Fashion – after oil – is the second most polluting industry on earth. This is mostly due to the so-called ‘fast fashion’ of the last 10 years: A production and retail system with 10 trend collections per year featuring dresses for 10 euros and t-shirts for even less. 60% of this clothing is thrown away. Where ‘fast fashion’ companies earn on quantity, luxury brands realize huge margins. Both very often produce in sub-contracted factories where human rights are just two words. In both business models, the true human and environmental cost of fashion is not accounted for.
Time for De Haagse Hogeschool, its team MVO (sustainability and social responsibility) and The Lighthouse, to call their lecturers and students for a fashion revolution. On 10 October, stakeholders from fashion supply chain transparancy, human rights, circular technology and fashion sharing business models got together with staff and students to develop calls to action. As table host with the subject ‘consumerism’, I explored motivations and actions with students and professionals from the field. Consumer actions we came up with include being aware of the addictive character of trend shopping (feeling good when buying, feeling bad again very quickly), exchanging fashion for your own style, asking your online retailer to be transparent about production sites, buying or sharing vintage clothes , buying locally produced fabrics and clothes at local designers and being prepared to wait for a garment to be made. In short: Slowing down fashion for every purse and with everyone finding her/his own pace. To re-evaluate fashion as clothing also check out the film I brought back from our stream ‘Fashion Futures’ at the 8th Art of Management conference this summer (it’s only 7 minutes):
Connected by Clothes https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFKvD1pcrJU&feature=youtu.be