Since the announcement of a climate crisis, the fashion world has seen a surge in the number of ‘sustainable’ collections. Clothing made out of recycled materials, or ‘consciously’ produced. Almost every online clothing outlet has released one lately.
While it seems to be a step in the right direction, I can’t help but feel it’s misguided. Yes, we should be applauding brands for improving. But I can’t help but feel like the intentions behind the collections aren’t 100% genuine.
Think H&M Conscious Collection. The Monki Cares Edit. ASOS Responsible Edit. Boohoo For the Future. Big name fast fashion brands trying to pander to the eco-conscious.
So… What is my problem?
Instead of producing an entirely separate collection, why are these brands not simply working on becoming wholly sustainable? Why must there be an entirely separate collection of brand new clothing? For me, it raises some alarm bells.
It just screams “marketing tactic”. An attempt at making people feel like they’re doing their bit “for the planet”. When all they’re really doing is encouraging people to buy into fast fashion.
Say the collections are actually sustainable. Why is there no information about their supply chain?
Sustainable and ethical clothing go hand in hand. It’s assumed that when there’s one, there is another. Not to mention an ethical supply chain is sustainable practice.
Typically, sustainable clothing is more expensive. Unless, of course, you get it second-hand. There’s a few key reasons for this; fair wages for workers and sustainable materials being the main two.
If these collections were truly sustainable, it would be reflected in the price. But it’s not. In fact, the entire of Boohoo’s ‘For the Future’ collection went on sale almost instantly after being released. It doesn’t seem quite right to me.
This has to be the funniest point of all. When you really think about it, these ‘eco collections’ give negative connotations to the main collections.
What does the main collection at H&M become? The ‘Unconscious Collection’. ASOS becomes the ‘Irresponsible Edit’. The ‘Monki Doesn’t Care Edit’. Boohoo ‘For the Past’.
It’s all very ironic, and something I feel that should probably have been though about prior to the launch of these collections.
This ties in closely with a lot of the points I’ve already made. But the exact ethics behind these collections are nothing short of shady. It’s painfully obvious that these brands are simply trying to cash in on the sustainability train.
If that weren’t the case, then why’re they not following through with the previous points covered in this post? Why is there still a secrecy of supply chain, increasingly low prices, and a wishy washy ‘recycled materials’ description chucked in?
It really does just seem like fast fashion brands are paying lip service to the eco-conscious. A way of ‘covering their arses’ as fast fashion brands are increasingly criticised.
Is it really that deep? Should I just be accepting that brands are truly trying to change and give them a break?
In all honesty, I don’t think it’s fair to go easy on brands that are deliberately trying to mislead people. It’s a very blatant attempt at greenwashing. Well, I say attempt. It, unfortunately, seems to be working.
Read more; Greenwashing; What it is & 6 Ways to Spot it
Fast fashion brands will be quick to bring out a so-called sustainable collection, but stay quiet when asked if they’ll reduce the number of brand new garments they release per year. Because the simple answer is no. If they were truly committed to an eco-conscious cause then production reduction would be their main priority.
The average garment is only worn 7 times before ending up in landfill. It’s been proven that recycling isn’t the answer. So where does that leave us? Producing more and more new fashion, all at the cost of the planet.
I love it when you guys get involved in a discussion with me – especially when it’s on the matter of sustainability. Where do you stand on sustainable collections? Are you for, against, or somewhere in the middle? Let me know in the comments below!
I'm Elen Mai, the brains behind Welsh Wanderer and 20-something human biology student from (you guessed it) Wales! Welsh Wanderer is designed with the eco-conscious adventurer in mind. So stick around for tips & tricks on living sustainably.