Photo: Courtesy of Mango
We hear a lot about "fast-Fashion." This catch-all may be a short, memorable, and useful term to describe the industry’s relationship with clothes, but what does it actually mean?
Midby describes this ongoing dialogue with factories in developing countries as one of the key ways to make a truly lasting impact. She also highlights that it’s no longer optional: “The greatest change-makers are consumers who, with their growing awareness, are demanding an added value of sustainability in the products and services that they buy," she says. "As a brand, to drive change in our industry, we must work together with other brands, institutions, and governments. Collaboration is key.”
“Sustainability is not negotiable. If every person on the planet shared the consumption habits of the average European in 2017, we would need three Earths to live on,” explains Danielle Vega, Selfridges’ director of sustainability. “We are committed to playing our part in changing those habits and presenting alternatives, which is why our Buying Better, Inspiring Change initiative is there to draw a line in the sand: by 2020, we will ensure that 50% of our brands are better for people and for our planet under the terms of the United Nations' global goals for sustainable development.” Vega also outlines the company’s intention to put pressure on its partners as well as its plans to label items more clearly — a small step towards enabling consumers to make their own informed choices.
But, we need to widen the discussion and highlight the ways in which these brands are actively making changes; whether due to consumer pressure or a genuine desire, these plans are being pushed through, and they’re enabling a more complex conversation. And that's a step in the right direction.