Study highlights industry failures and calls for shift in consumer attitudesThe fashion industry needs to fundamentally change in order to mitigate the environmental impact of fast fashion, experts have said.Clothes rental, better recycling processes, pollution control technology and the innovative use of offcuts are among measures that could help, they said. Continue reading...
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The fashion industry makes huge profits from the exploitation of black and brown women. Now is...The fashion industry makes huge profits from the exploitation of black and brown women. Now is the time to call it outOf all the shocks that the past few weeks and months have brought to all our lives, one of the biggest for me as a black woman working in the fashion industry is that finally people are realising that racism is more than calling someone a derogatory name.The killing of George Floyd while in police custody and the global outrage and protest that followed is bringing a dawning collective understanding that white supremacy relies on the exploitation of black and brown people. Continue reading...
As trainer consumption booms, so does the number of unwanted shoes. Can anything be done with...As trainer consumption booms, so does the number of unwanted shoes. Can anything be done with them?Sneaker Con is an aircraft-hangar-sized convention that smells worse and worse as the day goes on. I am at the London edition of the event, but it’s just been in Las Vegas, and is soon due to be in Berlin, then New York. Thousands of sneakerheads have paid the £25 entry fee and are browsing merchandise stalls piled high with sneakers. The price tags on these shoes are not for the faint-hearted: £550, £600, £700.The attendees are approximately 95% male. Of the women here, many are the mothers of young boys. One of the few women not chaperoning a child is Helen. She lives in a rented three-bedroom house on the outskirts of London with her husband, Luke, and his collection of trainers. The shoes have filled up the loft and the spare room. When they began to invade her bedroom, Helen told Luke she needed some space. The couple booked a table at Sneaker Con, where their stall is piled with trainers which cumulatively cost tens of thousands of pounds. This expense has become a source of tension. “That’s why he had to stop,” Helen tells me. “Some are quick-strike releases: we’d be on a night out and have to pull over on the motorway to follow a Twitter link to get a pair of trainers.” Continue reading...
Victoria's Secret dumped hundreds of bras outside a recently closed store, and it reveals a dark truth about the fashion industry
A local news site reported this week that a Colorado woman had come across a dumpster...A local news site reported this week that a Colorado woman had come across a dumpster full of hundreds of Victoria's Secret bras thrown out by a closing store nearby. Victoria's Secret told Business Insider that these items were sample products used in its fitting rooms at the store and were thrown out after it closed. Throwing or incinerating inventory that can't be sold but could be donated is a big issue in the retail sector and stores often resort to extremes measures such as these to protect their brand image. Nike, H&M, Burberry, and Eddie Bauer are among the major brands to have been called out for this in the past and were slammed for resorting to such un-environmentally friendly practices especially given that fashion is one of the most polluting industries. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Melanie Gelinas was taking the trash out one night this week near her apartment in Centennial, Colorado when she spotted a few bras discarded on the ground near the dumpster. When she walked closer toward it, she noticed that there were piles of Victoria's Secret bras that had been thrown away. "It had to be hundreds," Gelinas, the owner of a South Philly Cheese Steaks restaurant in nearby Cherry Hills Village, told local news site 9News this week. "These are all going to a landfill. They could be going to a homeless shelter or a battered women's shelter," she added. "I just felt like it was such a waste of money and, you know, wouldn't a mom like to get a brand new bra from Victoria's Secret who's living in a shelter?" A spokesperson for Victoria's Secret confirmed that these discarded items had come from a Victoria's Secret store that had recently closed nearby. "We are sorry for how this may appear," the spokesperson said in a statement emailed to Business Insider. "Because this store was closing, we damaged out sample products including bras from our fitting rooms. All remaining inventory was reallocated to other stores." Fashion's dirty secret This incident is an example of a concerning tactic adopted by retailers where some often choose to throw away clothing that would be considered to be unsellable but not unusable rather than donate it. Several other major brands have been called out for doing similar things in the past. In 2017, a New Yorker spotted trash bags full of Nike sneakers discarded outside its store in Soho and found that the sneakers had been slashed from front to back to render them unwearable. Nike didn't explain why the shoes were slashed but said that they were not suitable for resale or donation so were discarded. Outdoor wear store Eddie Bauer was slammed on social media in 2017 after a shopper shared photographs of piles of its $200 to $400 coats and blankets cut up and thrown in the trash outside one of its stores in New York. At the time, the company confirmed the incident but said it was not company policy. Well-known brands often resort to these extremes to prevent their products from ending up in thrift stores or the off-price channel to protect their brand image. In some cases, stores have also resorted to burning excess inventory just to keep it out of these channels. H&M previously sent unwanted inventory to a power plant in Sweden, where the clothing was burned instead of coal to create energy. It said at the time that the burned items did not include usable clothing — only clothing that was unsafe for consumers. Luxury brands are some of the worst offenders here. In July 2018, British designer brand Burberry revealed in an earnings report that it had destroyed $37 million worth of unsold clothes and accessories in order to protect its brand. The news sparked an outcry on social media and Burberry issued a statement shortly after confirming that it would stop using this process. Not only could these garments be donated and used again but the environmental cost of these items ending up in a landfill or being incinerated is also significant. 26 billion pounds of textiles end up in a landfill each year It takes 2,700 liters of water to produce a T-shirt alone, helping to make the garment industry the second-most polluted after oil, according to The World Economic Forum. And the US Environmental Protection Agency estimates that 26 billion pounds of textiles end up in a landfill each year; some of these items are made of fabrics that also never decompose. Burning clothes isn't any better. This process releases carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, which contributes to global warming. Fast Company recently reported that burning clothes releases more carbon dioxide per megawatt-hour than coal and natural gas, for example. In February 2019, a UK parliament environmental committee produced a report on clothing consumption and sustainability in the fashion industry, which was recently cited by the BBC. According to the BBC, the report addressed the issue of incinerating clothing and said that this practice was causing harm to human health by "generating further emissions and air pollutants." Ultimately, the committee advised the environment to ban the burning of clothes. SEE ALSO: The rise and fall of Victoria's Secret, America's biggest lingerie retailer Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Applebee's made the best comeback of 2018. Here's how the restaurant chain turned around.