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Why using sustainable materials only solves the smallest percentage of the fashion waste problem.

Why using sustainable materials only solves the smallest percentage of the fashion waste problem.

So much of the focus at the moment is on using more sustainable materials, reducing air miles, offering resale platforms, the list goes on…

 

Don’t get me wrong, these are all very important subjects and need to be handled with care and attention. But ultimately for so many brands, it’s a way of looking good, rather than actually doing good.

 

I’m talking: Shein resale platform, H&M recycling bins, Zara 100% energy efficient stores, the list goes on…

 

On the surface these all sound great, but you don’t have to dig very deep to reveal that this is a pretty shallow and poor cover up to a model that fundamentally is unsustainable. It provides an excuse for customers to justify a purchase they deep down know is bad. Or maybe they don’t even know it’s bad, which is even worse, and needs to change. 

 

If we look at the core of the problem, 6 in 10 items of clothing that are made end up in landfill within a year.

 

6 in 10!

 

It’s a result of two major issues. Firstly, the big fast fashion brands, and now sadly some of the medium to small ones as well, are being forced to release multiple styles a year in an attempt to keep up with the latest fashion trends.

 

Trends that are ever changing, as the styles are ever evolving. It’s estimated that Zara releases 10,000 styles a year. And Shein, releases 6,000 styles a DAY. Take a second to wrap your head around that.

 

Each of these styles comes in multiple sizes, goes to multiple fulfilment centres, to be delivered direct to consumers and stocked in numerous shops around the globe.

 

Not to mention that margins are being squeezed on both ends for these brands, so in order to keep shareholders happy, the cost of production is being pushed to it’s limit. Desperately searching for economies of scale or making quality reductions to claw back missing margin.

 

Let me phrase it another way - we’re in a systemic overproduction crisis.

 

It’s all well and good using organic cotton rather than non-organic, yay claps for you, however if you’re still producing multiple thousands of items and styles that never land, so end up in landfill BEFORE ever being owned, it doesn’t matter what material you’re using.

 

The industry will change, it has to, first and foremost because for the first time ever, we’re actually running out of raw materials.

 

The seemingly inescapable cycle described above is the fundamental reason Julian and I started Batch LDN - Suits. Redefined.

 

We personally don’t want to wait until we’ve run out of resources to start to enact change on an industry we all knew was broken in the first place.

 

A combination of the three R’s (recycle, resell, repair), along side conscious and mindful consumerism is the only answer.

 

Don’t rush to buy new. But if you have to: Buy made-to-order, buy high quality, buy to last, buy close to home, buy core pieces that aren’t affected by constant trend changes.

 

The sentiment is directed at the fashion industry but if we’re honest it stands for the majority of all product industries. The hope is that if we can ignite consumer change in one industry it will have a collateral effect in others too.

 

We’re always looking for ways to improve further, and moving production to London for our new collection is another big step.

 

The new website and collection both go live on 1st November, be sure to check it out. 

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