This eco-driven website promotes ethical designers and brands, perfect for our online ordering times
CLIMATE CHANGE IS A REALITY AND
sooner or later, our lifestyles must change. As a society, there are certain things governments and corporations can do. Some countries started banning single use plastics, but for things to be implemented at a legal or governmental level takes time. And, at the moment, time is of the essence.
There are many things we can do as individuals to help the situation and lead more sustainable lives, but are we ready to change our ways?
When it comes to fashion, there is a lot to be done by an industry that is the second largest polluter in the world and associated with far too many cases of human exploitation and poor working conditions.
At the moment, and thanks in no small part to documentaries such as The True Cost or RiverBlue, people are getting to know the darker side of fashion. In the Middle East, however, it is still a relatively new concept. We are so used to the glamorous facade and cleanliness of malls that somehow we assume the whole supply chain is as pristine.
‘Fast fashion’ companies have been profiting for years on unethical supply chains and there is a tangible sentiment, especially from millennial consumers, that this is no longer acceptable. In addition, international organisations such as Remake or Fashion Revolution are asking brands for more transparency and a fairer supply chain.
And thanks to the media and social media, these questions are being heard and sometimes even answered. We have seen some brands like H&M launching her Conscious Collection and together with other 31 fashion brands of different segments signed the Fashion Pact in Biarritz in August 2019, just before the G7 Summit.
THE FASHION PACT
This pact signals a good intention but not much action. It is timid in its goals and is taken as a guide and not as a legally binding agreement. The closest deadline is 2030 when there is not much time left and it is acknowledged so in the document itself. Also, it focusses on climate, biodiversity and oceans. But what about people? People are barely mentioned.
Our hope that the Fashion Pact might bring real change disappeared pretty fast and many have seen it as little more than green washing.
Fashion has a big impact because of the chemicals, resources and energy it uses in its production. Making clothes requires a highly intensive usage of water, creates pollution and vast amounts of waste. In addition to this, fashion shows can be black holes when it comes to sustainability. Flying international models in, gathering buyers, celebrities and editors to enjoy a stage that will be dismantled, burned or thrown away the next day is far from sustainable and indeed is extremely wasteful, not to mention carrying a heavy carbon footprint.
There is still a lot to be done but we have seen how the industry is evolving. Stockholm Fashion week cancelled their show “due to the future” and there is something of a shift in the way fashion is exhibited, consumed and shared. In addition, with the coronavirus, we all have a wake-up call about how to speak to our customers when face to face meetings
and large-scale industry events are not on the table. It has shone a spotlight on alternative options and perhaps one of the few glimmers of positive news have been the swift reduction pollution and wildlife sightings in urban areas, to remind us that beneath our high-impact lives, nature remains a resilient force. If brands can take this time to get authentically creative about avoid travelling and social gathering, it could usher in a much-needed period of innovation to the fashion industry.
SO, WHAT IS NEXT?
Digitalisation, augmented reality, virtual showrooms, and ecommerce are some of the trends being anticipated in how we will enjoy or purchase fashion. Sustainability affects how the pieces will be produced and recirculated, avoiding becoming part of landfill.
HOW CAN WE BE MORE SUSTAINABLE?
To be truly sustainable we could just use what we have in our closets already and stop buying altogether. But that would mean a lot of job losses and sink economies. We don’t want that. We need to stop buying impulsively and being more rational. Look for quality and design, instead of price. Avoid trends that will be démodé after the season ends. Customers don’t need to compromise in style. Quite the opposite, sustainability might help you find your true style, your own fashion voice and what really resonates with you.
We urge our customers to buy things they love and will be able to wear many times. We source items based on the quality of the garment and how easy it is to care for. It should suit the style and also the lifestyle of our customers. For true sustainability, if you have an event and need a dress, rent or ask friends if you can borrow.
The reason why I started Goshopia was because I struggled to find sustainable fashion options in this market that would be of great quality, but didn’t come flown in from far away, bringing with it that additional carbon footprint. Most of the brands are local, regional or have some local presence and they work with small ateliers or artisans to produce their pieces. Designers and brands follow at least one of our ‘three S’ core values: Slow fashion, meaning no mass production, sustainable fashion, using organic and biodegradable materials, and socially responsible, namely being produced in an ethical and traceable way.
For us, the market is awakening, and we are excited to be able to assist our customers to find pieces that will bring joy while supporting others and minimising damage to the environment. Because we truly believe fashion can be a force for good.