A new report from consulting firm Kearney showed that the fashion industry isn’t taking its impact on the environment very seriously.
The global management consulting firm produces an annual “Circular Fashion Index,” (CFX) in which it assesses how hundreds of brands are (or are not) doing their part to combat the overheating of our planet.
There are many ways a company can strive for circularity, including having drop-off locations in their stores where customers can take their old, unwanted clothing for the brand to repurpose or recycle. Brands might also make repairs easily accessible to encourage customers to fix rather than toss out damaged items.
Upcycling and repurposing items that don’t sell is another form of circularity. But, according to the Kearney report, most companies are not doing much — or any — of this.
The fact that fashion brands aren’t taking their impact on the planet seriously is no small matter. The fashion industry is currently to blame for approximately 10% of carbon pollution.
While the fashion industry has a long way to go, there’s still plenty we can do as consumers in the meantime. For one, it helps to be aware of which brands are actually ethical and sustainable and which ones only pretend to be doing something good for the planet — a practice known as “greenwashing.”
You can also consider repairing or repurposing garments rather than tossing them out to extend their life cycle — like these designers who turn unwanted sweaters into cute handbags.
And when you no longer want an item, look for stores with programs that promote upcycling and recycling, including this company that pays shoppers to drop off empty makeup containers so they can break them down and repurpose their materials.
If you crave luxury items, you can even shop Gucci guilt-free since this company recently launched an entire hub dedicated to making its manufacturing more sustainable.
For now, the majority of brands are mostly still concerned with profits over the planet.
“The old admonition, ‘Do as I say, not as I do,’ is particularly relevant in today’s fashion industry,” the report stated.
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