Sustainability expert Lou Stokes has called for a mindset shift towards fast fashion following the Boohoo misconduct.
Lou Stokes (@byloustokes), a sustainable fashion expert who has her own podcast surrounding the topic, has spoken to Fashion North about the importance of having the correct attitude towards fast fashion and more environmentally friendly shopping habits.
She said: “Fast fashion is all about overproduction, overconsumption and too much, and sustainable fashion is more about less is more and more conscious consumerism about what you’re purchasing, whether you’re going to wear it and how many times you’re going to wear it.
“There really needs to be a mindset shift on many levels, including from brands and from consumers. Even within brands the marketing department often has no idea about sustainability for example and it’s disconnected from the sustainability department, so brands need to have this education internally.”
Sustainable fashion uses materials that are more environmentally friendly and can include items from charity or other second-hand stores.
Lou added: “Fast fashion is made to be thrown out as it doesn’t have a high quality, whereas sustainable brands tend to make things out of higher quality materials so they last long and they’re thinking about the end of their life cycle.”
According to an undercover BBC Panorama investigation, clothes giant Boohoo is alleged to have broken promises to maintain an ethical code within the fast fashion industry.
The Boohoo’s Broken Promises episode claims the company pressurised suppliers to drive prices down. It comes after the company pledged to overhaul its practices in 2020.
In a statement, Boohoo said: “Like all businesses, we have experienced significant cost inflation over the last year, which we have absorbed in order to maintain affordable prices for customers.
“Boohoo has not shied away from dealing with the problems of the past and we have invested significant time, effort, and resource into driving positive change across every aspect of our business and supply chain.
“The action we’ve taken has already delivered significant change and we will continue to deliver on the commitments we’ve made.”
Campaigners claim brands like Boohoo, Shein, and ASOS have been using unsustainable methods for years that produce more waste and toxic products that are harmful to the environment in comparison to more sustainable clothing, such as up-cycled or secondhand pieces.
Greenpeace found that clothing companies create more than one million garments per day and that the fashion industry is producing over 100 billion items per year.
Events such as Black Friday, which will take place on November 24, contribute to this overconsumption as people focus on the cheap deals that fast fashion brands offer.
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