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Fashion brands greenwashing their 'sustainable' credentials?

"Fashion brands grapple with greenwashing: ‘It’s not a human right to say something is sustainable’

While business imperatives for making sustainability claims are clear, being able to prove them has become a stumbling block for the industry..."

Read the Story in The Guardian

Greenwashing claims that products are sustainable when clearly not are under more than ever scrutiny..  

Also have a look at The Business Of Fashion site   looking into what evidence could be given (or asked for) to substantiate the claims made by the manufactorers and retailers


Sustainable Fashion?

We know that fashion is the 2nd most polluting industry in the world - Sustainable Fashion ? haha.

Greta Thunberg calls out climate impact of fashion brands: 

The fashion industry is a huge contributor to the climate-and ecological emergency, not to mention its impact on the countless workers and communities who are being exploited around the world in order for some to enjoy fast fashion that many treat as disposables.

Many make it look as if the fashion industry is starting to take responsibility, spending fantasy amounts on campaigns portraying themselves as ”sustainable”, ”ethical”, ”green”, ”climate neutral” or ”fair”. But let’s be clear: This is almost never anything but pure greenwash.

You cannot mass produce fashion or consume ”sustainably” as the world is shaped today. That is one of the many reasons why we will need a system change.

Read about her Vogue interview here


How do you know if H&M is sustainable?

Helena Helmersson, the CEO of H&M says "we feel you. It can be super tricky to know whether you're making environmentally-friendly shopping choices. But we want to make it easier! So our aim is for all our products to be made from recycled or other sustainably sourced materials by 2030. This actually already applies to 57% of the materials that we use.

We also have our Conscious concept: pieces created with a little extra consideration for the planet. They're made from at least 50% sustainably sourced materials – like organic cotton and recycled polyester — but many Conscious products contain a lot more than that. The only exception is recycled cotton, which can only make up 20% of a product. If we included any more recycled cotton, the clothes simply wouldn't have the same quality. But we're hoping to change that! With new technological solutions and innovations, we're constantly working to make our range even more sustainable.

Conscious products can be found across all our departments, all year round. Just look for the green hangtag!

Yeah, right H&M ... um read on ...

Norway’s Forbrukertilsynet (Consumer Authority) revealed that they were investigating fast fashion giant H&M’s sustainability claims (2019). Their investigation comes under the Marketing Control Act in Norway, Section 2 of which states that marketing cannot contain ‘an incorrect or otherwise misleading representation which is likely to influence the demand for or supply of goods’. Essentially, if brands mislead their customers in any way, it’s illegal under existing Norwegian law.

More specifically, the Consumer Authority are concerned that H&M may be unable to back up their claims about the sustainability of their business, and of their H&M Conscious collection in particular. This concern stems from the lack of explanation offered by H&M about exactly how their Conscious clothes are being manufactured:

The article says "... However, they don’t go into detail about the types of items they’re recycling, how they’re recycled, how they’re produced, what the carbon footprint of these products is compared to their other ranges, or even what their definition of ‘sustainable’ is. It doesn’t feel very transparent." 

Read more here

And really the whole idea of fast fashion being sustainable is perhaps the ultimate Greenwash. Whatever the clothes are called, and however they re marketed. “Ultimately, the sheer amount of product H&M produces is causing irreversible harm to both planet and people, and completely outweighs their sustainability efforts,” she explained. “Fashion this fast can never and will never be sustainable.” Read more here in The Independent


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