Comment: Cheap Fashion is Costing the Earth
A recent article featured in The Times; ‘Cheap Fashion is Costing the Earth, Scientists Warn,’ – paints a very bleak picture of the fashion industry and its environmentally polluting ways.
We cannot ignore that fashion can and is a polluting industry, the article states that after two decades of growth it has become the second largest industrial polluter after aviation! We cannot ignore these facts. We also cannot ignore that the long standing retail model of piling stock high and cheap leading to a ‘bargain buying’ consumer mentality is now outdated. Look at all the retail closures up and down the country. And while a few still maintain this business model the real retail success story’s are those that bring in quality stock little and often, selling at full price and selling out. No discounting, no excess stock that nobody wants.
This new ‘lean’ model works, however it does fall under the term of ‘fast fashion’ not because it is cheap and made in bulk half way across the world, but because it is responsive, made in season in small quantities, on home soil, adding newness to the shop floor.
Fashion-Enter Ltd’s CEO Jenny Holloway explains:
“As CEO of a UK factory that is regarded as Fast Fashion I have to say there is a lack of knowledge about how factories work to such an alarming extent. Yes, we are fast fashion and we are PROUD of that. We make garments that are cost effective and certainly not CHEAP. We make close to the season so they sell out. The garments that are over-bought or stocked too high are the ones that end up being discounted and then they are cheap and end up in landfill. Our quantities have reduced substantially over the last few years and whilst every factory knows this is a nightmare – for us ethically it’s right. We do not want to design or sell garments that do not sell. We want the best sellers week in and week out and that way everyone is happy.
“When all this starts to dissipate with Covid-19 then come and see for yourself how ‘speed of response’ works and will save retailers and the environment in the long run by working and buying lean.”