#SlowSummerFashion by Lucy Siers
With the passing of the summer solstice yesterday, many holidaymakers will be considering a summer expansion of their current wardrobe. However, today Mary Creagh MP made an announcement on ‘fast fashion’ that may make you rethink new purchasers for summer.
What is ‘fast fashion’?
‘Fast fashion’ is when clothes are worn a few times before being dumped and replaced with the latest trends. This process is sustained with the cost clothing being so low and a constant regeneration of lines by brands, encouraging the consumer to continually keep buying and discarding.
This continual and fast moving cycle has huge ramifications on both the environment and workers within the chain. Discarded clothes end up in landfills. The production of these garments often releases toxic chemicals and harmful plastic fibres when being washed. The pressure on brands to quickly produce large quantities of clothes filters down the chain, causing massive human rights abuses against the most vulnerable at the production level. This cumulated in the Rana Plaza disaster of 2013 – the collapse of a garment production factory. This devastating incident caused the world to wake up and notice the unprotected safety of garment workers.
Awareness of this devastating ‘fast fashion’ phenomenon has risen with movements such as Fashion Revolution, whose global campaign #whomademyclothes in only 5 years has (LET"S ADD A STAT); but there is still a very long way to go to before a sustainable fashion industry is reached.
Mary Creagh MP comments
Mary Creagh is the chairwoman of the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee, which is looking at how to make the industry more sustainable by investigating the social and environmental impacts of ‘fast fashion’.
Creagh commented today that:
“Fashion shouldn’t cost the earth. But the way we design, make and discard clothes has a huge environmental impact. Producing clothes requires toxic chemicals and produces climate-changing emissions. Every time we put on a wash, thousands of plastic fibres wash down the drain and into the oceans. We don’t know where or how to recycle end of life clothing.
“Our inquiry will look at how the fashion industry can remodel itself to be both thriving and sustainable.”
The committee is inviting comments on issues relating to improving the sustainability of the industry. Visit the Commons Select Committee page here to find out which points they are interested in, by 3 September 2018.
The All Party Parliamentary Group for Textiles and Fashion, which Fashion Roundtable are the secretariat for, will be engaging with this tinely process.
Tamara Cincik, CEO and Founder of Fashipn Roundtable said: "Just as we are looking at the impact of single use plastics across our food supply chain and pollution in our seas, it is fantastic that Mary Creagh MP has brought the fashion industry into the equation with the Commons committee and their requests for evidence. We at Fashion Roundtable support this work: we began from the need to intersect fashion and politics and this is an important step in doing so."
What can we do in the mean time? The challenge of #SlowSummerFashion has been posed. This is a commitment to buying no new clothes for 3 months.
Fashion Revolution is supporting the movement. They suggest developing your wardrobe by swapping, up cycling and buying second-hand instead.