£28.6 million dollars of unsold Burberry clothes and perfume were burned this last year. £105 million in the last five. With this money an average person living in the UK could separately buy 366 homes, 12,890 cars, and send 874 students to private school from childhood up until university.
Are we surprised? Luxury and Haute Couture do this routinely- there is no other way to stay up to date with the expenditure of high fashion and pressure of capitalism. They are protecting their brand. Simply protecting their name. We as the consumer just don’t hear about it because fresh to us is a new line in fashion week that we can talk about instead. We as the investor don’t hear about it because it shows weakness. How dare a luxury brand sell clothes as discount?
This being said, are we ready to open the dialogue about cruel practice?
We live in a significant time, not only for invention and reimagination, but a time where we have reached a tipping point on what we will dismiss in the fashion world for the sake of business. 2018 alone had a 19.9% increase in the sustainable fashion market and a 128% increase in sustainable brands, most likely encouraged by the growing education and call to action power consumers now possess. What is being birthed is not a change, but an expectation for nothing short of what is right for our environment. A harmony between designers is growing as more practices for safe fashion is imposed on one another
So, let’s continue the conversation and continue the drive into a sustainable future. Fashion is our contribution to the environment, a simple way we can make a global change in the face of a growing temperature maximum of 1.5C.
Donatella Versace tells us there is “no bigger luxury than our future.” To be relevant is to practice sustainability. To be relevant is to care. Nothing more, nothing less. Be motivated and compelled to do what you can for the future of your own home.
To Watch: Stacey Dooley Investigates Fashion’s Dirty Secrets, BBC Documentary
To Read: Naked Fashion: The New Sustainable Fashion Revolution, Safia Minney
To Do: Wearing clothes 50 times instead of 5 (the average wear) reduces carbon emissions by 400% per item, per year