Fashion is all about the latest trends, but some clothing stores, such as H&M and ZARA, take this very literally and come up with new collections every week. That may sound appealing, but the industry behind this so-called fast fashion chain is not.
These chains and brands often work with textile workers who are paid very low wages and are forced to work long days under appalling conditions. Unfortunately, these workers are often children. In addition, the clothing industry is also extremely bad for the environment. Water shortages are caused all over the world because of the industry. As example, a Dutch study shows that about 8000 litres of water are used to make an average pair of jeans. The industry also causes plastic in the ocean and washing clothes releases half a million tonnes of microfibers into the ocean every year. So, why are we still wearing fast-fashion clothing?
Cecile Scheele also had that question in mind when she decided to have her own business in sustainability. She could find food and other items, but sustainable clothing was hard to find. As a stylish woman, she didn’t only want to go to second-hand shops. That’s when she started Goodbrandz, where she sells sustainable brands to retailers. At first, she was told that nobody would ask for this and she needed to do something that’s worthwhile. That was when she realised she needed to make the consumers demand for sustainable fashion and she eventually decided to start the Dutch Sustainable Fashion Week.
This year’s edition of the Dutch Sustainable Fashion Week was of course very different than the last editions, because of the Coronavirus. Normally there would be designers showing their clothes in big shows, but that wasn’t possible this edition. This year still made a positive turn. Cecile says that because of COVID-19, people are becoming much more aware of the way they consume. But there’s still a big group of people who don’t realise how bad the fast-fashion industry is and where to buy sustainable clothing. Cecile explains why.