Bonjour guys ! OK, I know it’s Summer break and that most of us want to disconnect. But talking about a serious subject never hurt anyone right ? Plus, it can give you arguments to start ( and win ) a debate during one of those famous summer evenings. You know, this kind of diner with family / friends when everyone is talking at the same time, there are a lot of food and wine, and after a certain hour some mouths unlock ? 😉
I’ve written many articles about fashion, beauty… But always in a positive way. Not that I have a negative opinion about those fields, quite the contrary. It’s specifically because I care that I’ve decided to write this. I am concern about the future of the fashion industry, and about the future in general. So it’s in order to start a debate, to share and maybe to find a way to fix the situation that I’m posting this.
Don’t freak out, it’s not going to be an essay about the sustainability of fashion, I just wanted to rise the subject, to make you aware of the situation, and to see what can be done to ensure us a better future.
According to Eileen Fisher, a fashion designer, “The clothing industry is the second largest polluter in the world … second only to oil”. When I read that I was so shocked ! Can you imagine ? The oil industry is the only one which pollutes more than the clothing industry ? It’s insane… I didn’t know that making clothes could be so devastating for the environment.
But looking closer, considering what it takes to product clothes ( fabrics, energy, factories…) the transportation of them ( freighters, trucks…) without mentioning the waste ( tons of clothes are thrown away, some of them were not even worn ), it’s not that surprising.
Here’s the link towards the Eileen Fisher’s website. Her brand is a very good exemple of what can be done by using old clothes to make new ones, by using recycled fabrics, and by producing everything in an « eco-friendly » way :
Transparency is very important. There are too many companies with dubious practices. We don’t know in which conditions clothes are made, where the materials are from, nor how the workforce is treated. We wear things that come from god knows where, made by god knows who, cost us 50 box when it actually takes 5 to produce it (thanks to the offshoring).
As a vegetarian, I’m really concerned about how animals are treated, and the fashion industry has a huge leap to take in the field. Indeed, ‘There are over a billion animals killed a year for food, half of which don’t even get eaten. And there’s over 50 million animals killed just for fashion’. In France there is this Tv show called « 50 millions d’amis », which is about animals, our dearest friends. Well, after 50 millions of friends, there I introduce you the new show : « 50 millions of dead ». Bad words game, I know haha
Anyway, one of the first fashion designer who took the animals well being in consideration was Stella McCartney. Since almost 20 years, her clothes are made without using leather nor fur. She calls her company « A vegetarian Company ». The coats you see during her shows are made with fake leather and faux fur. The alternative fabrics used look like real fur and leather, the illusion is perfect ! That’s being said, it took Stella and her team years of R&D in order to find the most appropriate fabrics. It has a cost, and a repercussion on the price of the clothes. But I rather paying more because I know more, than paying less knowing that murdered animals are on myself, and that producing those clothes polluted our planet.
If you want to learn more about the Stella McCartney policy, just click here : http://www.stellamccartney.com/experience/fr/sustainability/responsability/
All the fashion companies should follow her lead. Some of them are on the right way, Armani for exemple, decided a few months ago to use real fur. But Fendi is reputed for its savoir-faire in fur coats, so unfortunately the brand is not ready to stop killing animals to make its famous coats…
Non Governmental Organizations such as PETA ( People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) are actively involved in order to make the fashion industry animal friendly : http://www.peta.org. They are the ones whom revealed that Hermés was not clear at all about the making of its bags, especially the Birkin ones. The case went so far that Jane Birkin who inspired the model, refused to have her name associate with it until Hermés changes its fabrication politics.
I want to talk about one last exemple of involved brand which is G-Star Raw. In collaboration with the singer Pharell Williams, the brand launched Raw for the oceans. The entire collection is made from plastic found in the oceans. Nonetheless it takes waste out of the planet, but also it recycles the plastic. And they make pretty nice clothes with it, which is a good point. Plus, some items don’t cost that much, and what’s better than eco / animal friendly, affordable and nice clothes ? http://rawfortheoceans.g-star.com
I’m gonna stop here, otherwise it will turn into an essay, and I told that it won’t be one haha. I sincerely hope that you found it interesting and that it opened your eyes ont the current situation. This article won’t change anything, but if it could at least makes you see the truth about what’s going on in the fashion industry, its cost and its consequences, what it takes to dress us, then I would be more than happy. I’m really interested in knowing your opinion about the subject, so don’t hesitate to leave a comment 🙂 I will talk to you very soon, and the next article will be more fun 😉 XOXO.