[ENG] What kind of consumer are you? The lazy one, the prepared one or just an intuitive person buying clothes under the influence of the advertisements? In the following text, I would like to introduce you to the initiative of Fashion Revolution, which provides a research about the biggest fashion brands currently established on the market. And after reading it, you might want to change your shopping approach.
They created a guidebook called Fashion Transparency Index, in which shoppers can find the review of 200 global brands ranked based on their social and environmental policies, practices and impact. In my opinion, we are slowly starting to be interested in the values of certain brands, as well as we are focusing more on the ethical aspects while shopping. There is still large space for the improvement since the support for fast fashion chains is massive and people still refuse to give up on them. However, I´m being optimistic about the progress of our general shopping behaviour.
We further must become aware of different aspects in the manufacturing processes of well-known labels. When we think about sustainability or ecological impact of fashion brands, we often imagine labour (bad working conditions) or the amount of waste discharged to the environment. But there are way more requirements which should be fulfilled by the fashion magnates if they want to acquire high score for a sustainable approach. We also must value categories such as equal payment for men and women, female empowerment, conventional wages or use of the non-invasive resources. We might think those aspects are premature, but they simply have to become our daily concerns.
The main purpose of this research by Fashion Revolution is to bring transparency into the field of fashion, which will ensure safety and fairness in this sector. According to them, obscure processes and indifference take people´s lives. And unfortunately, none of the analysed brands received the full score. The group of the most progressive ones (61-70/100%) consists of five brands: Adidas, Reebok, Patagonia, Esprit and H&M. In this case however, we have to understand that the final score can be high because those are huge conglomerates (annual turnover of analysed brands represents over $500 million), so please don´t head to H&M tomorrow morning. Anyway, it is a good guide to make people realize how big brands function and how they earn money. The other side of the spectrum is represented by 72 brands scoring 0-10% such as Chanel (10%), Michael Kors (7%), Forever 21 (5%) or Tom Ford (0%). Imagine that 72 famous, huge brands don´t care about the environment or their work force. And that is why WE have to care and support what is worth the support.
Even when you claim that you can´t find anything in second-hand stores and the local brands are too expensive for you, there is always something you can do. You can at least recycle your clothing and think about what you want to buy in advance. Many of you say, that when you try alternative channels, you fail to find basics. This outfit is intentionally composed of basic pieces and I can proudly say that all I´m wearing (also what David is) is sustainable and not polluting. My regular advice for you is to use your brain, not the emotions when you are expanding your wardrobe. And if you have some free time, please check the Transparency Index, you might discover many interesting things.