In the midst of Black Friday's relentless consumerism, it was surprising to read interesting good news about brands turning plastic pollution into fashion. New fabrics made from recycled plastic are now being used by brands with both conscience and vision.
This is really promising and hopefully others will also embrace sustainability. Nonetheless, the most appropriate course of action to generate a far-reaching impact on the environment is to reduce production, not only of plastic but of fashion itself.
Despite the negative past history of H&M, it recently launched an applaudable initiative: customers are encouraged to drop off unwanted clothing from any brand on garment-collecting boxes, in all stores around the world, and their garments will be given a new life.
As consumers we can affect production levels by not responding to clever marketing strategies inducing consumption such as today's Black Friday. Christopher Raeburn, Timberland's Creative Director, definitely led the way to a values focused approach on his Instagram account:
"We've disabled the shop section of our website and closed our pop-up store for Black Friday. We simply cannot continue to consume the way we do. We need to start making considered choices; buying less but better. We're therefore encouraging you to think twice before you make a purchase today. Even small steps will help and it's important we all work together. 🖤♻️"⠀
The communication between brands and consumers needs to go far beyond data analysis, we must ask much more before spending our money, not only about textiles and suppliers but also corporate social responsibility, think of Kering Group's innovative approach or Diane von Furstenberg's philanthropy.
Celebrities and influencers could also be crucial to change the way fashion operates by refusing to promote brands without a clear sustainability strategy and strong ethical values.
For most of us, I highly recommend Marieke Eyskoot's new book ‘This is a Good Guide’, that is packed with practical tips on living a more sustainable life.