Rebecca, aka @theniftythrifter_, runs an inspiring Instagram account where she not only serves up drool-worthy pre-loved looks, but also educates her followers about all things slow fashion with informative and well researched captions. What’s not to love? Here she tells fast fashion retailers what we’re all thinking…
Dear Fast Fashion Retailer,
It’s time for clothing brands like yours to face facts.
You are destroying the planet.
You could be doing considerably more to slow down the rapid rate of textile production and improve your brand’s carbon footprint.
In the UK, we consume more items of clothing per person than any other country. The average consumer buys 26.7kg of fashion items per year. The textile industry uses 98 million tonnes of oil worldwide and fashion is one of the most resource intensive industries. It is estimated that the fashion industry that you play a major part of, emits more greenhouse gasses than all international flights. £140 million, around 350,000 tonnes, worth of used but wearable clothing makes its way to land fill every year. This is simply an abomination.
This rapid pace of production is unsustainable. Brands like yourselves make money from items of clothing that are worn less than a handful of times. We now, on average, buy 60% more clothing items and only keep them for half as long than we did 15 years ago. Brands like yours, emphasise the disposability of clothes. Seasonal clothing, that is worn once and then thrown away. This wasteful, consumerist behaviour is normalised and even idealised, rather than highlighting the importance of cherishing our clothes and making them last.
This urgency for change is made more prominent by the current environmental crisis in which our very actions at this time could prove vital in improving the outlook for future generations. As our knowledge of the detrimental effect of fashion is becoming mainstream, more and more consumers are choosing to purchase from brands that care.
We ask that we are not ‘green-washed’ into buying a certain ‘collection’ of clothing from a retailer that may brand itself to be ‘conscious’ and ‘sustainable’. We cannot appreciate a brand until these ‘conscious’ values are transferred to all sectors of production, and the brand has made responsible and impactful steps toward saving our dying planet.
I demand retailers make facts about the production processes behind their clothes more readily available. Consumers should be able to access this information easily. I ask retailers to be clear about their garment workers are being paid a living wage and are working in better than satisfactory conditions. We want to know who makes our clothes? Where are they made? Why isn’t there more transparency surrounding the clothes you make.
Ultimately, please strive to assess the part you pay in this current environmental crisis and take responsibility for the destructive impact of fashion. It’s time for brands like yours to begin paving the way to a more transparent and honest industry.
Here’s to putting our planet above profits,
The Nifty Thrifter
(PLUS the entire thrifting Instagram community)
*all above facts obtained from https://www.celticandco.com/celtic/fast-fashion/
If you have an article you’d like to write about anything slow-fashion related, do get in touch, we’d love to hear from you.
Big Sister Swap is a sustainable fashion platform, allowing users to swap their unwanted clothes for pre-loved hand-picked clothes in return