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Brands & Sustainable Fashion: the Good, the Bad & the Ugly

Updated: Nov 29, 2020

Several brands are starting to take a sustainable angle, at least this is what they are communicating. For example, Galeries Lafayette is currently organizing a national survey in Luxembourg on sustainable fashion. A few days ago, I saw an advert made by H&M about a dress made from recycled polyester. It made me curious so I went on their website. H&M is apparently following the move of sustainability. I saw other examples on the street of brands displaying adverts like "jeans produced in an eco-friendly manner", "made of organic cotton" and so on and so forth. But what is it all about? Most of those brands can still rather be tagged "fast fashion". What comes to my mind in this situation is "the good, the bad and the ugly". I am afraid that marketers take a sustainability angle to increase sale. I am not 100 % convinced that those actions are genuine. It could also be about "green washing". For those who don't know it, "green washing" is when a company or organization spends more time and money on marketing themselves as environmentally friendly than on minimizing their environmental impact. It is a deceitful advertising gimmick intended to mislead consumers who prefer to buy goods and services from environmentally conscious brands. To me, this would really be the ugly.

Then I think that some brands are following a trend but doing it for real. Some brands start replying to the what's in my clothe? and to the who made my clothe?. Yet, I am afraid that it is only for a short period of time and that they are not durably modify their supply chains. This would be the bad. The bad because, even if genuine, it would still be a marketing tool instead of a true desire to preserve our environment and improve our society.

Finally, brands with sustainability in their DNA emerge. These brands are fully conscious of their ways of supply, either focused on fair trade, on natural materials, upcycling, and so forth. Brands having Slow Fashion as a business model, not adapting their business model to Slow Fashion. Many brands are being created and not only in fashion. Staying focused on fashion, associations are also supporting the Slow Fashion move. One of them is the Fashion Revolution having its derivatives in several countries. Luxembourg has its own with the Fashion Revolution Luxembourg. Here, we are reaching the good, and I would even say the beautiful. We are indeed facing a collective change of mentality in how people buy and how people sell. I truly hope it started to last...This will only be possible if customers become or stay conscious about their buying power. Continue to ask more for what you buy: more quality, more sustainability, more fairness, and you will (continue) to obtain it. Change is on the street and the web, seize it. Together, we will save the World, at last.

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