Learn about the impact to people and planet of the fashion industry and what you can do to make a real difference with our expertly curated content and resources.
Fashion is the world’s third biggest manufacturing industry and it is also one of the most polluting and unethical in its treatment of low-cost labour. It’s linear model uses large amounts of non-renewable resources to produce clothes, often worn only for a short time before being discarded. WRAP, the UK sustainability thinktank, estimate £140 million worth of clothing go to landfill every year. This linear model has been supercharged through the development of ‘fast fashion’ where consumer appetite is stimulated via swift design and trend creation, huge marketing budgets and low pricing. Supply chains (people and planet) are put under extreme pressure and ethical practices are often discarded in favour of cutting corners and costs.
Awareness of the impact of these practices has grown amongst governments, shoppers and within the sector. Sustainable clothing companies able now able to make profits; more circular economies focused on the reuse and recycling of clothing have begun and organic cotton and more sustainable fibres have been developed. Mainstream fashion companies are beginning to look at more responsible sourcing but these efforts do not yet reflect the scale of the climate emergency. A good introduction into the real costs to our planet and people is documented in the ground breaking movie Truecost.