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Are fashion brands choosing trends over the environment?

23rd - 30th September 2022

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42826

Total votes

12992

5-11 voters

29834

11-18 voters

Off the raconteur

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.

Is green the new black?

A child in a thinking posture.

Primary school

Berkshire

"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."

A child in a thinking posture.

Secondary school

Northampton

"Too many brands focus on making lots of clothes and then “greenwash” to appeal to their target audience without actually helping the environment."

A teenager with arms folded.

College

West Yorkshire

"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."

Checkout our footfall

Doughnut showing the data breakdown for our age 5-7 topic. 77.2% voted 'Yes' to the question "Would you buy second hand clothes to help the environment?"

Age 5-7

  • Age 5-7 voters decided whether they would be willing to buy second hand clothes to help the environment this week.
  • Most agreed that 'Yes' they would and comments from our youngest voters showed a passion to help the environment.
Doughnut showing the data breakdown for our age 7-11 question, "Can the fashion industry slow down its impact on the environment?". 68.2% voted 'Yes'.

Age 7-11

  • Age 7-11 voters considered whether the fashion industry is capable of slowing down its environmental implications.
  • Most voted 'Yes' and the comments showed that when voting, the majority of pupils were focusing on brands who are actively trying to reduce their impact on the environment.
Two doughnut charts showing the results for the question, "Are fashion brands choosing trends over the environment?". 80% of Secondary students voted 'Yes' and 87% of College students voted 'Yes'.

Age 11-18

  • Our age 11-18 students considered whether the fashion industry chooses trends over the environment.
  • The 'Yes' vote came in incredibly high at 80% for Secondary and 87% for College.

You spoke...they listened...

"It's cool to see that so many of you are already very informed about the problem! One way that you can make your voice heard is by reaching out to a fashion company that you think can be doing better and letting them know you expect more from them. Together we can make positive changes to better our environment and our world."

Aja Barber

You spoke...they listened...

"I’m massively encouraged by the high level of awareness young people have about making fashion more sustainable. When adults say young people don’t care about how they shop that’s simply not true. And there are so many great ideas here for brands and suppliers to implement and do better. I particularly like the call for schools to offer pre-loved school uniforms. Young people aren’t only aware of the issues, they’re also prepared to take action on so many levels. And that’s what’s most positive about this vote."

John McLaverty

Oxfam

Last season's trends

Doughnut chart showing the results from our previous vote topic which took place in April 2022. The question was, "Is apathy the biggest threat to the environment?". 61.5% of Secondary students voted 'No' and 55.8% of College students voted 'No'.

  • This week, our Secondary and College voters considered whether fashion brands are prioritising the environment over generating new trends to drive profit and 87% voted ‘Yes’.
  • In a similar vein, last April they voted on whether a lack of concern/prioritisation was the biggest threat to the environment. Surprisingly, over half of Secondary and College students voted ‘No’.
  • However, the comments for this VoteTopic show that many were voting on the general public’s apathy and not that of governments and big corporations.
Doughnut chart showing the results from our previous vote topic which took place in April 2022. The question was, "Is apathy the biggest threat to the environment?". 61.5% of Secondary students voted 'No' and 55.8% of College students voted 'No'.

  • They argued the biggest threat was “big corporations who don’t want to change their policies because it would reduce their profits or efficiency” - Secondary school voter comment.
  • Therefore, despite the vote total’s appearing at odds with each other, the comments from voters show that many young people believe powerful companies, such as those in the fashion industry are a significant threat to the environment.