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If you have any teenagers in your life, or have been on social media you will have seen or heard about ‘hauls’ of clothes on a very frequent basis. These deliveries of clothes from fashion labels that operate on a low cost, high turnover model are what is known as fast fashion.
In our vote, the culture of fast fashion was under the microscope. Particularly the impact of the constant churn of clothes has on the environment.
The waste of clothes that go from packaging to bin has been growing.The clothes that have been manufactured but not sold is such a large issue that there is a dump in Chile that now can be seen from space.
As fashion brands are faced with mounting pressure from consumers and activists to improve the sustainability of their products, our students explored the environmental impact of fast-fashion and the effectiveness of different sustainability ventures within the industry. These included Patagonia's founder pledging to use profits to fight climate change and Boohoo’s appointment of a celebrity sustainability ambassador.
With this information, our students considered whether fashion brands are wholly committed and doing enough to improve the sustainability of their clothing.
"Companies can control the amount of clothes they manufacture and offer more natural materials. Less clothes will end up in landfill. More schools could also offer second hand uniform options as our school does."
"Too many brands focus on making lots of clothes and then “greenwash” to appeal to their target audience without actually helping the environment."
"If brands changed their habits, we would change ours. You cannot blame the consumer for buying 'cheap clothes' when those clothes are on most high streets. Not everyone can afford to spend lots of money on clothes that do not harm the environment, but even big high end brands still impact the environment so the consumer simply can't avoid it unless the brands make the change."