Consumerism vs Climate Action
Fast fashion companies are setting bold carbon offsetting targets and investing in innovative technologies to combat climate change. But considering their business model is based on cheaply produced goods and excess consumption, is it going to yield results?
The truth is, the average consumer doesn’t know or care much about sustainability or climate change because they’re spoilt with myriad choices and cheap options, marketed brilliantly by the very companies that are making such promises.
There’s no denying that we’re stuck in a vicious cycle of overproduction and overconsumption. If companies are dependent on consumer demands that are being fuelled by their own advertising, how can we expect people to become more mindful about their buying habits? Whose responsibility is it to put a stop to this? When Covid struck and our lives were at stake, we readily changed our lifestyles (even grudgingly so). But when it comes to the health of our planet, we’re satisfied with setting 20 or 30-year goals even though we’re already out of time.
More than talking about recycling, fast fashion brands must focus on changing their business model and removing the problem from the source. Recycling our way out of textile waste is not the solution. The business of producing excess goods at the cost of human and planetary safety must change if we want to see any real progress. The same also goes for luxury brands. At this point, we have enough clothes to clothe the next five generations. But we’re continuing to churn out more while trying to solve for existing textile waste.
But will companies be able to free themselves away from the investor’s grip and shareholder mindset to put the environment front and center? Will we see more investors prioritizing the environment, and ditching polluting businesses? Because that will be a game-changer.