December 3, 2021News
Sustainability is one of the major buzzwords in the fashion industry right now. With COP26 having just ended, all eyes are on the fashion industry to do more to cutdown its carbon footprint. While we all know about how the fashion industry is working to reduce its use of plastics, there’s still more that can be done.
The sustainability debate within the fashion world has continued to evolve in the face of the climate crisis. The ‘de-growth’ movement is one of the most radical suggestions yet for stopping the damage that the fashion industry is causing to the planet. We’re all aware of the role that fast fashion plays with the growing issue of climate change, but is de-growth the answer?
We’ve all taken commitments to lower our own fashion carbon footprint – whether it’s buying less or choosing higher quality garments – but is de-growth the answer that the fashion industry has been waiting on?
Degrowth.info describes de-growth as “an idea that critiques the global capitalist system which pursues growth at all cost, causing human exploration and environmental destruction”.
Let’s break that down.
There’s no denying that as society evolves, every generation has used their economic and personal wealth to further expand and grow every industry. We’ve come to perceive the idea of having more as being ‘better off’. It may have been the years of seeing celebrity closets and ‘how the other half live’, but overconsumption is one of the biggest issues in the fashion industry.
De-growth, in the simplest terms, is the opposite of the ‘I want it now’ mentality that fuels fast fashion.
Fashion has a negative impact both on individuals and the plane itself. With the demands for fast fashion rising every day, brands are searching for ways to lower their production costs and maximise their profits as much as possible. This might sound like a clever way of doing business – but it’s dangerous for our planet.
The majority of the pollution produced by the fashion industry comes from textile manufacturing, fuelled by the overproduction of garments that will inevitably end up in landfill or incinerated. Fashion brands are overproducing at such a volume that they are destroying millions of dollars’ worth of unsold clothing and accessories every year – while still seeing year on year improvements on their profit margins.
Overproduction is a necessary evil in the fashion industry. Brands have no idea what products are going to become best-sellers or a hit with their customers. With bulk orders being cheaper, most brands choose to produce their clothing in a larger volume to take advantage of a better scale of economics.
It’s the view of the de-growth movement that less production and cutting overconsumption is the solution to the fashion industry’s climate problem.
The simple answer is for fashion brands to stop producing so much. In fact, it’s an ethos that is already being adopted within the fashion industry. The British Fashion Council has said that one of their long-term objectives is to reduce the volume of new physical clothing by promoting smaller and slower brands.
But the fashion industry is a two-way street. Consumers are just as bad as the fashion brands that are overproducing. Overproduction feeds off overconsumption. We’re shopping at a higher volume than ever before but wearing our clothes less. How ofen do you look in your closet and think ‘I don’t have anything to wear?’ when there are racks of clothing in front of you?
If consumers change their behaviour, brands will quickly follow.
As a consumer, you have an active role to play in supporting the de-growth movement. One of the easiest ways to support the de-growth revolution is to jump on the thrifting bandwagon. The next time you need to buy something, why not try buying it second hand first? Not only will you be saving money, you’ll also be helping to protect the planet.
It’s also time to look at what clothes you already have in your closet. Set a goal to wear everything in your closet at least 30 times – and not the average of 3 or 4. Give your clothes the TLC they deserve and repair them instead of throwing them out.
Do you think that de-growth is the answer to the fashion industry’s climate problems? Let us know in the comments below!
In 2021, let’s make the commitment to wave goodbye to fast fashion. Over the last few years, we’ve all been making changes to our daily lives to help protect the planet and the world around us. One industry that is finally waking up to the role it’s playing with regards to climate change is the fashion industry. It’s an industry built on momentary trends and the need to consume more products at an ever-growing rate. It’s not just the rate of our consumerism that is the issue, it’s how we make our clothing. Whether it’s the droughts caused by cotton harvesting or the chemicals dumped into water systems in developing countries, the danger of fast fashion is everywhere you look.
When we’re in need of inspiration, we always turn to our favourite influencers. While you might think of influencers as being people trying to sell you a product, they can also be people who advocate for a type of lifestyle. Meet sustainability influencers.
We’re all becoming more aware of the damage that the fast industry is going to our environment. Slowly but surely both the industry and consumers are taking small steps to change their behaviours and undertake more sustainable practices. Deciding to become more environmentally friendly doesn’t mean you have to suddenly stop shopping all together. We have five easy tips you can incorporate into your lifestyle so that you can keep enjoying fashion without feeling guilty about your environmental footprint.
We’ve all bought a last-minute gift that we know the person isn’t going to use for long. Whether it’s grabbing a novelty gift or something that will go out of style within a season, we’ve all been guilty of choosing a less than sustainable gift. When you think of how often you’re buying gifts – between Christmas, birthdays, graduations, engagements, baby showers. These are just a few examples of the events where you’re buying someone else a gift. Often, we leave our gift buying to the last-minute and end up regretting it.