Fast fashion is one of the largest contributors to ocean pollution, rainforest destruction, and landfill waste out there. It's a term used to describe fashion that is made cheaply - often at the expense of poorly-paid workers in poorer countries - and shipped across the globe to be sold for low prices in places like Primark, H&M, Zara, and Uniqlo.
Many of these brands have been accused of awful working conditions, poor product quality, and promoting overconsumption, and that's without even getting into the textiles themselves - pesticides used in cotton farms, microplastics from polyester, and the long-term biodegradability of these fabrics. Of course, the burden can't wholly be placed on the consumer to make informed and conscious choices towards more ethical and sustainable clothing - fast fashion is popular because it's affordable, after all. Right now, it's up to the companies to make the biggest change.
In an attempt to lead a "worldwide initiative towards a more sustainable fashion future", H&M has just announced a partnership with Maisie Williams (Game of Thrones) to encourage the reuse, remaking and recycling of clothing, in order to "close the loop in fashion".
"The long term goal is to use 100 percent recycled or other sustainably sourced materials for textiles across the full H&M Group brands by 2030.
It’s time to take action and create more viable production circuits in fashion to protect our planet for the next generation.”
- Maisie Williams
As part of the promotion of H&M's new garment recycling machine, Looop, the company has teamed up with Animal Crossing: New Horizons to create a fashion-focused, tailor-made island in the game. According to the press release, players will be able to recycle their old outfits into new ones on the island, although it's not clear how that will work.
Maisie herself will even be making an appearance on Looop Island, together with Pascal Brun, the Global Sustainability Manager at H&M, on the 13th of April (which is today).
What are your feelings on fast fashion? Let us know in the comments.