Unwanted Fashion

Long gone are the days of a couple of collections per year, today new lines are added periodically and our relentless consumerism, fuelled by intrusive social media marketing campaigns, drives production to unsustainable levels.

In a time when more and more people are becoming aware of the devastating consequences on the environment and the lives of those subjected to daily exploitation and appalling working conditions in third world countries, change is simply imperative.

There were reports of H&M incinerating unwanted fashion but when news broke out about Burberry doing the same last summer, the dirty secrets were out in the open and no one could remain oblivious to it.

So it was really exciting to see the report by MPs in the UK urging the government to take action to clean up the fashion industry. Unfortunately ministers rejected it but it's encouraging to see France leading the way.

Under a new measure, that will be part of a bill set to be debated by the government in July, destroying unsold goods could result in financial penalties or even prison time.

By 2023, manufacturers and retailers will have to donate, reuse or recycle the goods. In Sweden, there is a shopping mall - ReTuna - managed by Anna Bergström, entirely dedicated to secondhand stores ranging from furniture to children’s toys, flowers and clothes.

Could this initiative go beyond borders? Could all shopping malls include at least a small percentage of secondhand stores?

Fashion involves many different intervening elements but for sustainability to really become effective, all have to take responsibility for their role to bring change forward, from governments to brands and their entire supply chain, and certainly consumers.

#fashionsustainability #circulareconomy #unwantedfashion #unsoldfashion