Fashion will never be green

There's something a bit peculiar to my mind about current efforts to sell fashion as an industry that cares.

While I can accept that the communal conscience of fashionistas may have finally been piqued, and there is a genuine desire to reduce the environmental impact of the rag trade, it's never going to be a low impact industry.

The very foundation of fashion - that what looks nice one month is somehow going to be transformed into a socially unacceptable garment that must be replaced next season - screams over consumption to me.

It is an industry that thrives on encouraging people to buy things they don't need.

By telling people that clothes should be replaced when they become dated, rather than when they are outgrown or worn out, you are going to create an unnecessary environmental impact.

Couple that with the fact that the clothing industry is notorious for using cheap labour in developing countries and the vast majority of what we wear needs to be shipped half way around the world, and you can add unnecessary emissions and pollution to the general strain on natural resources created by our throw-away attitude to clothes.

When I hear that Defra has persuaded 300 companies to sign up to its code for sustainable clothing, I can't help having mixed feelings - sure, every little bit helps, but it does seem a bit like treating the symptom rather than the cause.Tim Door

Topics: edie
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