I have seen countless fashion brands come out with “eco-friendly” clothing lines, apart from their regular clothing selections.
When I started getting into ethical fashion I thought this was great! A way to still shop your favorite fast fashion brands while being eco-friendly.
Whether it’s ASOS, H&M or now Garage that I’ve seen doing this I can’t help but look farther.
Are these lines really as eco as they claim to be? Well, if you’re still selling a t-shirt for only $12 that raises a few flags for me.
I think that these “eco-friendly” lines are just another form of greenwashing. Like when companies make reusable straws that come packaged in plastic. Kind of defeats the purpose.
Read: What is greenwashing and how to avoid it
Most likely these brands are using recycled materials but they’re still able to get away with such low prices because they’re not paying their workers fairly.
These brands are just trying to appeal to the young eco-conscious consumers (Like Me) by hopping on board the sustainability bandwagon with as little effort as possible.
Brands need to stop creating a single sustainable clothing line while the rest of their clothing is still made dirt cheap using toxic chemicals and workshops.
What about the next season? Will they update their eco-friendly lines and keep pumping out trend after trend disguised to be sustainable? The quick production process is what leads to the abuse of resources and the cutting of corners. AKA fast fashion.
IF these were truly sustainably lines, what’s the point when the rest of their collections are so un-sustainable?
I’m not saying that every brand with a sustainable clothing line is a flat out lie. Some of these brands are taking steps towards a greener future, I just believe this is the wrong way to go about it.
It’s like eating a single vegetable a day and then claiming you ate healthily. Because, well it was a vegetable.
Their money and efforts would be better-spent reexamining their existing collection and finding out how to take the steps necessary to shift their entire brand to a more sustainable one.
But the harsh truth is they don’t want to spend the money to save resources or pay their employees fairly.
(If this post sounds a little harsh, I apologize I am just so passionate about this topic)
I’ve been fooled and thousands of people are being fooled as well into thinking they’re actually doing some good.
If brands are serious about making sustainable changes they need to start at the core of their products.
How a product is made. If a clothing brand isn’t already sustainable and ethical they are a fast-fashion brand.
Fast fashion doesn’t just mean the price is cheap. Expensive or “high end” brands can still be considered fast fashion depending on how they make their product.
Brands need to go to the core of their products and business model and spare no expense to make sure a product is made well.
Longevity = sustainability
Most brands won’t want to do this because the longer their product lasts, the less likely you’ll be to repurchase it.
A better product for you means less money for them in the long run. And as we all know, money makes the world go round. So I’ve learned.
But their employees should be paid well and work in safe environments, the materials they use should be sourced responsibly and made well.
Changing what the brand already has will be more impactful than a throwaway “sustainable” line.
Imagine if Nike created a completed eco-friendly, recycled, and responsibly sourced version of their most famous shoe. That would gain a lot of attention and applause. Because they’re changing what people already know and love and making it more responsible.
People who grew up knowing the brand would be sooner to come back to it.
And I know that this is a lot to ask. It’s a lot of money to spend to change your old ways. That’s why this is for the brands that truly care about making a difference.
Not brands who just want to make some quick money by appealing to a different audience rather than making an actual sustainability plan.
I believe every step a brand makes towards a more sustainable business is a good step. However, I don’t believe that creating a single “eco-friendly” clothing line counts. It’s just a blatant attempt at greenwashing.
If you’re ever questioning a brand’s integrity, look for some kind of certification. Such as certified organic or fair trade certified.
Another thing to always look for is an about page or blurb on these sustainable line pages. You should be able to tell right away if it’s legit or not based on how long and in-depth or vague it is. Brands should want you to genuinely know where their materials come from and what their process looks like.
I urge you, as consumers to think twice before believing every ad you see that pushes a sustainable clothing line. Nothing is ever really what it seems.
Change has to come from deep within and it has to be impactful.
Where you spend your money says a lot and can be loud enough to warrant a real change.
And I urge you, fast fashion companies, to think about the well-being of the people and children (yes, children) you so often employ and what your current production process is doing to our precious planet.
Thank you for reading! Let me know your thoughts down below and don’t forget to share this post.
As always, be sure to follow me on Instagram for daily ethical fashion and low waste living inspiration.
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