate and show off for anyone who wants to feel good about what they wear and there’s some great ways to use your buying power for good.
I started this blog a while ago, just after I read about H&M launching a new range of clothing using up-cycled denim. What’s not to like about that I thought! It was such a good idea it inspired me to start writing straight away…. Cotton harvesting, dying fabric, we know it takes a heavy toll on mother nature. So any step which makes a difference is good….. But then I got so busy actually running programmes to help reduce waste and cut down our use of natural resources in the workplace (and huge thanks to the team at WasteSolve for your great work at Tulip!) that I got too busy to finish my blog post…
And now I’ve looked up and started writing again just as WRAP has announced its fantastic new SCAP scheme - Sustainable Clothing Action Plan – a pledge to achieve a 15% reduction in carbon, water and in waste to landfill, plus a 3.5% reduction in waste arising, per tonne of clothing by 2020. So far 12 retailers and 15 charities have signed up to it.
What it needs now is for us (and by “us” I mean any one who likes clothes shopping) to support these retailers by using our spending power to show that we care, to reward their efforts. I was reading some comments on Vogue about Vanessa Paradis as the new face of H&M’s Conscious collection, and a couple of remarks really sprang out at me:
“everyone knows there is huge money in “rags”. H&M are not doing this out the goodness of their hearts that’s for sure.”
“Of course it’s for money but what do you prefer, clothes with toxic materials made in China or something more natural! At least they try, others don’t even change their habits to continue making benefits”…
Firstly there is a huge misconception about how much money is made from “rags”. It’s a market run on incredibly tight margins and many businesses and charities have failed to make it work for them. It’s not a case of rags to riches at all!
And secondly how important it is to have consumer champions – its great to see a lively debate going on between the Vogue readers, and thank goodness, a sensible voice speaking out, and yes of course it’s better to support small steps than to make no contribution at all! There’s alot more we (and by “we” I mean shoppers as well as businesses) can do to reduce our environmental impact, but even small steps are worth taking.